Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blood and gore

I have an early memory of sitting in the car with the door open while my father and our pastor stood near me talking. The only thing I remember of the conversation was the pastor saying that he didn't want any of those gory hymns in our church. One of the most famous "bloody" hymns was written by the great English poet, William Cowper, "There is a Fountain Filled With Blood," a hymn we can't use in my church because of the images it arouses for one member. Russell Moore, yesterday, asked "Is Your Church Losing Blood?:
American Christianity is far less bloody than it used to be.

Songs like “Power in the Blood” or “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood” or “Are You Washed in the Blood?” are still sung in some places, but fewer and fewer, and there aren’t many newer songs or praise choruses so focused on blood. The Cross, yes; redemption, yes; but blood, rarely. We’re eager to speak of life, but hesitant to speak of blood.

And this is not only a Protestant phenomenon. Roman Catholics—centered as they are on the Eucharist—often seem to go out of their way to speak of the “real presence” of Jesus in the elements, without going so far as to mention that this presence is believed to be that of his body and blood, as well as soul and divinity. Even Catholic communion hymns, I’m told, prefer terms like “the Cup” to “the Blood.”

The eclipse of blood in American Christianity has quite a bit to do, I suspect, with American prosperity. .... [more]
Today, he explains "Why Blood Shocks.

Moore to the Point by Russell D. Moore