The Trinity hardly ever appears in songs sung by American Christians, according to a new study of the 30 Most Popular Hymns and 30 Most Popular Worship Songs in the Past Five Years. Evangelical churches mostly sing about Jesus, with only occasional references to the Father and a few (if any) mentions of the Holy Spirit. Songs that mention relationships within the Godhead are even rarer, according to researchers at Southern Wesleyan University.
âIn the music we sing, it seems like we’re not as Trinitarian as we think we are,â said religion teacher Michael Tapper, who helped lead the study.
According to Tapper, lay Christians learn much of their theology from their music. He found that many Christians cannot name the topic of the last sermon they heard, and that many cannot even cite popular enough Bible passages, such as Romans 12: 1-2. But almost anyone who has attended an evangelical church in the past few years can complete the phrase âYou called me on _____â.
The interdisciplinary analysis of the lyrics – carried out by Tapper, English teacher Britt Terry and religious studies student Jacob Clapp – followed a 2015 study, which found no major differences between the content of the music cult and popular hymns, despite current criticisms of the alleged superficiality of contemporary choirs.
Southern Wesleyan scholars have used copyright information to rate the most popular worship songs and searched Hymnary.org to rate the most popular hymns. The average age of a worship song in the study was seven years old. The average age of a hymn was 165. The study did not find any noticeable difference in the theological content of the elders …
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