I started Lutheran Confessions 1 today. I’m not extremely excited about it since my schedule is so crazy, but I love having Dr. Winger as a professor. He’s great for my style of learning and he’s great at keeping my attention. There are few people I could sit and listen to talk for 3 hours, but he’s one of them.
Today we talked about the three confessions of the Christian church: Confession of sins, faith and praise. The first two are fairly well understood by most Christians. We confess our sins to God and are forgiven. We confess our faith in the words of the Apostles’, Nicene and occasionally the Athanasian Creeds. But the confession of praise? The term “confession” is not used with “praise” in modern Christianity often.
Basically, it’s the church’s act of praising God. Dr. Winger made the point that our modern concept of praise has given us a slight misunderstanding of this word. Modern “contemporary” Christian music is sometimes guilty of only praising the attributes of God. God is good, great, awesome, mighty, etc. The biblical concept of praise is more than that however. The Greek term for “confession” is used when God tells of us His deeds and we speak them back to Him. Most of the “praise God” stories in the Bible are retellings of His previous work. The Psalms are full of this type of praise as psalmists declare how God has rescued them from the depths of the grave.
In the last several years, I’ve noticed Christian worship moving away from the “God is great” style towards a deeper, more Biblical one. Music is a tremendous gift to the church, and the resurgence of scriptural lyrics confessing praise to God brings the Scriptures to life in new ways. I’m thankful for those artists who were led down that route for their music.