Worship in a minor key | James K.A. Smith on Ryan Adams cover of Taylor Swift 1989

James Smith wrote an article on listening to Ryan Adams cover of Taylor Swift 1989. I have to admit to having never listened to either artist. But I thought his reflections on how we depend on the character of our sung worship to be our emotional uplift rather than allowing it to cover the whole range of human experiences and emotions to be right on point. 

Some questions I’ve had with regard to our worship styles are;

What is the impact on discipleship when our worship styles indicate that our responses to God always have to end with a smiley faced emoticon?

What kind of dissonance do we create when we make worship an escape rather than a God-empowered embrace of reality?

What does this have to do with worship? We live, you might say, in a major chord culture. We live in a society that wants even its heartbreaking lyrics delivered in pop medleys that keep us upbeat, tunes we can dance to. We live for the “hook,” that turn that makes it all OK, that lets us shake it off and distract ourselves to death. And this cultural penchant for a certain sonic grammar seeps into the church and the church’s worship, so that we want songs and hymns and spiritual songs that do the same. But as a result we often create a (pre)cognitive dissonance between the Bible’s honesty, carried in our hymns and psalms, and our pop retunings. Or we embed them in a sonic liturgical environment that endeavors to be, above all, “upbeat” and positive–a weekly pick-up encouraging you to just “shake it off.” – James K.A Smith

Read smiths articles here

Page CXVI – – Joy;

2 Comments on “Worship in a minor key | James K.A. Smith on Ryan Adams cover of Taylor Swift 1989

  1. What an awesome article… and yes by the way Ryan Adams is the bee’s knees so go buy all his records and revel in his minor chord goodness…

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