Six or seven years ago, I was desperately searching for meaningful, theologically sound, contemporary music. I had come to the point where I didn’t even listen to “Christian” music anymore because the vast majority of it seemed to:
a) fail to glorify or even mention Jesus by name
b) integrate worldly philosophies
c) be man-centered rather than God-centered
d) be shallow & repetetive
Thankfully, a friend introduced me to Indelible Grace Music (www.igracemusic.com). Here is what Indelible Grace says about how they came to be:
Indelible Grace Music grew out of ministering to college students, primarily through Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). We saw many touched by the gospel, and gripped by the rich theology and great poetry of the hymns of the Church. As these students began to taste more of the depth of the gospel and the richness of the hymn tradition, many began to join the music of their culture with the words of our forefathers (and mothers!), and a movement was born.
But actually, this is not really a “new” movement at all! Up until the beginning of the 20th century, it was common for people to compose new music for each generation for many of the hymns that they loved. There is no rule that says each hymn can only have one musical setting, and in fact, hymnals are designed for you to be able to mix and match words and music — that’s why they have a metrical index. But unfortunately, we lost this tradition and got stuck in a more modern traditionalism of associating one particular tune with one particular hymn. I am reminded of an incident a few years ago at the national meeting of our own denomination after a worship group had played a new version of Wesley’s “And Can It Be” (the one that is on our 1st CD by the way.) Many were upset by the new music and one gentleman stood and protested the new music saying that Wesley had written this hymn to majestic music and that he must be turning over in his grave. At this point, the organist for the convention rose and told the man (correctly) that the critic had probably never heard the music Wesley wrote the hymn to (if he even did write it to music when he composed it), and that the tune the man thought was the original was actually a bar tune!
Our goal is not change for change’s sake, but to rekindle a love of hymns and to invite many who would never associate rich passion with hymns to actually read the words. We believe that we are impoverished if we cut off our ties with the saints of the past, and that we fail to be faithful to God in our own moment of history if we don’t attempt to praise Him in forms that are authentic to who we are.
God has deeply blessed me through all the wonderful songs that have come out of Indelible Grace and their wonderful albums. In fact, I’m sure my family is probably tired of listening to Matthew Smith belt out “Come Ye Sinners” or Sandra McCracken’s beautiful effort on “And Can It Be”, not because the music isn’t great, but because I can’t stop listening to their music and that’s all my family hears when I’m driving. I thank God continually for Kevin Twitt and RUF at Belmont University and the vision that God gave Kevin to start IGM. I’m quite thrilled to learn that they will soon be releasing Indelible Grace 6. You can get a taste of IG6 and hear their vision for this latest release here:
If you’re interested in hearing more of their music, you can hear samples at the web site (http://www.igracemusic.com/music/index.htm) and purchase their CD’s or you can also purchase most of their music on iTunes. Praise our Lord for this exceptional ministry!