Archive for the ‘Christian Music’ Tag

Hymn to the Trinity

In my search for Trinitarian worship music I decided to write a new “Hymn to the Trinity.” These words are written to be sung to the tune of “Morning Has Broken.” (If you’re not familiar with that music you can find it here on YouTube.)

Jesus is risen, Heaven is dawning

Jesus revealing the Father’s love

Come, Holy Spirit, show us the Father

Show us our place in the life of the Son


Joy and anguish, Divine and human

Heaven and all things joined in one Man

Jesus has brought us home to the Father

Give Him the glory for our new life


Praise to the Father, Jesus, and Spirit

Praise to the Three who love life as One

Father in Jesus, Jesus in Father

Spirit in their love, one God in Three

To read more about the thought behind these lyrics you can check out this two-page article I wrote about the hymn.

~ Jonathan Stepp

Buy this CD!

Are you looking for Trinitarian worship music? I know I am! Last year I complained that if the doctrine of the Trinity were abandoned most modern Christian music could still stand as it is without change. So much of modern Christian music is directed to, or about, the “Lord” or “God” or one person of the Trinity alone (usually Jesus) that there is a real lack of music that is directed to, or about, The Triune Life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I’m happy to report that Ross Jutsum’s latest CD, Truly Amazing, is a wonderful step forward in correcting this problem and giving the Church music that praises God as he truly is: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I bought a copy using Ross’s website and I wanted to share with you the Trinitarian lyrics to several of the songs in the hopes that you will be encouraged to buy a copy for yourself.

The first track is titled “How Much More?” and the chorus addresses praise directly to the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus the Savior, and then to all three together by addressing the praise to the “Almighty God.” Here are the words:

If the rocks cry out and the mountains sing / How much more should we, / Your children, praise You?/ If Creation shouts Your mighty majesty / How much more should we, / Your children, praise You?

Chorus: Abba, Father – You are so wonderful / Holy Spirit – You fill our hearts with joy / Lord and Savior – You are our all in all / And we praise You, Almighty God

If the lightning flashes, the thunder roars / How much more should we, / Your children, praise You? / If the heaven and earth declare your / awesome worth – How much more / should we, Your children, praise You? (Chorus)

The universe declares Your power and glory / Magnifies Your name / Yesterday, today, forever / Lord, You are the same! (First Verse and Chorus)

Track 4, “You Belong to Me” is also Trinitarian in its praise to the Father and Jesus and in speaking of the Holy spirit. I also like this one because Ross references adoption and the reconciliation of all humanity, which are other key aspects of the gospel that are largely absent from Christian music:

Heavenly Father / You accept me just as I am / You forgive me and redeem me / by the precious blood of the Lamb / In Your love You have adopted me / Your daughter, Your very own / So I praise You and exalt You / Humbly bow before Your throne

Chorus: Father you say “no male or female, / no bond or slave or free / No Jew or Greek or Gentile, You are all my family / You are one in Jesus – He alone can set You free / You’re My sons and daughters – You belong to Me”

Jesus, My Savior / Seated at the Father’s right hand / You’ve included and You’ve reconciled / every child and woman and man / By the Holy Spirit’s power / You draw everyone to You / So I thank You and I bless You / You make everything brand new

Father, I belong to You and You belong to me / Jesus, You’re my liberty and You have set me free

I think Track 6 is my favorite on the CD. It’s called “Benediction/Our Song” and Ross uses a style I really like: he devotes one verse each to the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and then the final verse worships all three as the One God that they are. As with “You Belong to Me” this one also references the inclusion of humanity in the Father’s life through the Son:

Father, you love all the world / The same as Jesus Christ Your Son / Every precious child belongs to You / – beloved, everyone / You are for us, You are with us, / You are in Your children all / Father, we’re Your sons and daughters / – help us listen to Your call

Jesus, You’re our Lord and Savior, / our Salvation and our Song / King and Shepherd and Redeemer, / – in your presence we belong / Never leave us or forsake us / – Lord, You are with us always / Great Creator, Awesome God / – we will forever sing your praise

Spirit, guide us to all truth / Remind us everything You hear / Comfort us, no longer orphans, / Give us peace, cast out all fear / Join us with the heavenly Father / – bind us in the Living Way / Advocate and Counselor,       / please teach us every night and day

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit / – God, we lift our song to You / Fill us with Your life and love / and let our praise be fresh and new / How we love You and we need You / – hold us in Your hands we pray / We will dwell and fellowship / – with You forever we will stay

The last and title track, “Truly Amazing!” is also addressed to the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. And it also speaks of everyone being included in the Father’s plan in Jesus:

That you included me in your plan, / and everyone since the world began / is truly amazing . . . amazingly true / That all along You had me in mind, / and everyone since the dawn of time / is simply astounding . . . astounding just like You

Chorus: Loving God, Heavenly Father, / My Savior, Christ the Son; / Holy Spirit, my Comforter / – You invited everyone / to Your table covered with mercy, / Your kingdom filled with Your grace / I accept your invitation, and I welcome . . . Your loving embrace

That you had plans for me from the start / You formed my mind and fashioned my heart / is truly amazing . . . amazingly true / And that You number my hairs and my tears; / You know my name, my joys and fears / is simply astounding . . . / astounding just like You (Chorus)

You forgiveness is amazing / and Your fellowship divine / And your friendship I will treasure / and I’ll cherish for all time . . . (Chorus)

There are other good songs on this album – my kids enjoy “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” and I like Ross’s retelling of the parable of the Prodigal (called “The Great Celebration”) especially because of this perichoretic and Trinitarian line in the chorus: “and father is leading the dance!”

If you’re planning to spend money on Christian music this Christmas, or this coming year, I highly recommend this CD as a way to enable your worship of the beauty of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Here’s a link to where you can buy it online:

~ Jonathan Stepp


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit

The worship of our modern Christian culture has become decidedly unitarian.

Karl Rahner, a noted Catholic theologian, is famous for saying:

We must be willing to admit that, should the doctrine of the Trinity have to be dropped as false, the major part of religious literature could well remain virtually unchanged. (The Trinity, p. 10.)

Unfortunately, the same could be said of much of our modern worship.

This, of course, has not always been the case – nor is it the case everywhere in Christian worship today. Traditionally, Christian worship was explained as either “Glory to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit” or as “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.” As a result, the traditional liturgies of worship communities that are rooted in ancient expressions that pre-date the modern decline in Trinitarian thinking about God remain overtly Trinitarian to this day. For most of us in the free-church, Protestant tradition, however, worship has become very unitarian.

This unitarian worship does not, usually, express itself in an outright denial of the Trinity.

Rather, it is usually found in the form of an intellectual assent to the doctrine of the Trinity while the peoples’ hearts – and thus their mouths, which speak out of their hearts – express their worship in one of two unitarian ways:

1. A constant and pervasive language that speaks of “God” but rarely ever speaks of “the Father” or “Jesus” or “the Holy Spirit.”

2. A focus solely on Jesus that rarely speaks of “the Father” or “the Holy Spirit.”

Nowhere is this unitarian worship more evident than in contemporary Christian worship songs.

It is very rare to find any contemporary worship songs that address worship “to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.” I have yet to find a single one that addresses worship “to the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit.” Please let me know if you have one.

Instead, what we find are songs that sing “to God” or “to the Lord” or “to Jesus” but rarely help the worshiper express the fullness of what it means to be a worshiping human who is worshiping through the humanity of Jesus and participating in the Trinitarian Life of worship.

I am thankful for artists such as Vanessa Kersting (I wrote about her back in April) who are creating contemporary music that is more Trinitarian. And I am praying that the Spirit will inspire even more artists to do the same!

~ Jonathan Stepp

Beautiful Music

Are you looking for music that is rooted in the Trinity? I know I have been!

There’s a lot of Christian music that I like, but I have to admit that a lot of the songs I like don’t fully express the beauty of humanity’s adoption into the Trinity through Jesus.

One artist who is expressing the gospel of our adoption is Vanessa Kersting.

I’ve been blessed to know Vanessa and her music for a couple of years now, but when she visited our congregation here in Nashville this past Sunday – and led worship – I was reminded of just how special her gift is. Not only is she a gifted musician who writes beautiful music, she also knows the gospel and can express it in music. The lyrics of her songs are infused with the life of the Trinity in a way that few other artists’ songs are.

Here are some examples of lyrics from songs on her new album, For all the Times:

Into the world you came / into the world you sustain / forever You are with us, forever You are here / a babe in all it’s frailty / embracing all our humanity ~ from Emmanuel

You hold all things together, You’re the center of it all / You embraced all things forever, You’re the center of it all / You’re beautiful, so beautiful, my mind can’t comprehend / You’re beautiful, so beautiful, Your love it never ends / in You death’s defeated, You’re the center of it all / with You we are seated, You’re the center of it all ~ from Center of It All

Christ is in the Father / the Father is in Christ / Christ is in humanity / and humanity’s in Christ / Christ is in our darkness / Christ is in our pain / when all that’s around us fails / the truth of Christ remains ~ from Christ in Us

You can learn more about Vanessa, check out her music, and even buy her new album at

~ by Jonathan Stepp

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