This is Amazing Grace: Phil Wickham

 

 

The first song I am going to review is by Phil Wickham and can be found HERE on CCLI.  As of the time I am writing this his song is currently listed at #1 on the CCLI charts.  I am going to take it one verse at a time.

 

Verse 1

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness

who’s love is mighty and so much stronger

The King of Glory, the King above all Kings

 

When I read the first verse these are the passages that come to my mind, your mileage may vary:

 

“When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” Colossians 2:15 NASB

 

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” Ephesians 2:4-5 NASB

 

“which He will bring about at the proper time-He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,” 1 Timothy 6:15 NASB

 

What I see the author trying to do in the first verse is ask and answer a question.  Who has overcome our sin because of his love for us?  And then it identifies this as God.  I also like that he points out sin as a bad thing.  That’s important to do, we can say on some level there is law in this song.  That’s good.

 

Verse 2

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder

and leaves us breathless in awe and wonder

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

 

This verse has a similar format to the first one.  What I like about verse 2 though is that the writer identifies God as being in control of the weather.  A lot of liberals today are not comfortable with that, many will outright deny it altogether.  So it’s nice to see that the #1 song on CCLI has some conservative teaching in it.

 

Chorus

This is amazing grace, this is unfailing love

That you would take my place, that You would bear my cross

You laid down Your life, that I would be set free

Whoa, Jesus I sing for all that You’ve done for me

 

The Chorus is by far my favorite part of the song.  The writer is preaching the gospel at this point.  Love it.  Here are the passages it brings to my mind.

 

“and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 NASB

 

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NASB

 

What I like is that Chorus also conveys the concept of penal substitutionary atonement.  Notice that Jesus is said to “bear my cross”.  Also I would like to point out that the song actually identifies “Jesus” by name as the one who does this.  That’s really good.

 

Verse 3

Who brings our chaos back into order

who makes the orphan a son and daughter

The King of Glory, the King of Glory

 

I’m not a fan of verse 3, mostly because it’s not specific enough.  Due to a lack of context and clarity it would be too easy to interpret as a promise that God will work out all the chaos and loneliness in our present lives.  I’m not saying it’s heresy or something I’m just saying it’s not very clear.  If one chooses to read it in a eschatological sense, particularly with us being sons and daughters of God and sin being removed from the earth that’s great.

 

Verse 4

Who rules the nations with truth and justice

shines like the sun in all of it’s brilliance

The King of Glory, the King above all Kings

Bridge

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

worthy is the King who conquered the grave

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

worthy is the King who conquered the grave

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

worthy is the King who conquered the grave

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, worthy, worthy, worthy

 

The concepts in the final verse and bridge lend themselves to popular proof-texts quite well.

 

“God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne. For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with a skillful psalm.” Psalms 47:7-8 NASB

 

“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.” Revelation 13:8 NASB

 

I am not a fan of the repetition at the end.  How it’s presented in the lyrics is not too bad, but in practice this tends to get about 50 repeats.  I think that is an example of vain repetition (Matt 6:7), but I won’t press the reader on that one too much as it might just be how I am reading it.  At the very least I do feel that repeating the same two lines 50 times in a row is boring.  I’ll leave it at that.

 

Thumbs Up

 

On the whole I am going to give this song a solid thumbs up on it’s theology.  It’s not perfect, it could use some more clarity in the third verse.  That said, the author includes both law and gospel and I’m not going to be too hard on any song that does that.

 

Theology Scorecard

Yes

No

Is this song confessing Biblical theology?

X

Is this song centered on God instead of yourself?

X

Would this song make an Arian heretic uncomfortable?

X

Is there Biblical Gospel in this song?

X

Is there Biblical Law in this song?

X

Is this song clearly addressing God in any capacity at all?

X

 

 

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About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
This entry was posted in Armchair Lounge, Christian Music Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to This is Amazing Grace: Phil Wickham

  1. KB says:

    Hello, please read Rev 13 the whole chapter, I think that you will find the text you used (Rev 13:8) is out of context. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pat says:

    Thanks Anthony, I enjoyed reading your comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Salvation Unto Us Has Come: Paulus Speratus 1484 – 1554 | Armchair Theologian

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