Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Live at the Gospel Coalition - Keith & Kristyn Getty


Worship enriched by theology

Live at the Gospel Coalition
Artist: Keith & Kristyn Getty
Label: Getty Music (www.gettymusic.com)
Length: 16 tracks/1 hour 6 minutes

If you appreciate modern worship, but have an affinity for hymns, Live at the Gospel Coalition combines the best of both worlds. The Gettys are among the few that write new songs that can be compared with classic hymnody. “In Christ Alone,” already a modern staple in churches everywhere, is their best known example. It’s included here and is a highpoint.

This and the others are rich in lyrical content that highlight diverse theological themes, some not as common in modern worship. Topics include mission, evangelism, compassion for the afflicted, rejoicing, confession, spiritual warfare, and more.

A smattering of classics: “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” and “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!” are here, but this is mostly new material written by the Gettys in partnership with others, among them Stuart Townend.

If you enjoy Celtic music, this CD will appeal even more. One of the highlights is a short instrumental jig at the end of “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” Another track has a similar brief interlude. More of the same would have been welcome, but they fit in such a way as not to detract. Uillean pipes, penny whistles, mandolin and banjo take their place alongside the standard musical accompaniment. 

The tone is celebratory throughout, being far from somber. The opening “Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed” is triumphant in the best sense, focusing on the believer’s relationship to the risen Christ.

Another highlight is “Life High the Name of Jesus.” Here modern folk and traditional Irish music meet together. The music fuels the spirited delivery. 

The production brings Kristyn Getty’s lovely voice slightly forward to lead a congregation that sings loudly, only occasionally slowing down for quieter moments. 

Produced by worship veteran Ed Cash, this is decidedly contemporary. Even so, some of the classics are sung a cappella, which makes them sound traditional.

This release is part of what is known as The Gospel Coalition, a network of evangelical churches in North America, all committed to reforming faith and ministry practices along the lines of Scripture. The CD booklet includes inspirational thoughts from the likes of Tim Keller, John Piper, Alistair Begg and others. The mature, sound theology they espouse is illustrated in these songs. 
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