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Nothing But The Blood

One thing that I frequently miss in being a part of Presbyterian tradition is foot stomping, knee slapping passion. I grew up with a grandfather that love love LOVED bluegrass music, and I still have fond memories of listening to tapes with him that were reminiscent of the entirety of the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack. As a kid, I was also exposed to the landmark Michael W. Smith album, "The Live Set", which featured his adaptation of "Nothing But The Blood".

Because this lyric is so simple and yet profound, it proved a great candidate for inclusion on FBR. Since the arrangement was also a different genre from the other hymns, I had little trouble making the decision. One element that was added with great joy was the bass solo in the middle by the very capable Vern Mullins.

The bass solo was a critical must for me personally because I am often struck by the funny ideas that evangelical america has about music in church. Traditionally (at least in my experience), a musical soloist is not allowed during participatory worship because it is seen as showboating. But, if that same musician wants to play "Special Music" during some passive part of the service, it is greatly welcomed. The irony of the unspoken rule about what is and is not proud behavior makes me chuckle and scratch my head in confusion.

In historic christianity, artisans of all sorts were commissioned by the church to use their talents to help display the glory of our Lord. It was not considered prideful for an architect to design huge ornate structures or for a metal smith to fashion gilded pieces to decorate a space. As a musician and art appreciator, I enjoy the musical offering of a solo during worship. Certainly it is not about the solo itself, but rather glorifying the Great Giver of the solo, who is pleased by its sacrifice of praise.


  1. This was one of our favorite songs! We rock out to it in our kitchen as an entire family! :)


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