Old Doctrine Made New
03 July 2015
New and old can be a powerful combination, as I discovered at the Friday evening doctrine concert by worship band transMission.
I was about to experience this type of concert for the first time and wondered if it was for me. Lights were flashing and the beat was pounding, but as I looked around I was surprised to see congressgoers of all ages arriving in the theatre, some quite clearly transMission fans.
The first number helped ease me in, with the familiar words of ‘How Great Thou Art’. The band’s creativity, with old words in a new idiom, continued with ‘A Mighty Fortress is our God’. Who would have thought than an ancient hymn of the Church could successfully be adapted to suit an all-age audience partying with Phil Laeger and Co? It seemed to work, and the fortress theme continued with ‘Stand up and Bless the Lord’.
More of the old and familiar woven into the new continued. When did I last sing ‘In my Heart There Rings a Melody’? The mood then changed to something far more reflective with ‘You Took up Your Cross’ and the response ‘I Surrender my Everything for You’. Here was praise and worship coupled with the challenge of commitment.
Phil said he could think of nothing better than introducing Jesus to those in need. He explained how transMission started 13 years ago with the aim of transforming worship in mission and that it was not about throwing out the old music, but just ‘making it cooler’.
The band’s project at the moment is teaching Salvation Army doctrines through song. The rest of the concert did just that, with Doctrines 3, 6, 10 and 11. Within half an hour we were treated to: the mystery of the Trinity, God’s gift of grace to the whosoever, entire sanctification and eternal life with the song ‘Life is lived beyond the years no longer in death’s sway … Death is dead, sin defeated – our God has won!’
This was old doctrine made new.
This article was included in issue five of Boundless Today. Click to read all issues of Boundless Today.