Thanks to anonymous for raising a much bigger issue about what Graham Kendrick represents. There is truth - and not just the truth of an unpleasant experience - is this observation:
'It may not be his fault, but he is a symptom of a church that doesn't care about anyone but itself and its members - and making its members feel "great". He is a proponent of weak minded, arms in the air, let's feel the love nonsense.'
My objection to Letts' comment was that he seems to think stoicism and Christianity are synonymous. But your comment puts a finger on a real and much more important issue.
I had one of those encounters in church in Sunday that I never like having before or after a service in which I was told that we must always sing because worship is the heart of what we do as church. I have not believed this for 20 years or more. I'm not sure I ever believed it but I certainly didn't after I read an essay by Howard Marshall on the language of worship in the New Testament. I have summarised his argument in chapter 2 of Building a Better Body.
I agree with anonymous that so much of what passes for 'worship' in our churches is self-serving nonsense that is designed only to make us feel good. It results in us leaving church feeling self-satisfied and smug. It does nothing for those struggling to make sense of their lives or God who have strayed into our gatherings; indeed it might only confirm that the church has nothing to say to them because it's only interested in itself.
I still think Letts is wrong, however, about 'worship' needing to remain in the language of the Authorised Bible and modern church music being one reason for rot setting in in Britain. I'd put the Daily Mail at number one in that league table and suggest that Kendrick, for all his faults, has on occasions sought to lift the church's eyes beyond itself to the needs of the world.
The issue of what we sing - and say - in church is a huge one. Perhaps it's something that needs airing at greater length in a number of blogs.
Thanks again for stopping by