A highly relevant set of new songs for the church, these are more practical than many and start to plug a huge gap in the songbook.
Time: 13 tracks / 57 mins
Creating new resources for the Church that deal with particular topics can flop in different ways. Sometimes they are too blunt, the lyrics pointed in a somewhat forced manner; but they can also be too vague, adding little to the songs already available or failing to deal properly with the topic.
Doxecology, as the name suggests, aims to give the Church a new batch of songs “on themes of creation, ecology & Christian hope.” That’s a welcome goal. Composed by a variety of writers, the songs largely succeed.
Opener “Heaven’s Voice Brings the Dawn” does well, a gently upbeat song of praise that naturally brings in a current understanding of both the cosmos and Tom Wright theology. It feels a bit like “God of Wonders.” Similarly, the lyrically refreshing “Let All Creation Sing” (which sounds like Bryn Haworth) fluidly mentions narwhals, while rhyming ‘Supernova’ with ‘Hallelujah’.
Often inspired by psalms, there are a few laments as well as praise. The superb “If the Fields are Parched” sounds lush and heartfelt as it begs, “Have mercy Lord, renew the world you made.” So there is biblically-rounded content here.
Although the perspective is contemporary, there’s nothing here to get grannies screaming from the church in fear, as the music is extremely safe and easily singable throughout. For example, neither the somewhat generic “God of Immeasurable Might” nor “Great Day” sound as excited as the titles suggest they might. But I see this as a practical sampler guide to the songs for worship leaders to use more than a set to listen to in the car or at home for personal worship.
That said, “Tenants of the King” with its gospel-flavoured vocals and Mark Edwards’ jazzy keys, is a listening highlight. So is “Where are You in the Storm?” a track with a delightfully chilled feel.
Using a well-known hymn tune (which will help some churches to adopt it), Sam Hargreaves’ “God the Maker of the Heavens” sonically verges on schmaltz in places, but has fine lyrics that express what many will want to sing to God.
The website (with respected names like Jeremy Begbie and Peter Harris involved) offers every linked resource you might need, from a study guide to backing tracks, scores and videos. Some might hope for this well-thought-out project to be more groundbreaking in practice, but it offers very singable and worthwhile songs that will be easy to incorporate into services. I’ve already passed the site details to our worship leaders.