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Introduction Chapter One: The Atonement i. What is the Atonement? ii. Christus Victor a. Recapitulation b. Ransom iii. Satisfaction iv. Penal Substitution v. Moral Influence vi. Which model should we choose? Chapter Two: Method Acknowledgement of Limitations Chapter Three: Atonement Model Results Analysis of Results Chapter Four: Imagery and Function i. The Use of Atonement Imagery and Function in Worship Songs a. Sacrificial Imagery b. The Cross c. Commercial Metaphor ii. What does the Atonement achieve in Worship Songs? iii. The Correlation Between Atonement and the Popularity of the Song Chapter Five: Conclusions Bibliography Appendix 2 5 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 18 21 24 24 25 31 32 33 36 40 45 48

There is a growing consensus among worship practitioners and theologians that the songs we sing in churches are not just important because of their immediate functionality in enabling the congregation to participate in corporate sung worship, but because of the longer lasting effect they have on the theology of the congregation.1 It would appear that the lyrics that are sung during our times of corporate worship are contributing both to the theology and spirituality that the participants develop.2 It is difficult, however, to ascertain how formative the song is in this complex process. There are many ways that an individual develops their theology within the church and for obvious reasons it is very difficult to research this. However, some commentators regard the song as especially formative in this process and this places a huge importance on the theology that we sing.3

On a practical level, it makes sense that, for the average churchgoer, the lyrics that are sung during the corporate times of worship, listened to on the latest worship album and sung to throughout the week are all going to have an effect on the way that theology is developed. Equally, it can be argued that the teaching we hear during our corporate times of worship, the downloaded sermons we listen to throughout the week and the individual bible reading we
1 2

Kendrick, Worship in Spirit, 95 and Brown, Hymns, 21 Brown, Hymns, 3 3 Parry, Worshipping, 9

participate in will also have an effect. So, the question is not how much the lyrics in the songs we sing play a part in developing our theology in comparison to other factors, but rather if they do play a part in this complicated process, what are we singing and what effect could this be having on the theology of the congregation?

The purpose of this project is not to debate the lack of orthodox theology within the lyrics of the songs that we sing, as this has been discussed elsewhere.

Much has been done to address this perceived problem in recent history particularly in the United Kingdom.5 Rather, it is to explore one particular strand of theology within our songs that has been the subject of recent debate, namely that of atonement theory.6 What do the most widespread songs that we sing in churches across the United Kingdom say about the atonement? What models of atonement are the most prevalent and has there been any significant change since the recent atonement debate in 2005? What are the most prevalent images used in the lyrics and do these align with any particular atonement model. Finally, according to the lyrics, what is the function of the atonement i.e. what does the work of Christ achieve in the lyrics that we sing?

4 5

See Liesch, The New Worship and Livengood and Lidoux, Watering Down Christianity For example, in 2004 Graham Kendrick set up a consultation for published songwriters in the UK precisely out of this concern. The group meets annually to discuss theology and songwriting with the aim of improving standards. Another example would be the Spring Harvest Songbook (the best selling worship songbook published annually in the UK), which has a panel of theologians and musicians who decide what songs should be included. 6 See Tidball, Debate

Taking the top fifty songs using the Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI) figures for a over a six month period in the years 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008, this project firstly analyses what models of atonement are being sung in churches in each year and then examines what changes, if any, have taken place over the last 8 years.7 In addition, an analysis of the imagery used and perceived function of the atonement will be explored.

Chapter One: The Atonement

i. What is the Atonement?

Before we look at the models of atonement that have been developed through the course of history and how they are represented in song, it is first necessary to ask what we mean by the word. Atonement is one of the few theological terms that is uniquely English and refers to a reconciled state of at-one-ness between two parties that were previously alienated.8 The term literally means, to bring back into oneness.9 The original meaning of the word atonement then shifted to encompass a wide range of meanings relating to the saving work of Christ in response to the problem of sin.10 Yoder tracks the development and observes that the term was then narrowed further and came to represent a particular model of atonement, namely that of reparation or substitution.11 The

7 8

Many thanks to Andy Bodkin and Emily Rowe at CCLI, UK for supplying the data. Beilby and Eddy, Nature, 9 9 Yoder, Preface, 284 10 Ibid, 284 11 Ibid, 284

use of the word atonement, at least in popular Christian terms, has been reduced to a particular model or models. Because of this, he argues that it might be beneficial to abandon the term altogether. However, the recent atonement debate has served to highlight the differences in atonement theory and, for the purposes of this project, the term atonement will be used in its wider sense, that is, to describe the saving work of Christ in response to the problem of sin.

The New Testament offers a wide variety of images and metaphors to explain the atonement and theologians have clustered these in a variety of ways. Schmeichen suggests ten motifs grouped under four headings by which to understand the New Testament images: Christ died for us (Sacrifice, Justification by Grace, Penal Substitution); Liberation from Sin, Death and Demonic Powers (Liberation); The Purposes of God (The Renewal of Creation, The Restoration of Creation, Christ the Goal of Creation); and Reconciliation (Christ the Way to the Knowledge of God, Christ the Reconciler, The Wondrous Love of God).12 In contrast, Beilby and Eddy group the models according to their focus (Satanward, Godward, Humanward).13 Others have grouped the images according to traditional atonement theories.

Historically, the journey to explain the work of Christ has been fascinating. From the patristic period onward Christian theologians can generally be found

12 13

Schmeichen, Saving Power, 2005 Beilby and Eddy, Nature, 12,14,18

to include a variety of different atonement images in their writings even when presenting a particular model.14 In the first five centuries, early theologians employed a selection of biblical expressions to describe the relation between Christs death and our salvation from sin.15 However, the recent resurgence of interest in the atonement amongst evangelical theologians has centred on the legitimacy and centrality of the penal substitution model in the quest to find the most suitable image or theory.16 As a result of the debate and the accompanying interest, a plethora of literature has been written on the atonement, some of it defending penal substitution and some highlighting the diversity of imagery used in the New Testament.17 Despite various attempts to single out any one definitive or foundational model, McIntyre notes that no universally recognised definition of atonement has been formulated to this day.18

That said, it is possible to track the prominence of different atonement models or theories proposed throughout the history of the Christian church. This project will focus on four strands of the atonement that have been the most prominent historically: Christus Victor (including Recapitulation and Ransom), Satisfaction, Penal Substitution, and Moral Influence. In defining the atonement models, the purpose is not to choose between them or evaluate their relative strengths and weaknesses as such. Rather, the description of each of these models will identify

14 15

Green and Baker, Recovering, 118 McIntyre, Shape, 6 16 Beilby and Eddy, Nature, 11 17 See Tidball, Debate, 2008 18 McIntyre, Shape, 1

and explain them in order to use them as an analytical tool and guide the analysis of results in subsequent chapters.

ii. Christus Victor

The early creeds appear to be remarkably quiet on the explanation of the work of Christ and do not have one universally accepted explanation of atonement. Some believe that the creeds are rooted in a desire to protect the doctrine of salvation but it is difficult to justify this claim because of the lack of explicit language expressing the work of Christ.19 By the late second century, writers like Irenaeus had begun to express ideas regarding the saving significance of the cross and why Christ had to die for our salvation.20The oldest of these theories is what Gustav Aulen calls the dramatic view or the Christus Victor model.21 Irenaeus and the next few generations of Christians thought about the cross in the context of conflict with the powers of the day.22 Out of this context flowed the language of conflict and victory; a dramatic battle between good and evil as evidenced in Colossians 2:14-15. The cross then was a struggle between God and his enemies or between God in the person of Jesus and his enemies.23 In the Christus Victor model, sin is understood as enslavement to the powers of evil and salvation is achieved through participation in the death and resurrection of the incarnate Christ. Through the victory of Christ, humanity is released from
19 20

Shelton, Cross, 159 Green and Baker, Recovering, 118 21 Aulen, Christus Victor, 20 22 Green and Baker, Recovering, 118 23 Yoder, Preface, 289

bondage to these powers, which sets in motion a new relationship of reconciliation between God and the world.24 This release from bondage is understood to have corporate implications as well as individual; the victory of Christ extends to all creation and the cosmos.25 This classic or dramatic view dominated the first millennium in one form or another and there is a growing consensus that this theory played a central role in much Anabaptist thought over the last few centuries.26

a. Recapitulation
In Latin, the term recapitulatio means, providing a new head or reheading.27 Irenaeus takes the idea from the Pauline parallelism between Adam and Christ and develops the recapitulation theory.28 Christ becomes the Second Adam (Romans 5) in the place of the fallen Adam and, just as Adam is the originator of the fallen race, so Christ becomes the head of a new redeemed humanity.29 Through associating himself with humanity in the incarnation, Christ recapitulated the whole of humanity. What was lost in the first Adam can be found in Christ, the second Adam. This redemptive work includes, not only his death but life, teaching, resurrection, ascension and triumphal reign with God.30 In recapitulation theory, redemption is the restoration of creation to what God

24 25

Ibid, 160 Shelton, Cross, 160 26 Beilby and Eddy, Nature, 12, 14 27 Shelton, Cross, 161 28 Green and Baker, Recovering, 119 29 Irenaeus, Against, 53 30 Shelton, Cross, 162

had originally intended. Like the Christus Victor model, Christs work is primarily a victory over the powers that hold humanity in bondage to sin, death and the devil and this is continued with the Spirits work in the church.31 McKnight notes that there are two dimensions to recapitulation. One is exclusive in that Christ stands in our place (later developed as substitution theory) and achieves what we are unable to do. Secondly, recapitulation is inclusive in that we are invited to participate in this work by being in him- we are incorporated into his actions and join what he does.32 Irenaeus emphasises that the atonement was not simply authorised by God, but that God is the originator and completer of the atonement through the life and death of Christ in order to redeem the fallen creation.33

b. Ransom
One of the most controversial aspects to the Christus Victor theory is the that of ransom. In Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45, Jesus states that the Son of Man has come to give his life as a ransom for many. Although some have doubted the authenticity of this saying, it was nevertheless developed as a theory in the early centuries.34 Christ became the ransom by which God redeemed humanity from Satans power.35 However, this theory was not without its problems and critics. As theologians and preachers used the concept of the work of Christ in terms of ransom, inevitably the question was asked, to whom is this ransom paid?36 The

31 32

Ibid, 162 McKnight, Community, 101 33 Shelton, Cross, 162 34 McIntyre, Shape, 30 35 Beilby and Eddy, Nature, 12 36 Green and Baker, Recovering, 122

most common answer to this was the Devil. Gregory of Nyssa developed the theory but others (Cyril of Alexandria, John of Damascus, St Anselm and Abelard) rejected it on the grounds that it gave too much credence to the Devil.37 However, the ransom metaphor powerfully communicated the salvific message to a society well versed in the everyday usage of payment for the release of slaves.38

iii. Satisfaction

The term satisfaction, according to how Tertullian used it, means the discharge of an obligation by a method acceptable to the debtor.39 Drawing heavily on the forensic law court imagery of the day, this atonement model was developed by St Anselm, who was the first to seriously consider a systematic approach to the death of Christ.40 Anselm rejected the notion that God owed any debt to the devil and took a different path from recapitulation.41 Instead, for Anselm, the idea of honour and satisfaction were of extreme significance. He defined sin in terms of a debt towards God.42 If humans go against the will of God, they must either reaffirm Gods will or they will incur the punishment of God.43 Christs sacrificial death offers satisfaction to God for the debt owed by sinful humanity.44 In other words, because of sin, humanity has incurred a debt

37 38

McIntyre, Shape, 31 Green and Baker, Recovering, 121 39 Shelton, Cross, 175 40 McIntyre, Shape, 16 41 Anselm, Cur Deus Homo?, 9 42 Anselm, Cur Deus Homo?, 24 43 Schmeichen, Saving, 202 44 Ibid, 126


to the justice and honour of God.45 More is required than just paying for the damage done; compensation must be paid for the suffering involved. It is impossible for humans to satisfy Gods honour but a sinless person would be debt-free and could make complete satisfaction for all humanity.46 Thus, the sinless Christ is sent by the Father and obeys the command to die in order to provide adequate satisfaction that would maintain Gods justice.

iv. Penal Substitution

The idea of atonement as the substitutionary payment of penalty by the death of Christ was fully developed in the Reformation and post-Reformation eras.47 With the gradual fading of the feudal system, the satisfaction of debt metaphor in terms of Gods honour was replaced by the more forensic approach of sin and guilt and the consequential capital punishment.48 The fundamental issue is that of a legal transaction between God and Christ for the benefit of humankind.49 Schreiner defines penal substitution as follows:

The Father, because of his love for humankind, sent his Son (who offered himself freely and gladly) to satisfy Gods justice, so that Christ took the place of sinners. The penalty and punishment we deserved was laid on Jesus Christ instead of us, so that in the cross both Gods holiness and love are manifested.50 According to penal substitution theory, the only way sinners can be saved is by Christs suffering on their behalf and by Christ taking on himself the penalty of
45 46

Ibid, 203 Anselm, Cur Deus Homo?, 67 47 Shelton, Cross, 180 48 Ibid, 180 49 Beilby and Eddy, Nature, 16 50 Ibid, 67


Gods wrath (1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23).51 In contrast to Anselms satisfaction theory, penal substitution presents the concept of a wrathful God punishing Christ in the place of sinners. Christ does not pay a debt that humans owe to God but rather Christ bears the punishment of God against human sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).52 Thus, Christs sacrifice satisfies Gods requirements of justice on our behalf.53

v. Moral Influence
Peter Abelard (1079-1142) was not convinced by Anselms satisfaction and debt-oriented views on atonement nor the Christus Victor model. Abelard had studied the life of Jesus but was unsatisfied with the substitutionary models of atonement particularly why Jesus had to spend so long on earth before his death.54 He reasoned that if humanity owed a debt to Gods honour, it made no sense for Christ to be murdered by human beings and thus implicate mankind further.55 He also challenged Anselm on the issue of forgiveness. How could Jesus forgive sins before he went to the cross? In contrast, Abelard views the life and death of Jesus as a demonstration of Gods love rather than victory over the devil, ransom paid or satisfaction of debt owed to God.56 Sin, for Abelard, is best explained in terms of intention rather than the outward acts themselves. Christs work is understood in terms of reorienting our intentions so that we act

51 52

Shelton, Cross, 180 Green and Baker, Recovering, 142 53 Beilby and Eddy, Nature, 16 54 Shelton, Cross, 205 55 Ibid, 206 56 Green and Baker, Recovering, 137


out of love rather than fear.57 Within this model, what Christ achieved on the cross results in a change within humans rather than a removal of an objective barrier between God and humanity.

vi. Which Model Should We Choose?

Over the years some evangelical theologians have expressed reservations about the way a penal substitutionary view of the work of Christ has often been communicated.58 More recently and on a more popular level, Steve Chalke and Alan Manns book The Lost Message of Jesus challenged this penal substitutionary view of atonement, which sparked public debate. The Evangelical Alliance provided an opportunity for debate on the matter in 2004 and, following on from this, in 2005 the London School of Theology hosted a symposium to explore this issue even further. Since the symposium, much has been written in defence of penal substitution and, conversely, there have been those who have sought to provide an alternative. This recent debate on the atonement has both highlighted the fact that penal substitution appears to have become the most prevalent model for evangelicals but it has also served to draw attention to the other models thus broadening the theological toolbox for evangelicals.

But should we be trying to decide which atonement model is the best one, or perhaps the one that is more foundational than another? For some evangelicals,

57 58

Ibid, 138 Tidball, Debate, 13


penal substitution should be and is the heart of an evangelical view of atonement.59 Rather than this model as just another image or metaphor, Stott sees this as the reality that lies behind them all.60 Others argue against penal substitution and suggest a variety of models are needed in order to show the fullness of what Christ has achieved.61 Whatever the starting point, it must be acknowledged that there are other biblical models of atonement, and that they can be viewed as demonstrating different aspects of the saving work of Christ.62 All of these theories represent a valuable interpretation of the work of Christ and need not be placed in some sort of hierarchy.63 The depth and wealth of images in scripture, and in particular the gospels,64 mean that no interpretation should be regarded as the only authentic or definitive one.65 With this in mind, we now turn to the models of atonement represented in the most popular worship songs.

Chapter Two: Method

Taking the CCLI reported data as sung by churches in a six-month period for the years 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2008, the top fifty songs in each year were selected.66 The lyrics for each of these songs were then analysed and any mentions of the atonement in each song were recorded. If the atonement model
59 60

Beilby and Eddy, Nature, 67 Stott, Cross, 339 61 Schmeichen, Saving, 340 62 Ibid, 340 63 Ibid, 340 64 Heider, Atonement, 273 65 Beilby and Eddy, Nature, 169 66 This reported data does not record the amount of times the songs have been sung but the CCLI data records the number of churches that have sung the song in question in the reported period. The more widespread the song is sung, the higher the position in the CCLI chart.


could be identified using the descriptions outlined in the Chapter One then this was categorised.

Individual mentions of the atonement were placed into one of six atonement theory categories: Christus Victor, Ransom67, Satisfaction, Penal

Substitution, Moral Influence or Generic. Each mention of the atonement was recorded for each song except in the case of repeated choruses. If the atonement was mentioned but the particular model was not identifiable then this was recorded as Generic. If there was no mention of the atonement a record of No Mention was recorded. For example, My Jesus, My Saviour68 was recorded as having No Mention of the atonement as compared with How Deep The Fathers Love for Us69, which was recorded as having 1 Ransom, and an additional 4 Generic mentions of the atonement.

The totals for each of the atonement models were then recorded for each of the years and comparisons made to see if there were any significant changes in the atonement models sung over the time period analysed.

Acknowledgement of limitations
i. As with any research it is worth noting the limitations. Firstly, while the data supplied from CCLI is an excellent representation of the data they have


Although this model can be seen as a development of the Christus Victor model, because of its prevalence in the lyrics it was deemed necessary to include it as a separate model. Similarly, Recapitulation was not included as there were no mentions of this model in the lyrics studied. 68 Zschech, My Jesus, My Saviour, No. 935 69 Townend How Deep the Fathers Love for Us, No. 780


received, this data does not account for any errors made prior to this in the recording the data by individual churches.70

ii. It must be acknowledged that anyone analysing the data is making a subjective judgement. Whilst absolute objectivity is unattainable, every effort has been made to be as objective as possible in this research by using the outlines of the different atonement models,

iii. Most of the songs themselves are not intended to be explanations of the atonement. At best, they allude to, or partially explain an aspect of the atonement, and, at worst, the atonement is mentioned in passing perhaps because it rhymes with the last line.71

iv. Some of the atonement models are easier to identify than others. For example, if the word ransom is mentioned, it is easy to jump to the conclusion (rightly or wrongly) that the songwriter is referring to the ransom model of atonement. Similarly, if Christs victory is referred to, one could deduce that the songwriter is using the Christus Victor model. However, it is not quite as simple for some of the other models. For example,

Father's pure radiance, perfect in innocence, Yet learns obedience to death on a cross.

For some, reporting the data sung to CCLI is viewed as a tedious task. Anecdotally, some individuals prefer to send in the same list of songs every six months rather than an accurate record of the actual songs sung. It is difficult to know how widespread this practice is. 71 The words Cross and Cost are paired together by Matt Redman (Once Again) and Tim Hughes (Light of the World)


Suffering to give us life, conquering through sacrifice, And as they crucify prays: "Father forgive."72 The second and third lines provide us with some difficulties if we are to allocate a particular model to this verse. Is this vicarious suffering in order to appease the Father or is the obedience and suffering merely an example by which we are to live? This verse could be interpreted as Christus Victor, Substitutional, Moral Influence or Penal Substitution. Or another example would be, Behold the Man upon a cross, My sin upon His shoulders Ashamed I hear my mocking voice, Call out among the scoffers It was my sin that held Him there Until it was accomplished His dying breath has brought me life I know that it is finished73 This is clearly some form of atonement model where Christ bears the individuals sin but is this penal substitution, recapitulation or satisfaction? It is easier to say what model it is not than to precisely pinpoint an exact metaphor, particularly with the objective models. This makes it difficult to record anything other than Generic simply because it is a snapshot of a deeper truth. In addition, the individual mentions of the atonement may appear to be one particular model but set within a framework of a completely different model. For example, Such Love74 is set within the framework of the Moral Influence model, but the lines that refer specifically to the atonement are commercial

72 73

Kendrick, Meekness and Majesty, No.390 Townend, How Deep the Fathers Love for Us, No. 780 74 Kendrick, Such Love, No. 514


metaphors, indicating ransom theory.75 In acknowledging these difficulties, it has been possible to identify the atonement models in some songs, the results of which now follow.

Chapter 3: Atonement Model Results

Of the fifty songs analyzed for the year 2000, 23 of the songs had some mention of the atonement and 27 were recorded as having no mention whatsoever (See Figure 1). Of those that had reference to the atonement there were 42 individual mentions in total. The highest category was Generic, meaning that they were unidentifiable according to the criteria outlined in Chapter 1, accounting for a total of 70.7%. The Christus Victor model accounted for the second highest with 12.2% followed by the Satisfaction, Ransom and Moral Influence models with 4.9%. The Penal Substitution theory could be identified clearly only once, which accounted for 1.5%.

Figure 1: Atonement Model Results for 2000

Atonement Model Number of Mentions % Total % of Mentions


Christus Victor 5 7.4% 12.2%



Moral Influence 2 2.9% 4.9%



2 2.9% 4.9%

2 2.9% 4.9%

1 1.5% 2.4%

29 42.6% 70.7%

27 39.7%


Schmeichen, Saving, 290


In 2003, 29 of the top fifty songs did not mention the atonement (see Figure 2). Of the 21 that did reference the atonement, 30 of these were labelled as Generic, which again accounted for the highest percentage (76.9%). The Christus Victor model had 7.7% of the total. The Ransom and Moral Influence models each accounted for 5.1%. There was just one identifiable reference each for the Satisfaction and Penal Substitution models.

Figure 2: Atonement Model Results for 2003

Atonement Model Number of Mentions % Total % of Mentions

Ransom 2 2.9% 5.1%

Christus Victor 3 4.4% 7.7%

Satisfaction 1 1.5% 2.6%


Moral Influence 2 2.9% 5.1%

Generic 30 44.1% 76.9%

None 29 42.6%

1 1.5% 2.6%

In 2005, 29 of the top fifty songs made no mention of the atonement (see Figure 3). The spread was slightly different with the Christus Victor model doubling to record 14.3% in overall mentions and accounting for the highest percentage after Generic (69%). The Penal Substitution model also increased from 1 mention to 2. Both these increases can be attributed to two songs, both by Stuart Townend. In Christ Alone76 and Beautiful Saviour77 both entered the top fifty in 2005 and these songs accounted for the increase in both the Christus Victor and Penal Substitution models.

76 77

Townend, In Christ Alone, No. 1346 Townend, Beautiful Saviour, No. 1158


Figure 3: Atonement Model Results for 2005

Atonement Model Number of Mentions % Total % of Mentions


Christus Victor 6 8.5% 14.3%



Moral Influence 2 2.8% 4.8%



3 4.2% 7.1%

0 0% 0%

2 2.8% 4.8%

29 40.8% 69%

29 40.8%

In 2008, 21 songs mentioned the atonement in some form or other (see Figure 4). 72.1% of the total were Generic which accounted for the highest percentage followed by the Christus Victor model (11.6%). There was no change from the previous year in the other models.

Figure 4: Atonement Model Results for 2008

Atonement Model Number of Mentions % Total % of Mentions


Christus Victor 5 4.2% 11.6%


Penal Substitution 2 2.8% 4.7%

Moral Influence 2 2.8% 4.7%



3 4.2% 7.0%

0 0% 0%

31 43.1% 72.1%

29 40.3%

Figure 5 gives an indication of how the various models were represented over the four reporting periods.


Figure 5: A Comparison of Atonement Models over Four Reporting Periods- 2000-2008

Analysis of Results
Perhaps the most obvious result from analysing the CCLI data is that there has been very little change in the atonement models sung about over the four reporting periods analysed. Figure 5 highlights, in a very visual way, how over the eight years studied, the atonement models sung about have remained consistent. It would be easy to conclude that despite the recent interest and 21

debate on the atonement, this has had little effect on the models that we sing about. However, this is more an indication of the fact that the songs sung in churches over this eight-year period have changed very little rather than a consistent choice of songs that reflect certain atonement models. There have only been a total of 70 songs in the top fifty over the four reporting periods covering 8 years. Furthermore, only 30 of the 70 songs actually mention the atonement. Of these, there were 7 new songs over the four reporting periods that had reference to the atonement and 8 songs that left the top fifty accounting for very little change in the overall number of songs with content explicitly mentioning the atonement.78

So, rather than concluding that there has been little change in the atonement models used in songs sung throughout churches in the United Kingdom, it would be more accurate to report that there has been very little change in the most popular songs sung over the four reporting periods. In addition to this, many songs take a number of years, after they have been written, to appear in the CCLI data. It will be interesting to study the CCLI figures over the next 10 years to see if the models of atonement have changed since the atonement debate in 2005.

From the results, it is clear that most of the mentions of the atonement are Generic i.e. they are unidentifiable according to the five models outlined.


The songs that entered the top fifty that had some mention of the atonement accounted for a 14% change. Those that left the Top fifty accounted for a 17% change.


However, the reasons for identifying them as Generic are not straightforward. While it would be true to say that some of these references are brief mentions of the cross or hints at what Christ has achieved, many of the references are labelled as Generic simply because the exact atonement model is not identifiable. The difficulty here is that it is unlikely, though not impossible, that the songs are meant to be full and complete explanations of atonement theory, and, while they may allude to a particular model or models, the language used is not designed for theological dialogue, but for singing. The very nature of song means that the lyrics are bound by artistic, spatial and musical confines. Because of this, it may be possible to have an excellent idea of what the songwriter is trying to convey but to pin down an exact atonement model proves problematic. Conversely, it is possible that the songwriter may not have a thorough knowledge of atonement theory and, therefore, what is reflected in some of the lyrics may be due to chance rather than design.

As mentioned earlier in Chapter Two, some of the atonement models are more difficult to discern than others. The language used of Christus Victor and Ransom models is more easily identifiable compared to the substitutionary models. This may or may not account for the fact that, after generic mentions, the Christus Victor model appears to be the most popular across the church body. In addition, the relatively low numbers of fully identifiable atonement models within the songs means that it is very difficult to discern any significance from these figures.


Chapter 4: Imagery and Function

i. The Use of Atonement Imagery and Function in Worship Songs
Because of the difficulty in discerning developed atonement theories, a wider remit was applied to the research. In addition to the individual references being categorised in terms of atonement models, each of the songs was then also classified in terms of imagery used. So, individual references to the atonement (cross, cost, sacrifice etc) were then recorded for each of the songs. For example,

I will trust in the cross of my Redeemer, I will sing of the blood that never fails,79 In these lyrics the images recorded were cross, Redeemer and blood. The totals were then collected and are represented in Figure 6. Because the top fifty songs have changed very little over the last 8 years, all of the songs were analysed as a whole rather than on a year-by-year basis. Rather than look at fully developed atonement theories, an examination of the images used in association with the work of Christ may serve to illuminate more fully the theological emphasis in the songs that we sing.


Townend, Beautiful Saviour, No. 1158


Figure 6: Summary of the Imagery Used in all Atonement References

a. Sacrificial Imagery
The highest recorded imagery over all the songs was sacrificial in nature (e.g. sacrifice, slain, lamb, blood). As this represents the majority of imagery used in the songs studied, it is worth exploring the possibilities of meaning. At first glance, this would seem to lend itself more towards the Anselmian satisfaction and substitutionary models rather than the subjective or Christus Victor models of atonement. A popular understanding might be that Christ, on 25

the cross, is sacrificed in our place. So referring to the Blood or the Lamb, for instance, may be intended to bring to mind the fact that Christ has died for our sin and in our place. However, it is difficult to ascertain in many places whether the songwriter has this view of sacrifice in mind or not. Are the references referring to the Old Testament notions of sacrifice and, if so, which ones? Or are they referring to the use of sacrificial imagery in the New Testament and if so which ones? The question also needs to be asked, to what extent is it reasonable to assume that the traditionally predominant model within evangelicalism, penal substitution, is actually intended by the songwriter, unless there is evidence to suggest otherwise?

Significantly, the meaning of sacrifice in the Old Testament does not necessarily have to infer a substitutional element. Wright highlights the many different facets of the meaning and function of sacrifice in the Old Testament.80 The language of sacrifice could refer to the Passover, the Golden Calf incident, the Priestly sacrificial system or the Day of Atonement. For each of these, the meaning and function of sacrifice has a different emphasis. For example, Wright points out that the purpose of the Passover sacrifice was, amongst other things, to liberate the Hebrews from oppression. The sacrificial imagery in song, interpreted in this light, would seem to best fit in with the Christus Victor model.81 In contrast, the purpose of sacrifice in the Priestly system is best described in terms of cleansing. The animal is sacrificed which brings cleansing

80 81

Wright, Atonement, 69-82 Ibid, 73


for the worshipper which effects what is necessary for sin to be forgiven and wrath averted. It has a dual purpose and, if an atonement model were applicable to this interpretation, it would be best described in ransom terms.82

Yoder also argues that, in the Old Testament, the sacrifice of the animal did not die in place of the human but rather the sacrifice goes to God in the place of the human.83 The life of the animal (the blood) is offered to God representing the life of the person who will also live for God.84 The sacrifice is not substitutionary. He notes that there is only one example in the Old Testament where the sin is placed on the animal and this is the scapegoat which is itself not sacrificed.

However, within the Old Testament, it is possible to locate propitiatory elements to sacrifice as well as expiatory. For example, Wenham argues that the soothing aroma of sacrifice highlights that there is a change in Gods attitude to the worshipper (Genesis 8:21, Leviticus 1:9, 2:2, 3:5, 4:31).85 The sacrifice not only cleanses the worshipper but it does so to avert Gods wrath.

For sacrificial imagery in the New Testament we can look to the first chapter of Johns Gospel to begin with, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29 and later in 36). But even here, the historical background to this phrase presents the reader with difficulties. The use of Lamb could
82 83

Ibid, 75 Yoder, Preface, 300 84 Ibid, 300 85 Wenham, Genesis, 189


provoke the reader to be reminded of different sacrificial images in the Old Testament (the lamb of the Passover, or the lambs of the perpetual sacrifice in Exodus 29.38-43, amongst others).86 It is also reminiscent of Isaiah 53 and the Suffering Servant who was led like a lamb to the slaughter. If the sacrificial imagery contained in the lyrics could be exclusively linked to Isaiah 53, then it may be legitimate to link this to the penal substitution model: Christ, the Lamb of God, is punished for the sins of humanity instead of the sinner.

However, the fact that the word Lamb is mentioned and the knowledge that they are sacrificial animals does not make it any easier in determining the model of atonement. The taking away of the sins could equally be linked with the Scapegoat of the Old Testament who symbolically takes away the sins of the Israelites without sacrifice (Leviticus 16:10).

In Ephesians 5:2, Paul writes that Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Again, this presents us with the same difficulties in establishing the model of atonement from the imagery. This verse is premised with exemplarist overtones (Ephesians 5:1) and could therefore be interpreted through the moral influence lens. In 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, Christ is likened to the Passover Lamb. Grogan has interpreted this through the filter of penal substitution but both Wright and Yoder have argued that the Passover sacrifice was not substitutionary.87

86 87

Tidball, Debate, 84 Grogan, Atonement, 88


Perhaps Romans 3:25 is the most systematic exposition of what Christs sacrifice achieved on the cross. C.H. Dodd argued that Pauls interpretation of what Christ achieved is not necessarily punitive and preferred expiation to propitiation.88 Stott refutes this and argues instead for a definitive penal substitutional reading.89 Although the norm within the evangelical community is for this passage to be read through the penal substitution lens, it is possible for an alternative reading along the lines of Yoder and is therefore difficult to associate sacrificial language in song with one particular model. Again, it is valuable to ask how far one would reasonably expect the sacrificial imagery in songs to reflect the dominant position of the tradition that spawns it? Whilst this cannot be absolutely determined, it is surely within the realms of possibility.

The sacrificial imagery in Hebrews presents yet another face of the atonement. In Hebrews 9:14, Christs sacrificial death brings about cleansing and deliverance from death. Motyer argues that, in Hebrews, Christs sacrifice is so different from the notion of sacrifice in the Old Testament that we cannot use the Old Testament to explain what God was doing in Christ.90 However, it may be true to say that what is written in Hebrews presents a unique perspective and this may be the intention of the author, but this cannot be said of other New Testament references that specifically refer to Christ as the Passover Lamb, for instance. It may be more appropriate to say that, in Hebrews, Christ is the
88 89

Dodd, Bible, 93 Stott, Cross, 171 90 Motyer, Atonement, 139


complete sacrifice and that Christ encompasses all aspects of sacrifice in the Old Testament.

To conclude, the language of sacrifice in the song lyrics studied, does not necessarily imply one particular model of atonement. For example, Jesus Christ, I think upon your sacrifice You became nothing, Poured out to death91 In this example, the songwriter uses the word sacrifice and the singer is left to interpret this through his or her own preconceptions of what sacrifice means. Even when sacrificial imagery is utilised in song, it does not necessarily mean that the actual function of sacrifice is universally accepted or the model of atonement any clearer.

b. The Cross
The next most frequent imagery used is that of the cross. This could conceivably refer to any model of the atonement and is therefore not a particularly illuminating finding. It is interesting, however, that the cross appears to be used as shorthand for all that Christ has achieved. As sometimes in the New Testament, e.g. 1 Corinthians 1:17, it is assumed, wrongly or rightly, that the singer or reader fully understands and appreciates what the word means, so that it almost becomes a metaphor in itself. For example, Hughes writes, Your cross


Redman, Once Again, No. 865


has spoken mercy over me.92 Here, in one sentence, the use of the word cross is neatly utilised as metaphor for all that Christ has accomplished. The singer is left to interpret how this mercy is achieved and whether, if any, Christs life and resurrection had any part to play in this.

c. Commercial Metaphor
The next most frequent imagery used in lyrics is that of a commercial nature (e.g. cost, paid, bought). The notion of Christ paying for something or the cost involved is mentioned 13 times in the 30 songs that refer to the atonement (see Figure 6). As far as the atonement is concerned, this imagery draws from 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23 and could be referring to the notion of ransom but it could also be describing redemption. McIntyre notes that though there are some similarities between ransom and redemption, there is a definite distinction in the English language usage.93 With redemption, unlike some distortions of ransom theory, humanity is not bought back from the devil but rather bought back from the power of sin and death.

However, this commercial metaphor is not always used with regard to developed ransom or Christus Victor theories and could be equally interpreted through the punitive model. The fact that Christ has paid for the sinner implies that it was a debt that we owed and that this debt actually cost Christ his life

92 93

Hughes, Beautiful One, No. 1632 McIntyre, Shape, 32


could easily lead the singer to interpret this through the lens of penal substitution. For example, Redman writes,

You deserve my every breath for youve paid the great cost Giving up your life to death, even death on a cross94 Here, there is a transaction taking place. The object is costly and that cost is death, but worse than that, it is death on a cross. It is a significant price to pay and, whether we like it or not, the implication is that the one who owed this debt now needs in some way to pay this back. In this lyric, giving every breath back to Christ is the end of the transaction - the debt is paid back. The use of this commercial metaphor, in this instance, is evocative of a legal transaction and the substitutionary models. Interestingly, when referring to the Evangelical Alliance Statement of Faith, Hilborn insists that the use of the imagery of Christ paying the price for our sin clearly implies penal substitution sacrifice.95 It would seem that if the commercial metaphor is used in conjunction with our sin then, according to Hilborn, the implication is that this usage implies penal substitution. If this were absolutely the case then this would shift the balance significantly towards the penal substitution model in song.

ii. What does the atonement achieve in worship songs?

What do the lyrics tell us, if anything, regarding the function or efficacy of what Christ has achieved? In short, according to the song lyrics, what does the

94 95

Redman, Once Again, No. 851 Hilborn, Atonement, 27


atonement do? Interestingly, all of the references to the atonement contained in the songs explained to a greater or lesser degree what the effect of Christs work on the cross was. In other words, whenever the atonement was mentioned, the effect of Christs work was also intimated. For example,

I will proclaim The glory of the risen Lord. Who once was slain To reconcile man to God.96 Here we have sacrificial imagery describing the Lord who once was slain. The effect of this sacrifice is that man is reconciled to God. Although it is no surprise that the atonement model is not covered in these short words, we can clearly see that the effect of Christs death and resurrection is to reconcile man to God. Another example would be,

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing, Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in. That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin!97 Here, the singer is left in no doubt that God sent his Son to bear the individuals burden and died in order to take away their sin. So, the function of the atonement is that Christ bears the burden and takes away their sin. In the same way, all the other songs were analysed and Figure 7 records the results.

96 97

Richards, All Heaven Declares, No. 10 Hine, O Lord My God!, No. 425


Figure 7: Summary of the function of the atonement in all songs


The highest recorded function of the atonement was the removal of sin followed by to give life and then for freedom. Again, it is very difficult to ascertain the atonement model from the functionality of the atonement in the case of lyrics. Although the removal of sin records the highest mention, it does not narrow our options down in determining the atonement model. Similarly, the model of the atonement is not further determined if the purpose is to give life or freedom. However, some of the functions are more specific; the removal of Gods wrath, for example, implies more of an objective model of atonement.

For further interest, out of the functions of the atonement recorded, 57% were of benefit to the individual (my sin, my shame etc) and 43% had a more corporate bias (our sin, save us).

iii. The Correlation Between Atonement and the Popularity of Song

Perhaps the most striking, and unexpected, result of researching these songs is the correlation between the number of mentions of the atonement and the popularity of the song. In sum, the most widespread songs contain more mentions of the atonement than those that are less popular. The further down the CCLI chart the song is placed, the more likely it is not to mention the atonement in any way. Figure 8 below shows the data for all four data reporting periods combined. 35

Taking the average for the four reporting periods for positions 1-10, there are 7 songs that mention the atonement compared to 3 without any mention. In positions 11-20 there are roughly the same number of songs that mention the atonement compared to those that do not. From this point on the difference becomes more pointed until, in positions 41-50, there are 7 songs that do not mention the atonement compared to 3 that do.

To highlight this even further, Figure 9 shows an average of the number of mentions against the number of songs that do not mention the atonement.


Over the four reporting periods, it is clear that the songs containing mentions of the atonement are consistently more popular than those that do not mention the atonement.

But what are the possible reasons for the most popular songs to have more mentions of the atonement than those that do not? It may be that the atonement is so fundamental to Christianity that it is somewhat inevitable that we will choose to sing songs that express, in some way, this core belief. What the data does not show is the subject matter for the other songs so it is difficult to compare. In addition, the songs that contain mentions of the atonement are not exclusively about the atonement and may contain other significant themes. It is


clear, though, that for whatever reason, songs containing atonement references are ultimately more popular than those that do not.

Chapter 5: Conclusions

Based on the research conducted, these are the conclusions that can be drawn from studying the CCLI figures over an eight-year period.

i. Firstly, to determine developed models of atonement in the song lyrics studied was very difficult. Even accepting that some of the models of atonement are easier to discern than others, the definition of specific atonement theories still proved problematic. This is because the songs largely contain shorthanded, intimated references to the work of Christ and do not express a fully developed theology of the atonement. However, if the songwriter is intentionally addressing the subject of atonement, it is possible to write songs that fully encapsulate atonement theory. For example, In Christ Alone98 clearly, and deliberately, expresses differing models of atonement whilst ensuring that the song is still accessible to the singer. Despite the spatial and musical limitations of the song format, it is possible to write lyrics that clearly represent the different models of atonement. However, in the vast majority of the songs studied it was unclear as to what atonement theory was intended. This raises the issue of how


Townend, In Christ Alone, No. 1346


plausible it is for the songwriters to make reasonable assumptions about what may be understood, without being stated.

ii. The atonement models contained in the top fifty songs have not changed significantly over the four reporting periods studied. Since the atonement debate in 2005, there has been no significant change in the atonement models detected in songs. Although there has been some movement, the figures are not significant. What is noteworthy is the surprising lack of change in the most popular songs that are sung in churches. Of the four reporting periods studied, there were only six songs that entered the top fifty that mentioned the atonement in some way or another. Over a period of eight years, this is a surprising, if not worrying, lack of variation. Have the songs that we sing become so familiar that there is no new perspective that inspires fresh, vibrant worship? Is this the reason why there is a growing discontent with sung worship in church?99 There is no doubt that new songs are emerging and are being sung but it is almost certainly the exception if these are accepted into the collective church consciousness and utilised in the worship service. Although there are many new songs, the CCLI figures represent such breadth that, statistically, it is hard to reflect overall change, unless a song achieves a very wide popularity.

iii. The use of imagery in association with the atonement did not further clarify a particular model of atonement. Whilst sacrificial imagery is the most regularly represented imagery, the use of this in isolation is particularly difficult to

Morgenthaler, Worship, 17


interpret for the singer. The sacrificial metaphor could legitimately refer to any number of biblical examples. For example,

Come see His hands And His feet The scars that speak Of sacrifice100 The sacrifice spoken of these lyrics is open to many different interpretations. Is it, for instance, the sacrifice of the Suffering Servant or is this propitiation or expiation or is it just simply referring to the everyday common dictionary definition of sacrifice i.e. giving up something of value for something else more valuable? In addition, the other most popular images of the cross and the use of the commercial metaphor can equally be interpreted through differing models of atonement.

iv. The study of what the atonement achieves in song showed that the predominant focus of the work of Christ was to remove sin, give life and bring freedom.

v. The majority of the references to the atonement contained in the top fifty songs can be interpreted through the many different facets of the atonement. The first note to make is that if the songwriter has intended to write about a particular model of atonement in order to support one particular theory, then the lyrics need reflect this position clearly. At the moment, the majority of the

Kendrick, The Servant King, No. 120


lyrics are not easily identified as representing any particular theology of what Christ has achieved and, if the songwriter is intending this to be the case, then they have failed. Again, this raises the question of how much the songwriter can rightfully assume that the singer has the knowledge to interpret the intended meaning.

Secondly, the effect of having generic, homogenous references to the atonement is that the singer can interpret them in any way they see fit. Thus, if the singer had a strong desire to interpret the songs in a penal substitutionary manner then they could sing the majority of songs with this preconception. This may or may not be the model of atonement that the songwriter is inferring. The vast majority of the lyrics do not demand a specific interpretation.

Thirdly, if the growing consensus is that worship songs are informing the congregations theology and spirituality then, with some notable exceptions, the majority of the songs are failing to inform them on the substance of the atonement. The generic references hint at the work of Christ but do not inform the singer in atonement theory. The danger here is that as society becomes less and less biblically aware, the lyrics sung contain meaningless references that require further explanation. Worse still, the songs may serve to reinforce previous misconceptions. That said, the lyrics in the songs studied are by no means misleading congregations or promoting nonsensical interpretations of the work of Christ; they are non-aligned, passive references. Simply put, the majority of the lyrics researched do not inform the congregations theology of 41

the atonement. Whatever preconceived ideas of the atonement that the congregation brings to the song will comfortably filter through the majority of the lyrics.

vi. The relationship between the atonement and the popularity of the song is significant. The research clearly shows that the most popular songs have more mentions of the atonement than those that are less popular. Are they more popular because they are about the atonement and we prefer to sing about the work of Christ or are they just better songs? If the popularity of a song were directly attributable to the subject matter of the lyrics then it would be appropriate to say that in order to write a popular song it needs to be about the atonement. However, the popularity of a song is due to many differing factors outside of the subject of the lyrics and it is therefore difficult to establish any causal relationship.

Finally then, despite the limitations of this study it is clear that the atonement models written about have not changed significantly over the last eight years but conversely, neither have the songs. If the growing consensus is correct and the congregation is learning more and more of their theology through the songs that we sing then it would seem that the songs do need to be more explicit in their representation of the atonement. The use of homogeneous, generic references to the atonement means that the congregation can interpret them through


preconceived notions of what the atonement achieves; which may account for the wide appeal of songs that contain references to the work of Christ.


Anselm, Saint, Cur Deus Homo?, London: Williams & Norgate, 1863 Aulen, Gustav, Christus Victor, New York: Macmillan, 1969 Beilby, James and Eddy, Paul, R. (Eds.) The Nature of the Atonement, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006 Dawn, Marva J., Reaching Out without Dumbing Down: A theology of worship for the turn-of-the-century culture, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995 Dodd, C.H., The Bible and the Greeks, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1935 Green, Joel B. and Baker, Mark D., Recovering the Scandal of the Cross, Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2000 Grogan, Geoffrey, The Atonement in the New Testament in Tidball, Derek, et al, The Atonement Debate, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2008, 83-95 Heider, George C., Atonement and the Gospels, Journal of Theological Interpretation, 2.2 (2008) 259-273 Hilborn, David, Atonement, Evangelicalism and the Evangelical Alliance in Tidball, Derek, et al, The Atonement Debate, Grand Rapids: Michigan, Zondervan, 2008, 15-33 Hine, Stuart, K., O Lord My God! in Songs of Fellowship: Combined Words Edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 425 Hughes, Tim, Light of the World in Songs of Fellowship: Combined Words Edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 1419 Hughes, Tim, Beautiful One in Songs of Fellowship: Combined Words Edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 1632 Irenaeus, Saint, The Scandal of the Incarnation: Irenaeus "Against the Heresies", San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990 Kendrick, Graham, Meekness and Majesty in Songs of Fellowship: Combined Words Edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No.390 Kendrick, Graham, Such Love in Songs of Fellowship: Combined Words Edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 514


Kendrick, Graham, The Servant King, in Songs of Fellowship: Combined Words Edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 120 Liesch, Barry, The New Worship: Straight Talk on Music and the Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 2001 Livengood, Megan and Ledoux, Connie, Watering Down Christianity? An Examination of the Use of Theological Words in Christian Music, Journal of Media and Religion, 3.2 (2004) 119-29 McIntyre, John, The Shape of Soteriology: Studies in the Doctrine of the Death of Christ, Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1992 McKnight, Scott, A Community Called Atonement, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007 Morgenthaler, Sally, Worship Evangelism: Inviting Unbelievers into the Presence of God, Grand Rapids: Michigan, Zondervan, 1999 Motyer, Steve, The Atonement in Hebrews in Tidball, Derek, et al, The Atonement Debate, Grand Rapids: Michigan, Zondervan, 2008, 136-149 Redman, Matt, Once Again in Songs of Fellowship: Combined Words Edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 865 Richards, Noel and Tricia, All Heaven Declares in Songs of Fellowship: Combined Words Edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 10 Shelton, R. Larry, Cross & Covenant, Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2006 Schmeichen, Peter, Saving Power: Theories of Atonement and Forms of the Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 2005 Songs of Fellowship: Combined words edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007 Tidball, Derek, et al, The Atonement Debate, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2008 Townend, Stuart, Beautiful Saviour in Songs of Fellowship: Combined words edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 1158 Townend, Stuart, How Deep the Fathers Love for Us in Songs of Fellowship: Combined words edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 780 Townend, Stuart, In Christ Alone in Songs of Fellowship: Combined Words Edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 1346 45

Yoder, John Howard, Preface to Theology, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Brazos Press, 2002 Wenham, Gordon J., Genesis 1-15, Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1987 Woods, Robert and Walrath, Brian (Eds.), The Message in the Music: Studying Contemporary Praise and Worship, Abingdon Press, 2007 Wright, Christopher J.H., Atonement in the Old Testament in Tidball, Derek, et al, The Atonement Debate, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2008, 69-82 Zschech, Darlene, My Jesus, My Saviour in Songs of Fellowship: Combined Words Edition, Eastbourne: Kingsway Music, 2007, No. 935


Figure 10: Summary of Atonement Models for 2000

POS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42

SONG TITLE Shout To The Lord Be Still Shine Jesus Shine Lord I Lift Your Name On High Knowing You We Want To See Jesus Lifted High All Heaven Declares The Servant King There Is A Redeemer As The Deer I Will Sing Your Praises Once Again Celebrate Give Thanks Jesus Is The Name We Honour Refiner's Fire I Will Offer Up My Life Majesty To Be In Your Presence How Deep The Father's Love For Us Only By Grace You Laid Aside Your Majesty Faithful One The Power Of Your Love Great Is The Lord Great Is The Darkness Show Your Power I Am A New Creation Such Love Meekness And Majesty Great Is Thy Faithfulness Holy And Anointed One The Heart Of Worship Be Bold Be Strong Hosanna Jesus Shall Take The Highest Honour How Great Thou Art Rejoice All Hail The Lamb Thank You For Saving Me Jesus We Celebrate Your Victory He Is Exalted


Christus Victor



Moral Influence


No Mention 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 1 4 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2


43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

There Is Power In The Name Of Jesus Lord You Have My Heart I Worship You I Believe In Jesus Spirit Of The Living God For I'm Building A People Of Power You're Worthy Of My Praise Make Way Make Way 1 1

1 1

1 1 1 1

Figure 11: Summary of Atonement Models for 2003

POS 1 2 7 10 5 6 6 13 17 12 11 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 42 30 9 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42

SONG TITLE Shout To The Lord Be Still Lord I Lift Your Name On High Knowing You Come Now Is The Time To Worship Shine Jesus Shine How Deep The Father's Love For Us The Servant King Once Again There Is A Redeemer We Want To See Jesus Lifted High I Will Offer Up My Life All Heaven Declares The Power Of Your Love Faithful One As The Deer I Will Sing Your Praises Give Thanks Jesus Is The Name We Honour Refiner's Fire Majesty Celebrate Be The Centre To Be In Your Presence Only By Grace The Heart Of Worship How Great Thou Art Great Is Thy Faithfulness You Laid Aside Your Majesty Great Is The Darkness Here I Am To Worship Lord Reign In Me Hosanna Great Is The Lord Show Your Power Meekness And Majesty Thank You For Saving Me Holy And Anointed One Days Of Elijah I Am A New Creation Lord You Have My Heart Jesus Shall Take The Highest Honour


Christus Victor



Moral Influence


No Mention 1 1

1 1

1 1 1 4 3 4 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1


43 8 45 46 47 48 49 50

You're Worthy Of My Praise King Of Kings Majesty Such Love Psalm 23 Be Bold Be Strong Shout To The North All Hail The Lamb We Are Marching 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1

Figure 12: Summary of Atonement Models for 2005

POS 1 2 1 7 6 6 9 10 3 17 13 11 15 14 19 8 23 20 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37

SONG TITLE Shout To The Lord Be Still In Christ Alone Lord I Lift Your Name On High Come Now Is The Time To Worship How Deep The Father's Love For Us Here I Am To Worship Knowing You Shine Jesus Shine Once Again The Servant King I Will Offer Up My Life Faithful One All Heaven Declares Be The Centre King Of Kings Majesty We Want To See Jesus Lifted High Jesus Is The Name We Honour Lord Reign In Me As The Deer The Power Of Your Love I Will Sing Your Praises The Heart Of Worship Psalm 23 Refiner's Fire Give Thanks Great Is Thy Faithfulness Blessed Be Your Name Only By Grace Open The Eyes Of My Heart How Great Thou Art Great Is The Lord Majesty Show Your Power To Be In Your Presence Great Is The Darkness Thank You For Saving Me


Christus Victor



Moral Influence


No Mention 1 1

1 1 1 1

4 2 1 1 4 3 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1


40 39 40 42 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Beautiful Saviour You're Worthy Of My Praise Shout To The North You Laid Aside Your Majesty Lord You Have My Heart Celebrate Meekness And Majesty Forever Days Of Elijah Hosanna I Am A New Creation Holy And Anointed One Great Big God

1 1 1

2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Figure 13: Summary of Atonement Models for 2008

POS 1 2 3 20 3 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

SONG TITLE In Christ Alone Shout To The Lord Be Still How Deep The Father's Love For Us Shine Jesus Shine Come Now Is The Time To Worship Lord I Lift Your Name On High King Of Kings Majesty Here I Am To Worship Knowing You I Will Offer Up My Life There Is A Redeemer The Servant King All Heaven Declares Faithful One Blessed Be Your Name Once Again How Great Thou Art Be The Centre Jesus Is The Name We Honour Great Is Thy Faithfulness Psalm 23 We Want To See Jesus Lifted High As The Deer Lord Reign In Me Give Thanks Majesty Open The Eyes Of My Heart Only By Grace I Will Sing Your Praises Refiner's Fire


Christus Victor 2



Moral Influence

Generi c

No Mention

1 1

4 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 3 1 1 1 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1


32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

The Heart Of Worship Great Is The Lord The Power Of Your Love Lord For The Years Thank You For Saving Me Great Is The Darkness Beautiful One Forever Beautiful Saviour How Great Is Our God You Laid Aside Your Majesty Make Way Make Way For Christ To Be In Your Presence Lord You Have My Heart Tell Out My Soul I Am A New Creation You're Worthy Of My Praise Be Bold Be Strong Days Of Elijah 1 2 1 1 1 1 1

1 1 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1


Leigh Barnard

The Atonement We Sing

A study of atonement models, imagery and function in worship songs

Supervisor: Chris Jack London School of Theology Wednesday 6th May 2009 9999 words