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So, I've been learning to love a new (for me) song called 10000 Reasons. I discovered that he is also the writer of another "modern classic" Blessed Be Your Name.

In writing his music, he takes an approach to infusing Scripture that I find rather fascinating, described here as follows:

This song is Bible-based, but you didn’t use the text word-for-word. Please explain some good practices in capturing Scripture in song.

Redman: My ideal for songwriting is to infuse passion with truth. I love worship songs that are so rich with the word of God, but very obviously exploded out of the heart of the songwriters in a passionate way. You can, of course, take a big chunk of Scripture and keep it word for word, composing a melody for it. I’ve never been very good at that approach and honestly I think it’s a very tricky thing to do, within the style that I tend to write in. The main benefit of that approach is that people can commit the Bible to memory through song, and there’s much to be said that’s very commendable about that (my personal aim has never really been the memorizing of Scripture, as brilliant as that is). But my main aim in songwriting is to see something of Jesus, and then reflect it. So I’ve always taken a different approach.

The best way I can describe it is actually found in Eugene Peterson’s book, Under the Unpredictable Plant. He writes that when Jonah is in the belly of the fish he pours out a prayer of great passion but notes that not one phrase in the prayer is original—it all comes from the Psalms. In fact, it comes not just from one psalm, but many different psalms. So he’s not just reciting a piece of Scripture in that moment. He’s pouring out his heart, and many different phrases from the Psalms are being woven together into his prayer. The point is, Jonah is in an intense situation, and what pours out of him is utterly heartfelt, and yet also utterly full of the Word of God. My ideal is that the same could be true in the writing of worship songs—that we could be so full of the truth of Scripture that in our most intense moments in life, be it joy or sorrow, what pours passionately out of our hearts is infused with the Word of God. It may not be a whole portion of Scripture—perhaps the song contains an essence of something Paul said in one of his letters, with a phrase or two from the Psalms, with an overtone of what Jesus said at one point in the Gospels, and something from the Old Testament in there too. That’s definitely a key to make sure our songs are raw and real—and yet full of life-changing and God-honoring truth.

While obviously not dogma, I'm finding that approach to feel really both authentic and scriptural. What I am curious about is the tradition that encouraged such an approach. Does Matt Redman talk about his faith journey somewhere that expresses where this comes from?

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Redman started leading worship at St Andrews, Chorleywood, moving to help start up Soul Survivor alongside Mike Pilavachi and was the worship leader for the Soul Survivor Church in Watford. According to founder Mike Pilavachi, the Soul Survivor festivals (which began in 1993) grew out of worship sessions with him and the then 15-year-old Redman. Redman led worship at the early Soul Survivor festivals, returning to lead worship again in 2011.

In 2002, after a sabbatical in America recording Where Angels Fear To Tread, Redman moved to Brighton to work with Terry Virgo at the Newfrontiers church, CCK. He has been involved in their 'Newday' and 'Together on a Mission' conferences.

In 2004 Redman joined a new church plant, The Point, also in West Sussex, led by Will Kemp.

In 2008 Matt and Beth Redman, along with their three children, moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to plant a church with Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin called Passion City Church. In August 2010 Redman and his family returned to the UK. They have since joined a church plant in Brighton at St Peter's Church, Brighton.

Sources: http://www.passioncitychurch.com/blog/?p=221 http://mattredman.sparrowrecords.com/biography/

  • Your Passion City Church blog entry has been archived at web.archive.org/web/20100723124410/http://… . Also, this answer would be stronger if it indicated Redman's Church of England background. Some of the churches he has been involved with seem not to be specifically C of E or Anglican, but probably closely related. – b and d restore Monica Jun 24 '18 at 1:27
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As an anglican, Redman would be heavily influenced by the Book of Common Prayer which is infused with scripture throughout, and in a beautiful way I might add, in much the same way that he describes concerning his writing style

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