Keith & Kristyn Getty on the Importance of Hymns

From the Christian Examiner:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The word "hymn" usually doesn't lead to thoughts of "modern," but modern hymnwriters Keith and Kristyn Getty are trying to change that.

That doesn't mean they want churches to stop singing the old hymns — just the opposite — but they do want churches to see that modern songs can have a similar lyrical richness.

The husband-wife team from Northern Ireland just released their third CD, "Joy: An Irish Christmas," and begun their U.S. Christmas tour with their first stop in San Diego. Calif. Christians who have never heard of the Gettys may nevertheless have sung one of their songs, "In Christ Alone," which was co-written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend.

Question: Why are you so passionate about hymns?

Keith Getty: I think the things we are most passionate about are, first, making sure that congregations are able to sing together and, secondly, making sure that the Word of Christ dwells in us richly. When you look at the New Testament, the radical thing about the church wasn't its performance capabilities, it wasn't buildings, it wasn't even artistry. It was the fact that these people from every background were coming together to sing. In other words, what congregational singing represents is actually what the church represents. The whole concept of congregational worship is to represent the church here on earth as to what it will one day be in heaven. So it is a unifying thing.....

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