Reckless Love pt. 4

This is a continuation of a blog reflecting on a sermon I gave referencing the popular worship song, “Reckless Love.”


A woman came to speak with me after the service Sunday night and she was more than happy to use the term “reckless love of God.” I told her, “good.”

She understood the meaning behind it and the fact that it was relatable to her really helped.

That’s a helpful distinction I think! This is what parables do. They aren’t fully accurate depictions of God, or of Heaven or whatever it may be describing. No, they explain something in a way that will relate to us. They stir up our emotions so we can make some sense of what God is like – BUT NO PARABLE COMPLETELY AND ACCURATELY DESCRIBES GOD TO A ‘T!’

It’s why you can come away thinking God is portrayed as reckless after reading Luke 15:3-7, but come away thinking that God is extremely patient and generous after reading Luke 15:11-32.


Anyway, I’m sure there’s a conversation to be had there, but it’s a little off topic of where I want to go.

This woman and I started talking about church music and the words we sing and how they stick with us. Old church hymns have been replaced by modern worship songs in a lot of places today, including Hope for the most part, and especially at the Living Room. And I’ll be the first to say that some hymns carry a particular theological slant that I don’t necessarily agree with either, but for the most part hymns carry a lot more Scripture in them than most modern worship songs do.

Hymns are majoritively Scripture put to music, whereas, I’d say, that most modern worship songs have a Scripture reference or two in a verse or in the chorus, but built around that, the rest of the song might just be devotional poetry and opinion (not all. some are really good at pulling out Scripture and putting music to it.). Most of the time the opinions are commonly held and shared around the big C Church, but we really are singing the artistic opinion of other people. Take that for what you will.


But I did find it extremely interesting when I asked if anyone felt at all uneasy singing the phrase in worship and no one raised a hand or spoke up. To me that speaks volumes about how we tend to accept and sing whatever is up there without thinking about it at all!

The church used to sing songs that quoted a lot of Scripture and that’s how they learned and memorized Scripture, AND how they built their theology. Today we sing songs that are more filled with someone’s personal devotional poetry and we don’t often question any of it.

I think we should. I think we should be more intentional about taking it upon ourselves to consider the words of the songs we sing and what they mean for us, as well as what they might mean for others, and carefully consider whether or not a song is altogether helpful for any given, individual, and unique worshiping community.

Maybe we should spend some time writing worship songs inĀ our context; songs by us for us!?!


In my sermon, and in the first blog, I called into question whether “Reckless Love” is better served as a personal favourite for your playlist or private devotional time with God rather than as a congregational confession of who/how we believe God is.


Having considered the points made in these reflections, what do you reckon?

  4 comments for “Reckless Love pt. 4

  1. Cameron
    July 2, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    In your pt. 2 reflection you make the case that God’s love isn’t reckless because God already knows the outcome, but what if God had self limited himself in a way as to not know the outcome, rather God was more interested in seeing the outcome of Her/His creation and where it would end up. Traditional theology has asserted that God is immutable and unchanging, but how do we know that this isn’t because on a philosophical level the Greco-Roman World believed to be open to change was a weakness. Creation is in relationship with God and it’s not a true relationship if both sides are not changing in response to one another. If the infinite (God) is pouring itself out into the finite (creation), it is rational then that the finite (creation) would evolve in response. In this way if God is intimately involved and influencing creation, then God’s love is totally reckless.

    A second point, if we don’t theologically agree with a song then should we just stop singing it? but then why stop here, why not stop singing every song that doesn’t have good theology? But then who defines what is good theology, Why is any protestant theology any more or less valid than any Catholic or any Eastern Orthodox theology? let’s expand what about christian films with garbage theology? I think that when it comes to art we shouldn’t be saying what is okay and what isn’t, but what we should be doing is heading through the process towards the second naivety. Which goes a little something like this. First we start naive, then we begin to ask questions and head through a process of deconstruction, questioning and reflection, and we embrace it, so we don’t hold views just because it easier to say I’m scared of what that side articulate, so I will fervently dig my feet in and hold to what I think uncritically. But at a certain point we must then say I’ve done this critical thinking I need to embrace a second naivety. Because if that never happens faith can be thought to death. (Faith is not the antithesis of thought however) At a certain point we just have to accept that maybe we need to be humble and open to saying we don’t know everything

    TL:DR Just because you don’t agree with a side doesn’t mean you should just dismiss it as wrong because you disagree with it

    • jonathanbarb
      July 4, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      I hope your final statement goes both ways.

      • Cameron
        July 13, 2018 at 7:56 pm

        Of course. The case you make is well thought out

  2. Lulu
    July 5, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    I really like that you have opened this debate Jono. I think that what you say about thinking what we are singing is very important. We have to engage our minds when we sing so that we can truly worship God. That being said however, I do think that a lot of things are open to interpretation. I first hear Reckless love when I came to Hope and the lyrics really resonated with me. To me God’s reckless love meant that He loves me with abandon, without thought to the consequences to himself if I were to reject his love. To me it means unconditional love as he will love me no matter what I do and so in that sense I experience his love as reckless. I think that as Cameron says above, art should be open to interpretation. But I do agree with you that we need to think about what we sing.

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