PCUSA disses 'In Christ Alone' song from hymnal

OK… I will go on record as saying that it’s not one of my favorite worship tunes, but recently the PCUSA hymn song picker outer committee decided to drop the song “In Christ Alone” from the new official denominational hymnal.


Well… because of this line:

On that cross, as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied”

The hymnal gatekeepers contacted the authors of the song, and suggested the following revision:

On that cross as Jesus dies, the love of God was magnified”

The authors said no.

And the song was dropped.

The committee said that it had nothing to do with the word ‘wrath’, but rather with the word ‘satisfied’ (that supposedly refers to a specific view of theology that it rejects).

The vote was 9-6 to drop the hymn.

I just have one question:  What’s a hymnal?


Read more here.


  • pietrosquared August 7, 2013 Reply

    imho… grasping at straws, swallowing a camel. They wanted to change one line. It didn’t change the meaning of the whole song, and it wasn’t an incorrect statement. I would have let them do it.

    • Brent August 8, 2013 Reply

      “it wasn’t an incorrect statement.” To the PCUSA, it is an incorrect statement, or at least the theology they believe it represents is incorrect. Agree or not, I actually applaud them for caring. Many churches are more interested in singing the most popular, best sounding songs, while not taking a minute to look at the theology those songs present in their lyrics. Our people often get their theology more from the music than they do from the sermon, because the music they will keep singing throughout the week. Worship leaders should be careful to examine what the songs they sing communicate.

      • pietrosquared August 8, 2013 Reply

        Please show me from Scripture where “On that cross as Jesus dies, the love of God was magnified” is not true.

        • Brent August 10, 2013 Reply

          I misunderstood your original post. We are in complete agreement. Sorry about that! I thought you were saying the PCUSA should just sing the original since it is a true statement.

  • Robert Barnes August 7, 2013 Reply

    I think it’s one of the best modern hymns and I think the writers were correct to not allow their hymn to be stripped of the deep, gospel-rich line.

    The PCUSA rejected the gospel 80 years ago, though. So this isn’t new.

  • Jeorge August 7, 2013 Reply

    A hymnal is that strange book in some church pews (what’s a pew0
    That is often too heavy for the elderly to hold. too confusing for the very young to understand. Is held by people who may or may not wash their hands after (Remember the toilet paper issues). And often costs more to replace than its value might suggest. Other that hymnals are a great repository of the past generations statements of faith.

  • Rayburn August 7, 2013 Reply

    Dr. Timothy George, chairman of the Colson Center, has a good article on this very subject. Go to: http://www.colsoncenter.org/voices/ and search for the article, “No Squishy Love”

    • Jeorge August 7, 2013 Reply

      interesting read

  • Jeorge August 8, 2013 Reply

    In all probability the churches who would have used this song have already used it. And they really do not care what the denominational leaders choose. I am in a different tribe of believers and we have the mandate (locally) not to follow our denomination’s prescription. Just a thought.

  • jeff ruble August 9, 2013 Reply

    As a songwriter I agree with the writer not giving in to PCUSA changing the wording. You have to stick to you’re convictions regardless of your song making a hymnal. I ‘d rather stick to what God gave me in my heart. After all Gods wrath was placed upon Jesus for our sins instead of us. Jesus wasn’t sent here to have a picnic.

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