As the Deer Pants by Martin Nystrom

from “The Augustana and Lutheran Worship” by Pastor Joel Otto

These various challenges to the Augustana’s view of Lutheran worship are not really about musical style or whether the preacher should be vested or not. They can be boiled down to a difference in the basic definition of worship. The Evangelical “praise and worship” style offers a definition of worship that is man-centered and law-based. Even when Warren speaks about worship being God-centered he only means that our praise is directed toward God. The content of that praise is mostly musings about the individual’s love for Jesus or desire to obey. Consider, for example, “As the Deer,” a fairly popular contemporary song.

1. As the deer pants for the water,
So my soul longs after you.
You alone are my heart’s desire,
And I long to worship you.

Chorus: You alone are my strength, my shield.
To you alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my heart’s desire,
And I long to worship you.

2. You’re my friend, and you’re my brother,
Even though you are a King.
I love you more than any other,
So much more than anything. Chorus

While the song begins with an almost direct quote from Psalm 42, it quickly develops into a love song to Jesus without mentioning his name or what he has done to be worthy of our worship.

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