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May 10, 2007 / Daniel

More resurrections songs?

The more I come to understand the hope of the resurrection in the NT, the more I’m troubled by the lack of interest in the resurrection in some of our more popular hymns.  Most of these songs come from the Southern Gospel genre.  I know, I know.   Some of these songs are your favorites.    Today I’m picking on one of my favorites “I’ll Fly Away.”  It’s a great song.  Fun to sing.  It makes you to want to clap in church.  However, it troubles me that a song about “life after death” is more about heaven than the resurrection.  Here are the lyrics.

 Chorus
I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

    Some glad morning when this life is o’er, I’ll fly away;
    To a home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).
    When the shadows of this life have gone, I’ll fly away;
    Like a bird from prison bars has flown, I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).
    Just a few more weary days and then, I’ll fly away;
    To a land where joy shall never end, I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

The second verse sounds very suspicious.  It has more in common with Plato’s view of a disembodied spirit than the Biblical hope of resurrection.   Plato thought that the body was a prison for the immortal soul of man and one glorious day that soul would be free from the prison of the body to float around in some sort of Greek paradise and discuss philosophy. 

It’s funny that in some hymnals the song has 1 Thess. 4 listed above it.  How can a song be about that text and not mention the resurrection?  Jesus’ resurrection doesn’t mean that we get to go to heaven when we die; it means that we get to be resurrected when Christ returns. 

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Matthew C / May 11 2007 9:10 am

    What about ‘When the roll is called up yonder?’

  2. fiester25 / May 11 2007 2:18 pm

    Matthew,

    That’s awesome. I forgot about that.

  3. Kevin / Apr 10 2008 8:13 pm

    I’ve spent the whole trying to find some songs that deal with the resurrection and the new heaven and earth. If, a year since this post, you’ve come across any more, please shoot me an email.

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