Hillsong and Co. are always a fascinating expression of popular theology. I’m sure they got degrees and directors and stuff (maybe they don’t?) but these people are consistently articulating lyrically-driven soteriology, eschatology, ecclesiology—you name it—and then placing it in the mouths of millions of Christians (Anglophone WEIRDS at the very least). How’s that for a papal encyclical?
Now I don’t listen much so my evidence might be in danger of being anecdotal, but there seems to be a micro-obsession with macro numbers afoot. The numbers which rocket the mind. The ones Wilbur advised prophets not to use.
I guess 10,000 Reasons which is a decade old at this point started the trend. And it has biblical precedent for sure (“ten thousand times ten thousand” Revelations 5:11 etc) but “100 Billion X” and its indulgence seems to have marked a milestone.
The most recent example I heard was “1,000 generations”. Which is great for a host of reasons. Like, have their been that many generations? Obviously ties in a theology of Creation. 10,000 years (the start of ‘civilisation’) is only about 400 generations back. This quora thread seems to between 10,000 and 15,000 generations is a solid estimate for “what we today recognise as Homo sapiens sapiens”. But then a good chunk of those biological ancestors didn’t.. do language.
But also great because I’m willing to bet the majority of Christians who sing that lyric would, on paper, vigorously deny there have been 200 generations! But I bet they belt this out on the way home from work, all glory to the Lord, not Darwin—as it should be.
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