Overview As Seen on TV-John's 1st studio album in 3 years
1. Open the Eyes of My Heart 2. You're Worthy of My Praise (featuring Nicole C. Mullen) 3. Message From the Heart 4. God is My Rock 5. Trading My Sorrows 6. The Heart of Worship 7. Monday's Mission 8. Better is One Day 9. I Could Sing of Your Love Forever 10. Psalm 66 11. Shout to the Lord 12. Crosswalk 13. Anjus Wav-Um 14. Lord Reign in Me 15. Resurrection 16. I Am Not Alone (featuring Natalie Grant) 17. A Deeper Faith
Record Label Garden City Music - SDIS
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.5" Width: 4.8" Height: 0.3" Weight: 0.25 lbs.
Release Date Mar 31, 2002
Publisher WORD ACCT# W41160193
ISBN 0012142263 EAN 0748143459124 UPC 748143459124
There are two different schools of thought concerning "sacred" music. There are probably more than two schools; but there are only two in active play. It all comes down to just what "sacred music" is for. The first school regards sacred music as being a language and interaction primarily between the believing worshiper and the "Lord of Heaven". It is not that God "needs" praise and adoration, so the thinking goes; instead in worship, singing and prayer God gives Himself to His worshipers. In other words, what appears to be "sacrifice" given to God is actually the reverse. Particularly with music, it is sometimes said that singing is "prayer made twice". In this light, sacred music is pretty much a "within the family" affair. Only indirectly is sacred music meant to appeal and attract those outside the fold. While history abounds in numerous examples of the "lost" first being drawn into a life of faith as they observed Christian worship, the primary purpose of sacred music is found between Creator and communicant.
The second school of thought mirrors the first in most respects. Everything said about God, music and worshiper largely holds up. But while the first school directs its focus to the act of worship, the second school also believes sacred music should have an intentional evangelizing purpose. The "worship nexus" between God and believer must be taken care of. But conscious and overt appeals to those outside the faith should be given equal if not primary preference. Particularly in America and especially among "Evangelicals" extraordinary attempts are made to draw in un-churched contemporaries with music thought to be attractive to them. "After all, if you want to catch fish you got to have the right bait."
In practice, especially to an outsider, the two schools of thought seem to turn out very similar "product". Both schools can use contemporary musical styles. The difference is whereas the "evangelical" model (second school) will use contemporary music to appeal to unbelievers, the "divine dialogue" model (first school) will use modern forms as a means of self-expression and (in no small part) to be "user friendly". The differences between the two, however, become more obvious (sometimes painfully so) with use. The question one always has to ask is "to whom am I singing to here?" There are instances when you realize that there have been services in which the Divine Creator has not been addressed at all; instead the whole service has been one big "public testimony" to the outside world.
All the long-winded discussion above goes toward why John Tesh both succeeds and fails with A DEEPER FAITH. If his ultimate aim is conversation between supplicant and Lord, Tesh's project is a remarkable success. Whether you like his music or not, one cannot deny that John Tesh is a skilled musician. With this CD, he brings his skills and bag of tricks to make a durable project that both praises the Savior and instructs the faithful. Strictly speaking, this is not music for a formal Sunday morning. worship service. Music such as found on this CD is too "labor intensive" for all but the largest of congregations. In most churches, these performances would overwhelm the sanctuary and crowd everything else out. But there is another legitimate purpose. Most Christians feel a need to live out their faith outside of Sunday morning-outside of church. Thus there is a place for Christian hymnody created specifically for non-church use. There is some merit in the old notion that "faith follows in doing". Staying "plugged in" to the life of faith often involves daily Scripture, daily devotions, singing and listening to edifying songs. "Open The Eyes Of My Heart", "You're Worthy Of My Praise", and "I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever" are quite good and can "stand alone" by themselves. In listening to the album, however, it becomes clear that a different kind of statement is being made than just having a collection of tunes. By the end, it becomes obvious that Tesh is trying to come to terms with the crimes of 911 in the context of faith.
911 is an extreme case of a troubling question asked of the Christian faith everyday. That loved ones can leave home to go to work and never come back is a prospect that faces us all each morning. When it actually happens to you or someone near you (a surprising number of Americans were either related to or knew someone in the twin towers or the pentagon), there is an urge to "make sense of it all". Christianity offers few answers and even those are at best suggestive. Instead, almost all Christian ministers and theologians point to an all-knowing and all-powerful God whose purposes is beyond knowing, the hope in His mercy, and the promise beyond death. As with most things, this "pointing" can be done poorly or it can be done well. Tesh for the most part simply alludes to this appeal to trust artistically. If you are familiar with "Christian shorthand" (a compact phase or set of words which stands in for a deeper, more detailed discussion for the thought at hand) all this is clear. Such is the life of faith that most of us have to hear the proclamation over and over again. And when tragedy actually strikes us we must hear the proclamation all afresh.
The problem is that outside the faith none of this makes sense. It is in the outward evangelizing that this CD ultimately fails. What is a sincere effort to communicate comes across as a confusing mesh of uplifting songs, Scripture quotations, and a ponderous ending. Then there is continuing frustrating behavior on the part of Evangelicals in which they prattle on about the need to reach out to the un-churched in the idiom and music of the day and then absolutely refusing to use the actual contemporary idiom and music when they make the attempt. For all his talent, John Tesh is simply too mild and "white bread" compared to what is popular. Whether rock or hip-hop, Tesh is not going to appeal to fans of Coldplay or Contraband-nor will he be mistaken for Black Eyed Peas or Eminem. Moreover, in much of modern popular music, there is an element of "darkness" and resigned grimness that most take to be part of the foundation of any "true" art missing here. Part of this is because Evangelicals see this "dark element" as antithetical to the very message they are trying to convey. Part of it also that many in the Church believe the "world" is attracted to messages of "sunshine and peaches". Whatever is actually in his thinking, John Tesh simply lacks gravity to the very people he is trying to reach.
Of course, it could well be that Tesh's intended audience is within the Church and only incidentally those outside. If that is true, then it would be unfair to say he is failing in something he wasn't trying to do to begin with. If Tesh is providing "songs for worship", then he has succeeded and then some. The Christian message cannot be reduced to "sunshine and peaches" but there is ample room for songs of joyous praise, thanksgiving and instruction. John Tesh won't rank up there with Bach or Wesley but he is head and shoulders above much of "Christian music" being made today.
an inspiration to us all... May 30, 2004
This is such a wonderful cd, and perfect for those moments you need just to relax and meditate. A great soft, quiet, inspirational cd.
Don't get left out Feb 9, 2003
I was never really a John Tesh fan because I was never really a fan of Entertainment Tonight. However, I seemingly foolishly suggested to my wife that I might, may or think that I was interested ... remotely ... in the Tesh toon "Open the Eyes of my Heart" and she bought the CD for me. What a powerful CD! I recommend it to everyone ... DO NOT GET LEFT OUT OF THIS EXPERIENCE!
Pleasant music Nov 18, 2002
This CD is enjoyable. There are parts that aren't as pleasing to the ear as I had hoped, but over all I enjoy the music.
i love it May 7, 2002
I recently bought the Deeper Faith CD and I love it. it truly was amazing and Thanks for making a great worship CD. I also look forward to listening to you on the radio every Sunday. Thanks again and God bless you and the work you do! Megan