There are dozens of books on the history and origins of famous hymns, but few on the contemporary praise songs that are used in evangelical Christian churches on Sundays. To remedy that, Phil Christensen and Shari MacDonald offer Celebrate Jesus: The Stories Behind Your Favorite Praise and Worship Songs. Rich Mullins's chorus "Awesome God," for example, was controversial at the studio because execs were concerned that the line "When he rolls up his sleeves, he ain't just puttin' on the Ritz" might be a bit blasphemous. And the song "You Are My Hiding Place" was written during a divorce, when songwriter Michael Lender was feeling rejected and vulnerable. Worship leaders and lovers of contemporary Christian music will enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at the origins of some of their favorite tunes. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A veteran worship leader, Phil Christensen wrote the popular "Song Stories" column for Worship Leader magazine for many years. He is currently serving as the worship pastor at Cedar Hills Evangelical Free Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Shari MacDonald has authored numberous novels and women's books as well as articles for publications such as CCM. She and her husband, photojournalist Crait Strong, make their home in Portland, Oregon with their twin sons.