Saturday Song: “Nothing But the Blood”

This version of the “Nothing but the Blood,” done by Jars of Clay together with the Blind Boys of Alabama, is absolutely terrific. If you know of any other good versions, go ahead and post them.

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Note: Yes, I am aware that the lyrics were probably written with a Protestant sensibility that can be interpreted contrary to our understanding of absolution in the sacrament of reconciliation and of the assurance of salvation. If that’s you’re initial reaction then, first: cut that out! It’s a song! You’re not one of those people who think “Amazing Grace” is Satan’s own theme song, are you? Because they really get on my nerves.

Second, the blood of Christ is indeed the font of expiation, including the power of the sacrament of reconciliation. Songs aren’t theology. They may contain it, but there’s a reason St. Thomas Aquinas didn’t compose the Summa in verse. The medium has certain limitations of expression.

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • robin

    Jars of Clay and dc talk were responsible for awakening my children and some of their friends to the fact that Jesus paid a heavy price for their souls, and they owed Him something more than lip service. To me, that’s enough.

    Like the new photo! Which one is you? Great hat there.

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    The picture is Johannes Gutenberg and me (I’m on the one on the left.) in the rare book room of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

  • Paul Rodden

    Hi there,
    Loved your wry comments on the limits of hymnography. :)
    Try this version, track 5, from this Album from “Page CXVI”:
    With the beautiful voice of Tifah Phillips (nee al-Attas):
    (Run the Flash in the embedded example on the blogpost – as are all their albums, I think) – for the explanation of ‘Page CXVI’ – and their project on ‘the classics’.

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    Very nice! I like her voice and arrangements.

  • robin

    Okay, I was wondering about that.

  • Paul Rodden

    Glad you did!
    Did you know CXVI turn up, if invited, to do gigs in people’s back gardens (yards in USAspeak)?

  • Korah

    I love Page CXVI also.
    I heard a version of Nothing But the Blood that blew me away. It is by AJ & CPO. Definitely worth the listen. Here is their Myspace link. Let me know what you think of it if you get the chance to hear it.