Keith and Kristyn Getty have been at the forefront of the modern hymn movement over the last decade. (For a review of their latest album, see "Hymn Revival," CT, January 2007.) The Belfast couple, along with Stuart Townend, has written popular standards rich in Christian doctrine, including the much-covered "In Christ Alone"a hymn that has been recorded in more than 100 versions by other artists. ct editors Stan Guthrie, David Neff, and Madison Trammel sat down with the Gettys in the CT offices.
How did you get started?
Keith: During my twenties, I started to have a passion to write good songs for a church. They quickly were called modern hymns. I wrote these for my little Baptist church of 160 to 170 people. We thought the way the church and society are going, there's a bigger future in typewriters or black-and-white televisions.
Why the emphasis on doctrine?
Keith: I'm a child of the modern worship movement. We both are. I have a great affection for both modern worship music and traditional church music. I wanted to do two things. One was to write songs that helped teach the faith, and the second was to write songs that every generation could sing. I don't think of music as only teaching, but I do think that what we sing profoundly affects how we think. It profoundly affects how we feel. It affects, therefore, our emotional and our didactic relationship with God. But what we sing is for people of all ages.
The radical thing is that in the Old Testament, everybody came together and sang. And in the New Testament, the Jew and the Gentile, the Greek and the Roman, the young and the old all came together and sang together. That's the witness of church history. It's not some kind of food court where everyone chooses their ...