• Frame songs as acts of joyful, life-giving resistance to idolatry. Teach us that songs are an antidote to exploitation and depersonalization.
• Learn to study the Scripture texts in, around, and under the songs you love.
• Do not become so attached to subversion for its own sake that you fail to recognize genuine, covenantal, Christ-shaped forms of subversion. Cultivate the radical theological imagination needed for that discernment.
• Teach us by example what it means to sing as gift and gifting—each song a gift, each singing of a song a gift, each song a witness to gift and giving, each singer a gift in the giving.
• Devote attention to songs that convey the weightiness and hope of hesed, God’s tenacious, covenantal solidarity and loving-kindness.
• Rescue chestnuts from the dustbin of sentimentality. Resist kitsch.
• Pay attention to context—the unique context of each Scripture text, the unique context in which each song was born, the unique context in which it will be sung today.
• Choose not only songs that express what a community already experiences but also songs that will stretch a community toward ever deeper obedience to God, ever more vivid ways of imagining God’s covenantal love and fidelity.
—John Witvliet, “Foreword,” in Walter A. Brueggemann, A Glad Obedience: Why and What We Sing (Kindle Locations 76-95)