Rusty at [New Covenant](http://newcovenant.blogspot.com) has a post up criticizing a song he doesn’t like about being [so in love with Jesus](http://newcovenant.blogspot.com/2005/05/jesus-i-am-so-in-love-with-you.html)
> You are God in heaven
> And here am I on earth
> So I’ll let my words be few
> Jesus, I am so in love with You
> The simplest of all love songs
> I want to bring to You
> So I’ll let my words be few
>Jesus, I am so in love with You
“What is it about our culture, here in America, that motivates us to emphasize a *personal relationship* with this Jesus who loves us…” Rusty asks, “Is this a pattern that is modeled in scripture?”
Is he serious? He can’t find a single reference in scripture that talks about a passionate, personal relationship with the Godhead? Hoo boy.
> 1 As a deer longs for streams of water,
> so I long for You, God.
> 2 I thirst for God, the living God.
> When can I come and appear before God?
> 3 My tears have been my food day and night,
> while all day long people say to me,
> “Where is your God?”
> 7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls;
all Your breakers and Your billows have swept over me.
or [Psalm 63:](http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%2063;&version=77;)
> 1 God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You.
> I thirst for You;
> my body faints for You
> in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.
> 2 So I gaze on You in the sanctuary
> to see Your strength and Your glory.
> 3 My lips will glorify You
> because Your faithful love is better than life.
> So I will praise You as long as I live;
> at Your name, I will lift up my hands.
> 6 When, on my bed, I think of You,
> I meditate on You during the night watches.
Highly questionable, that passionate, personal stuff.
To be fair to Rusty, he’s actually combining two theological questions: Is personal, intense, intimate emotion appropriate to direct toward God? and Is it appropriate to conflate all three persons of the Godhead into “Jesus”? The answer to the first question is, unequivocably, yes. Absolutely! The answer to the second question is…. eehhhrngh…?!
Obviously, you can’t have too correct an understanding of the trinity, and people have gotten into some weird theologies by means of an inaccurate understanding of the Trinity (witness the “Jesus only” movement in pentecostalism, Unitarianism, Mormonism, and no doubt a whole host of others). I’m very content with the traditional formulation and willing to leave it at that, though I’m sure it’s possible to have a finer, even more accurate understanding. But It would take an awful lot of complicated thought to come to a finer understanding than we already have without sliping into heresy, and obviously a worship song is not the place to originate that kind of complicated thought. Qualified assertions are hard to fit into regular meter.
In a song, there are really only two ways you can deal with the trinity while affirming the traditional understanding: either repeat the same verse three times, one for each part of the Tinity, or conflate. The song at the top conflates the Father with the Son: “You are God in heaven… Jesus.” “God in heaven” would be the Father, but the song makes Jesus out to be the same person. Theologically, they’re *not* the same person, but the song is clearly not trying to make that kind of an assertion. The song also fails to mention the Holy Spirit, but you’d be hard-pressed to demonstrate that the writer intends to deny His existence. Instead, by conflation, they intend to invoke a proper emotion directed toward all three as a body by appealing to two of the parts. This is a standard rhetorical technique, pretty much the same as saying “Alpha and Omega” to invoke all the letters in between.
Is this practice biblical? I think it is. Otherwise, everywhere in scripture that involved God having a physical body would be careful to distinguish the second person of the trinity, and everywhere it talks about Jesus would involve his physical manifestation. But a nice fine line like that doesn’t hold out. For instance, in the Old Testament theophanies, where the “angel” in question has a physical body, but is referred to as God, it’s generally assumed that the person speaking is actually Jesus, but the text makes effort to distinguish between the Father and the Son. It just says “God” or the “Lord” and goes on. On the other end of the spectrum, in Revelation, it’s Jesus who says “Behold I stand at the door and knock,” but it isn’t particularly clear that he’s talking about anything other than a spiritual experience.
So, for my money, the song is fine so far as the trinity is concerned, and very fine so far as personal affection. Now, about that whole “let my words be few” thing, I dunno….