Why are hit worship songs so different from the Psalms? Should we be incorporating more hymns into our churches?

Terry Mattingly is the founder and editor of GetReligion.org. He also has an extensive background in music. 

"I was raised Southern Baptist in Texas, but very early in my life, I became a classical musician and singer. I began to appreciate all kinds of ancient forms of Christian music and Christian tradition, as well as contemporary," said Mattingly.

He eventually converted to eastern Orthodox, a tradition where they sing the Psalms regularly. 

"Most of our service, 70 percent of an Orthodox worship service is sung prayer and sung scripture. When we talk about new music, we're talking about something that is only 300 years old."

Terry says the biggest difference between hit worship songs and the Psalms is the lament.

"The Psalms are both praise but then there are also gut-wrenching songs when the Psalmist is singing about pain, social justice and the plight of the poor. You hear people pleading for help from God. Lamenting the conditions of this life while also worshiping God for his greatness, Terry explained. "Even though you slay me, I will praise you is not a message you're going to hear anytime soon in praise chorus." 

He says the plight of the poor, the hungry, the suffering, the widows and community life issues also play themselves into the Psalms.

"It doesn't sound anything like the music you hear today," said Terry. " It's more about the body of Christ, not my personal feelings standing at this microphone."

Today on Connections, Terry Mattingly digs deeper into this topic.