I love good hymns and I love good modern praise songs. While I like the music of some more than others, what is important to me is the words and how well they are true to God's Word. The music should reinforce those words. For example, it is appropriate that Crown Him With Many Crowns sounds majestic, that Amazing Grace is reflective, and that How Firm A Foundation sounds strong and steady. It would be odd for Onward Christian Soldiers to sound like a lullaby (even if that is the song my dad sang to us at bedtime when we were little - but, hey, he sang what he could).
That is why I love the modern hymn "How Deep The Father's Love For Us". Yes, I would classify it as a hymn. When most people think of hymns they are thinking of older church songs, but they are actually songs that are written in meter. The meter is the number of syllables in a line. How Deep The Father's Love For Us is written in 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 (which is the same as 184.108.40.206.D. or 8.7. - 8 lines). In other words, the first line has eight syllables, the second has seven, the third has eight and so forth.
If you have two songs with the same meter, you may be able to switch the tunes. The songs will require the same type of poetic foot (iambic, trochaic, ionic...) as well, but that's a lesson for another time. For example, you could sing this hymn to Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee, Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, or I Have A Friend O Such A Friend (the last one fits this modern hymn best with both the foot and the tone).
How Deep The Father's Love For Us
by Stuart Townend
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
Ephesians 3:17-19 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
Jesus said in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
How great the pain of searing loss -
The Father turns His face away,
Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.
1 Peter 2:24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
Hebrew 2:9-10 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
1 Peter 2:24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
Luke 23:35-37 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One." The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!"It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.His dying breath has brought me life -
I know that it is finished.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
John 19:30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD.But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Paul says in Galatians 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
Psalm 103:10-13 He [God] has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.But this I know with all my heart -
His wounds have paid my ransom.
Matthew 20:28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."