“Intimacy demands simplicity, and with all due respect to hymns filled with great theology, complexity is not what Scripture reveals as God’s personal preference.”
– James McDonald, Unashamed Adoration, in Worship Leader Magazine
With all due respect to the author of this article, I’m not sure he knows completely whereof he speaks. Certainly, the language of some hymnody is rather obtuse for today, but that is only a slice of the pie. Many great hymns are simple — and yet profound.
Nor does everything we gathered (or solitary) Christians sing need to be simplistic, to the point of being on a 4th-grade reading level. The beauty of well-used words and imagery can provide an effective vehicle for the soul.
In essence: complex word formulations are probably not advisable, but deeply meaningful, well chosen, and even profound words may be very beneficial — and simplicity is often helpful, too. I suspect God is pleased with most words used in worship when the words are sincere and understood/heartfelt.
I like “I love You, Lord,” but I also like “Like the holy angels who behold Thy glory, may I ceaselessly adore Thee.”
I would like “Take care of me, O God,” but I like “Keep me, O keep me, King of kings, beneath Thine own almighty wings!” even better.
I like “You’re my all. You’re the best!” but I also like “God only wise, in light inaccessible hid from our eyes, most blessed, most glorious . . . Thy great name we praise.”