Steven Curtis Chapman Talks New Bluegrass Album of Reimagined Hymns and Why He Believes God is Calling Christians to Go Deeper in Their Spiritual Walk

Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer Steven Curtis Chapman released his new album, Deeper Roots, last month and says he believes God is calling His followers to go deeper in their spiritual walks with Him.

Deeper Roots: Where The Bluegrass Grows is now available and follows Chapman’s 2013 Billboard No. 1 album, Deep Roots. The new installment features Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts and recent Bluegrass and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Ricky Skaggs. Deeper Roots is an ode to Chapman’s upbringing and features a number of reimagined hymns whose rich theology speaks of an immeasurable God.

Chapman is no stranger to affliction and loss. His youngest daughter, Maria died at five-years-old in an accident that happened in 2008. The popular Christian artist has been using his pain to connect with God on a greater level ever since.

Below is an edited transcript between Chapman and The Christian Post in which he explains the heart behind his new record and how tragedy helped further his intimacy with God.

Christian Post: What compelled you to release a bluegrass record?

Chapman: Bluegrass is the earliest influence I had musically, the first sound I remember and honestly I could probably say the first memories I have, as a little boy growing up in Kentucky. Music was playing all the time in my home, my dad would play music with his friends. My dad’s a great guitar player, one best buddy he grew up with was a guy named Jack Curtis Martin, which is where I get my middle name Curtis from and he’s a great dobro player. Then his other best buddy was a guy named Scotty who played the five-string banjo. I had those sounds ingrained in me as a little boy and I loved it. Those sounds for me, represented a lot of joy. I saw my dad happiest, playing music, and he loved it and there was the camaraderie of it in the friendship and all of that.

It all kind of started with the book that I wrote, that came out a couple of years ago called Between Heaven and the Real World, where I share my life story, my autobiography. Talking about my dad, and my earliest influences and music and learning to play the guitar from my dad and the music that he loved, which I learned to love as well.

And when I was seven, it’s really, when my family and I, all over the course of a few weeks, few months, came to begin our faith journey to really start to follow Jesus as a family, which led to us singing together as a family. So we started singing in church together, and we learned old hymns and we would turn them into guitar songs. We’d take the old church hymns, like, “Great is Thy faithfulness” or “How Great Thou Art” or “Victory in Jesus” and we’d play them on guitar and we’d sing three or four-part harmonies around the kitchen table, my mom and dad and brother, so I learned to love the sound of those voices harmonizing together.

Telling all those stories night after night about how influential that music was while on tour, kind of gave me the idea that I’d love to record some music that feels like that and maybe even get my dad and my brother in the recording studio with me and make a record that sounds like that.

That’s really what gave birth to this project, to kind of honor the music and the seeds of faith and the theology in those great old hymns. There’s just so much great truth in those and those were the seeds that were planted in my heart when I was a little boy, and I really feel like those seeds have turned into the fruit of the songs I’ve written all these years and recorded, it all kind of began there. This was sort of a way to honor that.

CP: There’s an American form of church and in keeping with the theme of going deeper, do you believe that there is deeper than what we see in cultural Christianity today? Also, how do you go further in your faith, being a man of faith for so many years?

Chapman: There’s the reality that God is making all things new and even the Bible ends in Revelation with the one seated on the throne saying, “Behold I’m making all things new.” He is constantly recreating in us and restoring and refreshing and even making new things and we are new creatures.

I think we are not only made new once, but God’s plan is we keep being made new daily, every morning His mercies are new. So in that, yes, I think he’s constantly calling us. There’s a Scripture that talks about, “deep calls to deep,” it’s calling us to go deeper.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law