John Dickson – host of Eternity‘s Undeceptions podcast – has been honoured by Hillsong Church for his part in their hit song This I Believe (The Creed), which recently “went gold” in the US after selling more than half a million copies.
Dickson, who pitched the song idea to Hillsong over seven years ago, took to Facebook to show the framed award and congratulatory messages he received from Ben Fielding and Matt Crocker (songwriters) and Steve McPherson (manager of Hillsong Music Publishing).
While Dickson has dabbled in professional music himself (as well as being an author, speaker and theologian), when he came up with the idea of setting the Apostles’ Creed to music, he approached the Hillsong Music heavyweights.
He did this by sending an offhand tweet in January, 2014, in which he tagged Hillsong:
Dear @hillsong, could your brilliant songwriters please put the Apostles’ Creed to inspiring music. Do world-Christianity a massive favour.
— John Dickson (@johnpauldickson) January 4, 2014
After Hillsong’s global worship pastor Cass Langton and co-songwriter Ben Fielding replied that they would “have a go”, the rest is music history.
One of the best outcomes of the song, according to Fielding and Dickson, is the unity it promotes across different parts of the church around the world.
“We wanted it to be embracing and translatable across all the different expressions of the Church, just as this creed has been for so many centuries,” said Fielding on the Hillsong website.
The first time Dickson heard the song, he said (also according to Hillsong’s website): “It’s not just a beautiful tune with good theology. It’s a beautiful tune with good theology that has captured the essence of the most unifying Christian statement in world history. I can well imagine, right across the spectrum of denominations, people singing this and going, ‘Wow, this is the core. This is what unites us — the Father, Son, Spirit with a focus on the work of the Son on the cross for us.’”
As the US sales show, along with the song’s popularity in many other parts of the world, this piece of music has lived up to all of these hopes.