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The Law of Confession, Part 1

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2009 1 Feb
The Law of Confession, Part 1
Sounds like … high-caliber contemporary gospel—an urban and classic blend that recalls influences as varied as Kirk Franklin, Richard Smallwood, and the Tri-City Singers.At a glance … what promises to be a conceptual recording about the power of declaring God's promises over one's life ends up taking a reductionist view of Scripture.Track ListingThe Word of the LordBack II EdenIntroThe Law of ConfessionThe Blessing Is on YouWord of My PowerThe Blessing of AbrahamCitizens of the KingdomLet the Word Do the WorkLet the Word Do the Work (Reprise)I've Got SomethingHappy Being MeGravitasThere Is a King in You

Like gospel superstar Kirk Franklin, Donald Lawrence—the award-winning producer partly responsible for the comeback of the legendary Clark Sisters in 2007—delegates singing duties to The Co., a talented ensemble of vocalists with serious rapport in gospel. On Lawrence's second release, they're all in top form here, carrying the choral lines with the cleanness and zest expected of Lawrence, who mostly limits himself to interjecting motivational adlibs over his slick, horn-heavy brand of contemporary gospel.

However, the album's execution and sound are deterred by its messages. In the introduction, Lawrence establishes the premise for the recording by saying, "There is a spiritual law for confession: you just say what God has already said." In other words, declare God's Word over your life and let it carry you through.

That's a great truth to live by. (The album is inspired by a book written by Bill Winston and was even recorded at Living Word Christian Center in Chicago where he pastors.) However, Lawrence takes a reductionist approach to the spiritual truth's application. "If you start confessing, you will start possessing," proclaims Lawrence in "Let the Word Do the Work," as he goes through a laundry list of material blessings that await those who speak the Word.

Much of The Law of Confession is chock-full of similar mantras. Lawrence shouts, "Debt cancelling!" in "The Blessing Is on You," a rousing ballad that motivates congregants to ignore the recession and pursue a life of wealth. It's a retooled version of name-it-and-claim-it gospel. In fact, outside of fiscal grandstanding and the occasional nod to the Giver of all good gifts, Lawrence makes little if any spiritual sense of the times we live in.

In the album's closing moments, listeners get a clue as to who is doing most of the talking on this album. With the fervor of a televangelist, Lawrence says, "…Donald Lawrence came here to tell you, 'There is a king in you.'"

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.