Worship Song Theological Review

Reckless Love

Reckless love, or reckless theology?

We at Ratio Christi are more than just apologists and evangelists. We are Christians who enjoy our church families and worship services. Sometimes a worship song will raise some red flags and warrant further analysis. Read on for a Ratio Christi team member’s review of the theology of Cory Asbury’s worship song, “Reckless Love.”

Bearing witness

It is my intention to demonstrate, in a brief manner, a serious problem with a popular song called “Reckless Love.”  I think there are several problems with this song, but I want to draw attention to what I think is the most problematic part of the song: (1) the usage of the word “reckless” and; (2) the incorrect theology the song implies.  The way we think about God and worship Him matters.  The way we worship Him demonstrates our understanding of Him and bears witness to everyone else.  Worshiping God correctly matters because incorrect worship is heretical and idolatrous.

Thus, words and theology matters.  Imagine if I told you that God’s love is reckless.  Meaning, “He [God] is utterly unconcerned with the consequences of His actions with regards to His own safety, comfort, and well-being. His love isn’t crafty or slick. It’s not cunning or shrewd. In fact, all things considered, it’s quite childlike, and might I even suggest, sometimes downright ridiculous.”[1]  If I told you this about God’s love, to include perceiving God’s love as childish and downright ridiculous, then you ought to be concerned.

That definition of reckless is what Cory Asbury meant when he penned the song, “Reckless Love.”


Our mission is to equip students and faculty with reasons for following Jesus. “Thoughtful” denotes a double meaning. It is both compassionate and considerate as well as rational and reflective.

For years, radio stations and churches have been playing and singing this song as an act of worship.  Worship to a God of reckless love; a God not in the Bible or of this world.  Let’s start with the first problem: usage of the word “reckless.”

Word usage:

Musicians love to use words creatively, so they can entertain and touch people in new ways.  Think about the lyrics, “the heart wants what it wants,” by Selena Gomez.  To be honest, I do not think those lyrics are sensical; however, the lyrics are sensical if we think creatively and within the context of the song.  Thus, a likely interpretation of those lyrics is that our emotions to love, and not to love, are not in our control.

Likewise, when someone hears the song, “Reckless Love,” that person might interpret the lyrics “reckless love” as meaning, “selfless love” or even “unconditional love.”  However, that is not what the word “reckless” means, and Asbury’s definition entails he is not using a literary device (see the above definition).

Word usage matters.  Creativity is a gift from God, and Christians need to be careful to use words correctly; especially when speaking of God.


Is God’s love reckless?  Asbury claims, “He [God] is utterly unconcerned with the consequences of His actions with regards to His own safety, comfort, and well-being.”[2]  It seems hard to believe that God is unconcerned with the consequences of his actions (e.g., does God not do things for certain outcomes?), and it seems odd to t