Calling a Truce in the Worship Wars


WorshipOver the last year, one topic has arisen on more blogs than any other: proper worship. The tenor of these posts is typically aimed at how to do worship right, with the writer explaining why his/her token method of worship is THE ONLY KIND THAT WORSHIPS GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. Like so many aspects of the Faith, we’ve turned worship into a tangle of pointing fingers. Rarely do we claim any higher ground than to contend that our higher ground is loftier than someone else’s.

Yiddish speakers have a name for this: Oy Vey!

There’s no better place to start than the battle between modern worship choruses and classic hymns. Nothing will split a church faster than forcing people to take sides on which is better. Advocates of modern worship choruses tend to be younger, middle class, with less history of long-term church attendance, and a greater affinity for Third Wave and Megachurches. The Vineyard churches get a lot of press—good and bad—for being the nexus for the trends in church music today; a Vineyard moldy oldie like John Wimber’s “Isn’t He” is a classic example of a modern worship song. The Pentecostal church I attend favors this kind of music, and as the drummer on our worship team, it’s what I’m used to playing for church music.

On the other side are those who advocate the old hymns. These folks tend to be older, were raised in the church (usually in a conservative congregation) and tend to be from churches that are either wealthy/upper-middle class or dirt poor. On the Web, most of the Reformed bloggers are fans of the old hymns; they tend to be the most vocal critics of modern worship choruses, too. I grew up in the Lutheran church (and spent time in an old-fashioned AoG and modern Presbyterian church who supported the hymns) so my history is also with the hymns.

If you listen hard enough, you hear the arguments pro and con for one side or another, but I want to cut through the rhetoric and tackle the common talking points we hear on the Web.

Modern worship songs are theologically shallow.
Yep, many of them are. The hymn supporters get a point there. Unfortunately, they lose it, too. The problem? The hymns we commonly sing today are a tiny fraction of all the hymns that have ever been written. Only the best have survived the test of time. In defense of the modern worship song camp, time will have the same pruning effect on worship choruses. A hundred years from now, we may still be singing some of them. Chances are that those that will have survived will be the ones that have the deepest theological meaning—just like the old hymns.

Now this doesn’t excuse shallow lyrics and brain-dead melodies in today’s worship music, but we need to apply standards fairly. There have been many hymns that were popular in their day, but have since vanished from our Sunday repertoires because they weren’t all that deep. They played into the era’s popular music styles, corresponded to theological fads that have since passed away, or weren’t all that great to begin with. Sounds a lot like modern worship songs and the deficiencies noted by those folks who love to criticize them. Outcome? Draw.

Worship music (and the people who write it) must reflect our doctrine.
Oh really? Let’s look at the facts.

  • If we believe that the only source of revelation is Scripture, then we must oppose singing “How Great Thou Art,” “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” “This Is My Father’s World,” and a whole host of other hymns that have lyrics that support the fact that God’s creation speaks—apart from the Scriptures—attesting to His glory. If we’re part of that group of Christians who believes that it’s all going to burn one day anyway—so why not cut down the rainforests now—then these hymns must also be verboten. That’s a tough loss; a lot of people really like those hymns.
  • If we believe that Christian mysticism is just another word for apostasy, then we’ve got to cut out hymns like “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” by Catholic (uh oh, there’s another problem) mystic Bernard of Clairvaux. That puts a serious damper on Good Friday services, now doesn’t it? Clairvaux also wrote the popular hymns “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee” and “O Jesus, Joy of Loving Hearts.” Too bad. He and all the other mystic hymnwriters are out.
  • If our eschatology is not postmillennial, then we must no longer sing “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and just about any hymn that came out of The Salvation Army movement. That’s a big chunk of hymns in the 1865-1890 timeframe, too.
  • If we’re Reformed and reject books written by Arminian authors, then in order to remain consistent we should also reject hymns written by Arminians. This is particularly painful since that means all hymns by Charles Wesley have to go. Considering he wrote more than 900, that’s a big loss. Say goodbye to “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” and “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” We also have to reject “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” because not only did Wesley write it, but George Whitefield changed it so that it was no longer Scripturally accurate to the Luke 2 passage Wesley based it on (because nowhere does it say that the angels were singing.) The two fought bitterly over the change, and we can’t be supporting two Christian brothers fighting, now can we?
  • If we’re Arminian and can’t stand what Reformed hymn writers have to say, then we’re probably Dave Hunt and could care less what this blog has to say about anything anyway, nevermind my comments on hymnody.
  • If hymns written by the unconverted and apostates are out, then we need to delete “O Holy Night” from our Christmas services. The lyricist was a Catholic who later renounced Christianity and became a Marxist, while the music was written by a Jewish composer. That song contains political overtones, too, by dealing with the then current issue of slavery. We all know that politics and hymnody should never mix.
  • If we oppose Catholic theology, then besides all the Bernard of Clairvaux hymns we must stop singing, scratch everything written before the Protestant Reformation. Wow, that’s a lot of hymns we need to chuck!

At issue here is that the same people who are unwilling to stop singing the hymns listed above are the same people who rant and rave against writers, pastors, and whomever doesn’t toe their doctrinal party line. That’s profoundly hypocritical no matter how we look at it. It’s even worse when we apply those filtering criteria to modern worship songs and their writers, while giving the hymns a pass. Yet we seem to do it all the time. Call it just another case of selective memory on the part of Evangelicals. Just be consistent—that’s all I’m asking for here. If we can’t be, then we need to stop judging other houses because we can’t get our own in order.

Too many of today’s worship songs sound like nothing more than “God is my boyfriend” songs.
You know what I mean, the “I love you, I love you, I love you” kinds of worship choruses that never point out who the “you” is. We could be singing them to our sweetheart or to God…who knows?

This is a favorite argument among hymn supporters and there’s a legitimate beef there. However, my experience is the amount of these kinds of worship choruses is highly overinflated by those who oppose them. I looked through all the worship choruses I’ve played in church over the span of three years and only one or two fit this accusation. If you ask me, this argument is a non-starter.

If there’s a legitimate beef against “God is my boyfriend” worship music, it’s actually the modern worship chorus fans who have a better case against the hymn supporters. Any perusal of hymns written in the hundred years between 1800 and 1900 shows a fascinating tendency of hymn writers of that era to portray an overly feminized Jesus who resembles a sort of sensitive 1980’s man. Hymns like “Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling,” “In the Garden,” and “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior” were often criticized in their day by clergy who believed they were softening the manliness of Christ. When compared with hymns that came a hundred years before them, it’s difficult to argue against that criticism. Later Church historians can point to these and other hymns of their day as one of the sources for the long-term feminizing effect on the Church in this country, a problem cited by many of the same people who sing those very hymns and defend them tooth and nail.

Our worship needs to be Scripturally based.
Do we really believe this? I mean truly? If so, where are the loud crashing cymbals, tambourines, and dancers?

Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!
—Psalms 150:1-6 ESV

Some would argue that this doesn’t represent a New Testament worship sensibility. However, if you do worship-related keyword searches on the New Testament, there’s not a single Scripture that would imply that the early Church negated psalms like Psalm 150 above in order to dial down to some different form of worship. The early Church worshiped in the temple, right? Would that worship not include Psalm 150 styles of worship? Unlikely.

I hear far too many Christians negating the kind of worship styles that their brothers in Christ might use. Whenever I hear some stone-faced believer saying that his church doesn’t provide “entertaining worship,” I look at Psalm 150 and ask myself how it would be possible for those worshiping with trumpets, dance, cymbals, tambourines, stringed instruments and pipes not to find that stirring!

True worship involves ________.
That’s a pretty big blank. Some things that can fill that blank include:
* Our minds
* Our emotions
* Our cultural identities
* Our confession before God
* Our personal histories

No matter what we put in that blank, true worship involves our whole man, driven by the Holy Spirit alone. When we read this oft-quoted passage

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
—John 4:23-24 ESV

we use it to justify our particular form of worship without asking if it means something totally different. Truthfully, worship that is done in spirit and in truth is worship that proceeds from the Holy Spirit alone. The Holy Spirit is the one who enables us to know God, and knowing God is what leads to true worship. Jesus’ rebuke of the woman at the well for discussing the means by which people worship is the whole point here. The focus is not on externals, yet so often this is all we can note when we hold our own ways of worshiping up as the only way, while deriding those who worship in ways we don’t understand.

Is it possible to worship the wrong way? I believe it is. Like I’ve said a trillion times here, discernment is always needed. The Holy Spirit will not guide true worshipers into worship that is not true. But the Spirit is not so concerned with the cultural trappings, which is why a lot of us are going to be shocked when we get to heaven and see forms of worship that are not familiar to us culturally. Our worship wars are based on cultural trappings more than anything, and that’s too bad because that’s a very narrow slice of reality that we bring to worship. The true worshiper of God is content in all worship environments that are driven by the Holy Spirit. Such a worshiper is equally at home with an a cappella choir, an amplified worship band, a pulse-pounding black gospel group, a classical quartet, or any other musical expression that is fueled by the Holy Spirit.

Worship isn’t just about music, but you would think it was all that matters from all the furor over its musical aspect. I’ve talked only about music in this post, but all of worship incorporates this same common sense. Worshipers with hearts focused on God, worshiping by the Spirit, can sing (and dance) to any kind of music and God will be pleased with their offering.

Why do we strain so hard to define what is appropriate? We want to honor God. We want to do the right thing. But the right thing is focusing more on God and less on our methods.

22 thoughts on “Calling a Truce in the Worship Wars

  1. The Griggs Gallery

    I thank God that I have found this blog.
    I have been in a “dry time” for awhile, which is changing, but you are expressing the EXACT things the Lord has been laying on my heart for the last three years. With two little ones at home, it is difficult for me to post long intelligent comments, (on the other hand, I speak a mean toddlerese) but I so enjoy the posts I read here. I have a link on my blog to this one described by “iron sharpening iron”. Thank you.

  2. Gaddabout

    I remember the first time my dad lectured me about the “heathen” beat in my CCM. The funny thing is I think was listening to Steve Camp! And I remember beating my dad up over his Gaither music, which employed much of the same 4/4 beat. His point, I think, was you couldn’t “dirty dance” to Gaither music. Whatever. I’m a drummer. I don’t dance.

    I was sitting down with my father last week when he popped in one of his many Gaither family reunion CDs and was struck not only by the beauty of the music, but the sincere worship that was taking place on stage and in the audience. I had always looked at it as a performance type of worship — and some of it is strictly vocal gymnastics — but I could really see hearts of worship there, too. It was beautiful, and I realized I was being drawn in to this music I once criticized. Turns out I was probably more influenced by my rebellion than I was the music or the performers.

    I’m finding discernment is blinded by our pride most often when we are looking at other forms of worship.

  3. Ken Fields


    I was with you until you brought dancing into the discussion!!!

    Seriously, though, thank you for your thoughtful insights on this subject. I am going to link to this one…even though, as a Reformed Baptist, my favorite hymn is Wesley’s “And Can It Be?”

    PS — How can you be Reformed and be a drummer, too??!!

  4. shelli

    I must say, I am amazed at this blog. This is the 4th post I’ve had the pleasure of reading, courtesy of a friend who posted a link to me. They have resonated in me deeply. Particularly this last one.

    I enjoy both types of worship music tremendously, always have. It has saddened me to watch the division in the body of Christ over worship. I claim no denomination. I was raised Nazarene, but have attended a wide veriety of churches over the years. About 2 months ago I was hired to be the nursery director of a lovely Methodist church, which is a denomination I had not yet experienced. They have a “blended” service option. I was so excited! It was the first time I had seen anything like it. To me, clinging to only the one or the other worship style seems to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater mentality.

    Hmm, I say all that to say this. You didn’t just hit the nail on the head, brother, you punched it through the wall. I’ve seen you address the division in the body of Christ several times now, which is what I see as a huge spiritual issue, one far greater than some of the petty theological hairsplitting that goes on ad nauseum. Thank you for your words.

  5. I recently heard about a very skilled drummer who goes to a Baptist church. He’s wanted to use his gift there for years, but they do not allow drums in worship. Ironically, they play Christian “rock” by bands like Third Day over the loudspeakers of the church after the service is over. He can’t understand that disconnect. Frankly, neither can I.

    I don’t understand why we are so amazingly inconsistent. More than anything, that’s what this post is about. It seems we want to have our cake and eat it, too, but we don’t see how this is inconsistent with our theology. We get so adamant about some things and let others slide, never seeing how silly our practice looks.

    There are many great Christian authors and writers I admire who have said crazy things in this regard. David Wilkerson (of The Cross & the Switchblade fame) once wrote that Christians should never listen to music (much less sing a hymn) that’s in a minor key because minor keys are associated with negativity. I guess by that measure, when God was creating music, He goofed by allowing minor keys to exist!

    At the Presbyterian church I was a member of (and where RC Sproul, Sr. once pastored), two young guys who were exceedingly accomplished on classical guitar, did a duet during the offertory. It was amazingly good. But as I sat there, I had to laugh because they fooled that entire congregation. They’d taken a song by the rock band Rush, “The Trees”, and gone beyond the classical guitar intro in the song, turning the entire thing into a classical piece. It was stunning. Had they redeemed it? I absolutely think so. Others here might quibble, but there was no doubt that the congregation was blessed by their duet, and that they rendered up their gift to God by using their skills to bless others.

    In Reformed circles, we talk about common grace, but we rarely allow that concept to be applied to music. I don’t know why. Nor do I know why special grace is not given to other worship-related ideas. I think we’re too stuck on what we like rather than on what pleases God.

  6. Ken,

    I had a vision on a city rooftop one time that involved a sheet lowered down from the sky containing many musical instruments. Drums, electric guitars, electric keyboards—all manner of instrument was in that sheet.

    Or something like that. 😉

    Seriously, instruments have no inherent goodness or badness. It’s all in how they are used. There is no difference between the percussion instruments used in an orchestra playing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” which would be acceptable in nearly any church, and the percussion instruments I use on Sunday. They all have a neutral value.

    Like Jesus said, it’s not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out of his inner man. With the same tongue we can praise God and insult our brother. It’s all how we use God’s gifts.

  7. Steve B

    I had a vision on a city rooftop one time that involved a sheet lowered down from the sky containing many musical instruments. Drums, electric guitars, electric keyboards—all manner of instrument was in that sheet.
    You had that one also?

    I guess I’m lucky I’m at a church that allows all form of musical expression to be played. In our worship service we can do a traditional hymn then hit on a Cristian ballet then sing a modern piece by Casting Crows. I’ve never felt the Holy Spirit flow through me then when I sing the music that G-d inspired the composer to write.

    BTW, I did get great naps when I was a member of the Catholic Church during the “music” time. I guess being so stuck in tradition that people have a hard time connecting and wanting to stay (and I was Catholic until 2 years ago). At 36 I needed to be elsewhere.

  8. Van Edwards

    I appreciate your comments. Obviously, you don’t exactly agree with a certain series on worship that was published recently.
    However, I don’t think everyone on the “conservative” side (I don’t know what else to call it) would agree with your potrayal as far as scriptural basis, author’s qualifications, etc.

    Some people do sing “popular” choruses that will fade away, but I would hope that content would rule over popularity. I saw a church service on TV a couple of weeks ago where they were singing, “Lean On Me”. Yikes.

    While the majority of “warriors” plant themselves on either side of the line, there are those who worship in a way that, while employing the best of both worlds, would probably also offend members of both parties as well.

    I grew up in a VERY conservative Baptist Church in South Georgia. Piano, Organ, Hymnbook – and that was it. Once, while listening to Michael W. Smith in my room, my mom remarked that there was no way he could be a Christian with music like that.
    In college, I was shocked, but pleasantly surprised to find guitars being used at the Campus Crusade meetings. We sang the popular choruses. Interestingly enough, they’re the same songs that every “Christian artist” has recorded at least once in the past three years.

    The church I attend now has drums, guitars, bass, piano and we sing hymns to this arrangement. Our worship director has taken a cue from the folks at Indelible Grace to “modernize” some of the old hymns. The singing is interspersed with scripture readings.

    I do believe that worship should be with our minds as well as our hearts. But I don’t believe that worship is confined to the 30 minutes prior to the pastor’s message. Working in the yard can be an act of worship. Blogging can be an act of worship. But group worship should be “in concert.” The body of Christ worshipping together in a local assembly should bind them closer together. The form of worship should be such that the majority can truly worship together. We had our own minor scuffle about worship in our church. Some people left, which was unfortunate. But I think some of the rough edges had to be smoothed out. The drum presence was lessened, but not eliminated. There are no feature solos to distract from the True Object of worship. Choruses are used sparingly.

    I do agree that culture plays a big role in this “war”.
    On one particular Sunday, the morning service included a young Indian woman who sangs songs backed by traditional Indian instruments. They were hymns of praise to God, but the only place I had heard the instrumentation before was on Beatles albums or other popular artists who had found “enlightenment” in eastern culture. These instruments were “redeemed” to me.
    That night we turned our evening service over to a church from the inner city with an 8-person choir. Even without microphones, they had to be the loudest God-worshippers I had ever heard. I was running the sound board and I could have turned it off and it wouldn’t have mattered. But it was amazing to hear. After the service, I saw our associate pastor shaking his head. I asked him what was up. He said, “Heaven is going to be alot different than what we think it should be.”
    We can’t please everybody, but heaven help us if we’re not doing it to please God.

  9. Van,

    Thanks for the thoughts.

    I most certainly agree on the issue of when worship occurs. There are many ways to worship that aren’t what we normally think.

    If there is one trend I really hate in churches today it’s that we’ve eliminated the quiet time that occurs before the service starts. In too many churches people are yacking and yacking even into the start of worship. I honestly think that we should have a quiet zone of fifteen minutes before the worship starts. If people want to gab, they can take it someplace other than the sanctuary. Silence should be a part of worship, too.

  10. Jason Coker

    nice post dan! i really agree with your last comment about silence by the way. silence can be such a powerful tool in a world of tremendous noise.

    kudos too on your “objects aren’t bad” remark in another comment. thousands of years have passed since moses wrote genesis and yet we still haven’t de-mystified the created world. superstition abounds.

    God bless!

  11. john tindor

    Hi Dan,
    Another good post. There is a lot of shallow, mushy, “God is my boyfriend” type music being produced today. But, theologically incorrect worship music has never been lacking in the church, in one form or another. The trend that you noted from the nineteenth century leaning toward the worship of a feminized Jesus (as if that were possible) is not hard to find in the 21st century either. Few modern worship songs reveal a Christ who is absolutely compelling in any way. But maybe only a small percentage of church songs through the ages have ever accomplished that.
    One of the earlier passages found in the Bible concerning worship reads: And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” This passage refers of course to the command from God to Abraham to take his son of promise, Isaac, up on the mountain and offer him as a burnt offering. (Gen.22) To me, this is pretty close to the highest act of worship that a person could perform, not requiring music or accompaniment, but rather complete obedience, faith, and selflessness.
    Also, in fairness to the multitude of brothers and sisters worldwide who will never be able to set foot in one of our climate controlled and fully electrified sanctuaries, I would like to add that I don’t think God pays as much attention to the production aspect of our “worship” as He does to the heart condition of the worshipper. There is no single music style that God respects above all the others. If there was, He would have been clear about that in the scriptures.
    I am glad to be able to worship God in many settings and with many and diverse believers, and to do so to the tunes of a variety of genre’s of music. But Dan, you touched my heart with your mention of “O sacred head now wounded”. I have a copy of the words of that hymn pasted to the inside cover of my bible. That is one that I cannot sing without tears.

  12. Warren

    If we believe that the only source of revelation is Scripture, then we must oppose singing “How Great Thou Art,” “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” “This Is My Father’s World,” and a whole host of other hymns that have lyrics that support the fact that God’s creation speaks—apart from the Scriptures—attesting to His glory. If we’re part of that group of Christians who believes that it’s all going to burn one day anyway—so why not cut down the rainforests now—then these hymns must also be verboten. That’s a tough loss; a lot of people really like those hymns.


    Christ did say as he was coming into Jerusalem that if He was not praised that the stones would cry out 🙂

    I agree with you that if we really stuck to what we said about scriptural basis we’d all be exclusive plasmodists, and that we’d all have to have bands performing with the singing. I think the real point of worshipping God in song, prayer, preaching, and reading His word is that we remember that we’re worshipping GOD! Getting caught up in petty arguments over whether or not a particular style of music is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ detracts from our ability to pour our hearts into our worship. I love many of the old hymns (when the tune is singable), and I love a lot of the newer ‘praise songs’ and ‘worship choruses’. But I don’t really see how a chorus like ‘I love you Lord’ is any different from ‘The Doxology’.

    I am also convinced that if we were to leave our western churches and go to an Indian, Kenyan, Chinese, or Russian service we would see a great difference in musical and lyrical style. Other cultures have different musical theories than ou own. It’s all based on the same physics, but other regions picked different places to start their scales.

    We need to get over ourselves and praise God He’s alowing us to praise Him!

  13. shelli

    “We need to get over ourselves and praise God He’s allowing us to praise Him!”

    Worship is an intimate act of the heart for our Lord. Arguing about who is right and wrong in worship is rather obviously the plank and the speck again. If our focus is the Lord, how is it we worry so much about what others are doing to praise Him? It reminds me of my boys tattling on one another about who had their eyes open during prayer.

  14. Kent Brandenburg

    I came to this article hopeful that some Scriptural evidence might be given, but I found very little. Very, very little. You could have dealt with a lot, but you didn’t. You sound like someone who simply wishes to defend something to which he is allured, posing like someone attempting to be balanced. And I mean it; I really tried.

  15. Kent,

    Thanks for visiting.

    I purposefully kept the scriptural citations to a minimum for two reasons:

    1. Both sides of the worship wars cite Scripture to support their contentions. The problem there is that neither side is listening to the Scriptures the opposite side is offering. Heaping more Scriptures on the pile is not going to make a difference if people refuse to hear them.

    2. Few topics encompass the whole of Scripture more than worship does. You can’t dole out a few Scriptures here and there and make a point on a topic that spans the entirety of Scripture! The opposing camps do this with alarming ease and like I noted above, if they are unwilling to listening to the other side, tossing more verses at the issue is NOT going to solve the problem if the whole counsel of Scripture is not taken into account.

    So many problems we have in Christianity are not due to a lack of Scriptural citations, but the hardness of the human heart to the truths found there and in the entirety of the Bible. I’m not going to be able to solve that issue here.

    What I am posting here is an appeal to common sense. God gave us brains for a reason. This is why I’m pointing out the logical inconsistencies on both sides using their very own arguments (which they claim they base on Scripture) to prove that they are guilty of the very same problems they accuse the other side of.

    Most Christian can find the truth if they wish to humble themselves before the Lord and His word to us. But if people aren’t willing to do that because they have some culturally-ingrained blindness that makes it impossible to see, then you have to take a different route. That is what I’ve done with this post.

    If you hang around here long enough you will see that the posts I put up will sometimes be loaded to the max with Scriptures and sometimes they won’t. In those cases that there’s not truckloads of citations, I’m either talking to people who should know the Scriptures behind what I am saying, or I’m appealing to logical consistency. Jesus didn’t always cite an OT Scripture for everything He said and did, but He stayed true to the whole counsel of Scripture. Whether I cite a lot of Scripture or not, that is always what I have as an undergirding to anything I write here.

    I hope that helps.

  16. HeavyDluxe


    Thanks for the nice, insightful blog entry. For my part, I was born/raised Methodist, spent my young adult years in the Assembly of God, and now attend a (we’ll say, ‘mildly’) Reformed Bible church.

    I’ve been reading a copy of “Give Praise to God”, a tribute book for James Boice written by a lot of the new Reform people and focused on reclaiming regulative, Biblical worship in the modern church. As I’ve been reading it, I’ve posted little ‘thoughts’ on my blog that sound a lot like your thoughts.

    These two, here and here, in particular.

    Anyway… Just a shout out from a similarly-minded soul!

    In Christ – Dluxe

  17. Anonymous

    Interesting and something I’ve wondered about for years. I love the traditional hymns, the Bach chorales, and the peaceful meditation they bring. I’ve tried and tried to make myself listen to Contemporary Christian music, but overall I just don’t like it, other than an occasional song. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in the late 60’s/early 70’s and I can’t separate the whole drug culture mindset from the music. And I liked rock! Jack Black told his students in the movie “School of Rock” that rock music is all about sticking it to “the man” and that gives me pause to put Christian lyrics to it. I can’t separate the sex, drugs, rock n’ roll mentality from the music, and so have trouble listening to it in the context of worship.
    That said, I don’t think we need to throw out the baby with the bath water, which I fear happens too often on both sides. Balance needs to be the key. I know several churches that use nothing but traditional hymns, but others that feed their flocks a steady diet of only praise bands/rock tunes. I think we can’t shy away completely from the new, but there is such a wealth of beautiful church music from years past, we also need to exercise caution lest we discount all that because it isn’t trendy and hip.

  18. Dan McGowan

    Wow – more wonderful thoughts to consider… glad to have stumbled upon this blog! I’ve linke to you from mine (

    Dan McGowan

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