Before you think this is going to be a diatribe against Contemporary Christian Music and radio, sorry to disappoint, you’re reading the wrong blog.
Attend a biblically-solid Christian conference and many things will encourage you. Powerful preaching, rich fellowship and robust congregational singing. At different events such as T4G, Shepherds’ Conference, Sing!, Ekklesia, or my own church’s Steadfast Conference, what often strikes people is not the caliber of musicianship, but the glorious sound of voices exuberantly working together to drown out the musicians. Some events have full orchestras and bands, while others simply have a piano.… Continue reading
The psalm is a hymn that is sung to an instrument, either a lyre or a psaltery. According to the spiritual or analogical sense, the poem is a contemplation of truth that happens not only in the mind but also in the music as with measured harmony. The psalm denotes actions that are done according to right reason; so as one sings he follows the way of an effective life; he sings who follows a life of contemplation.
Didymus the Blind (ca. 313–398 AD) was an Alexandrian exegete whom Jerome admired. Origen influenced Didymus in his exegesis and theology. Origen interpreted, taught, and preached from the Psalter’s headings.… Continue reading
This past Sunday we had a wonderful time of worship together at our little church in Bakersfield. Both morning and evening services were beautiful and I couldn’t help but express thanks to God as I drove home. I kept thinking how fortunate I was that God allowed me to be part of this church, but I also kept thinking how amazing it is that we are even allowed to worship the Lord. When you think about it, we have no right to come before a Holy God to offer our thanks. Who are we? He doesn’t need our feeble attempts at praise.… Continue reading
This weekend is the 498th anniversary of Martin Luther’s infamous act of nailing the 95 theses to the Wittenberg Door. Rather than celebrating Halloween, many Christians will recognize Reformation Day this Oct. 31. On Sunday, Protestants around the globe will commemorate the rather simple but bold act of a solitary man, taking a stand against the corruption of the Roman Catholic Church. Many congregations will sing the “Battle Hymn of the Reformation”, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott; or as English speakers know it, A mighty fortress is our God.
Recently, I had a visitor to our church comment, “You guys sing a lot of hymns, you need to get with the program because young people don’t like that stuff.” I could have been offended by the comment (which I think this gentleman was trying to do), but I thought to myself, “actually, as a congregation that sings hymns we stand in line with the historic program of the Church, and I’m good with that” (and as an aside, we have a lot of young people in our church I think would take offense at his comment).… Continue reading
I was recently talking to a friend who expressed frustration over Sunday mornings in his church. It wasn’t that he had a problem doctrinally, struggled with the leadership or direction of the church. He loves his church, absolutely LOVES his church. Things are excellent except for one subtle reoccurring foible. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s alone in his discontent. The preaching in many churches may be biblical and exposited well; the music may direct your heart towards a high view of God, and the fellowship is sweet. However, there’s that one awkward moment in the service, and in my friends case, it was happening on a weekly basis.… Continue reading