Psalms and Hymns: Preach the Psalm Headings

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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.[1]

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

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Build a GREAT music ministry

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resizedimage600269-Music-MinistryThis 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

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Guarding the Deposit of Hymnody

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The congregation of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, pastored by Mark Dever, is known for its robust hymn singing.

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.… Continue reading

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Worship on-point with PowerPoint

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church-projector-1170x429I 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

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Lattes and Hymnals

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101310I read a lot of publications that speak to musical expressions of worship. Some, from sources I respect and learn a great deal from; while others make me cringe, as they extol everything from a viewpoint exactly contrary to what I believe is a Biblical understanding of worship. I learn from them, but sometimes their biggest benefit is that they drive me to my knees in prayer. However, one thing I hear from both sides is that hymnbooks are on the way out of the pew (if pews still even exist). Some rejoice over this, saying that the church is progressing, while others lament what has happened in the last 20-30 years to music in the church.… Continue reading

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