Archive for the ‘Doxology’ Category
At the risk of being trampled by the ireful in the latest slanging match over rap and hip-hop, I wonder if I might interject? It seems to me, watching from a distance and not trying to read every contribution, that the debate quickly escalates into absolute and swingeing declarations that fail to take account of the various issues that ought to come into play. I may be wrong, but I hope I can lob a few thoughts into the debate.
I suggest that there are at least three questions that ought to be asked in assessing not just rap and hip-hop but other musical genres and forms.
First, and most generically, in what ways can a Christian appreciate, enjoy and embrace either a form or genre of music in and of itself, or a particular instance of that form?
Second, and a little more narrowly, to what extent is a certain form or genre an appropriate vehicle for the communication of distinctively Christian truth?
Third, and most specifically, is this question: is a certain form or genre a legitimate and appropriate means for the corporate worship of the gathered church?
Read the explanations at Reformation21.
This day was the best that I have seen since I came to England. . . . After Dr. Twisse had begun with a brief prayer, Mr. Marshall prayed largely two hours, most divinely, confessing the sins of the members of the Assembly, in a wonderful, passionate, and prudent way. Afterwards, Mr. Arrowsmith preached an hour, then a psalm; thereafter, Mr. Vines prayed near two hours, and Mr. Palmer preached an hour, and Mr. Seaman prayed nearly two hours, then a psalm. After this, Mr. Henderson brought about a sweet discussion of the heated disputes confessed in the assembly, and other seen faults to be remedied. . . . Dr. Twisse closed with a short prayer and blessing.
Read some lessions from Robert Baillie’s experiences at Reformation21.
David Murray passes on from David Clarkson twelve reasons why public worship is better than private worship:
1. The Lord is more glorified by public worship than private.
2. There is more of the Lord’s presence in public worship than in private.
3. God manifests himself more clearly in public worship than in private.
4. There is more spiritual advantage in the use of public worship.
5. Public worship is more edifying than private.
6. Public worship is a better security against apostasy than private.
7. The Lord works his greatest works in public worship.
8. Public worship is the nearest resemblance of heaven.
9. The most renowned servants of God have preferred public worship before private.
10. Public worship is the best means for procuring the greatest mercies, and preventing and removing the greatest judgments.
11. The precious blood of Christ is most interested in public worship.
12. The promises of God are given more to public worship than to private.
Interesting. Worth bearing in mind that this is no argument against private worship, rather fairly typical Puritan reasoning for the priority of public worship.
I posted this on “The Great God Entertainment” by A. W. Tozer over at Reformation21. It’s a stonker.
Responding to an article in which the author claimed that Easter prevents his being a Sabbatarian, Iain D. Campbell at Reformation21 responds graciously with a piece on precisely why Easter makes him hold to a Lord’s day, concluding:
This has become something of a test case for interpreters and theologians, but I still feel obliged to argue for the abiding moral authority of all ten commandments; our point of departure is that the law is ordained by God, and recast in a new form in the new covenant era, as the law is now engraved onto new hearts by God’s Spirit. After all, that is what the Old Testament anticipated in Jeremiah 31:33: ‘I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts’.
It seems to me that the position that bests suits the biblical evidence is precisely that of the Westminster Confession of Faith, that the Sabbath of Sinai becomes the Lord’s Day of the resurrection, joyfully set apart by God’s people as their day of special witness and corporate worship. If we deregulate our time and make times of worship according to our own minds and consciences, we descend into the worst form of subjectivism and indiscipline in our Christian lives.
Christ deserves much more. He is our Lord. He is Lord of the Sabbath. He is Lord of all our days. Let us observe the rest he offers and the time for worship and devotion which he gives, that all our days shall be spent in happy service for him until he comes and brings the final Sabbath rest with him.
I am teaching through this topic in the church in Crawley at present, and – while I would doubtless have some slightly different nuances to Iain – I think we arrive at substantially the same place. Read all Iain’s brief piece here.
Over at Reformation21, some thoughts on public worship as it relates to our singing:
The New Testament data with regard to singing in the worship of the church is, to put it bluntly, sparse. On the one hand, it seems strange that an issue which excited so little attention in the early church should be the sphere of so many of the worship wars which have erupted in recent years. On the other, perhaps it is precisely because the instruction is sparse and simple that we feel we have a right or even a need to develop our own principles and practice. . . .
I hope that these few thoughts will at least stimulate us to consider once again and more carefully, the hows, whys and wherefores of our sung worship, lifting up heart and voice in the right way and for the right reason, glorifying God and doing good to men as we sing a new song to the Lord.
Read it all if you’re interested.
Lewis Allen with some helpful and balanced transparency on the role of our emotions in worship:
There’s no real embarrassment in expressing a heart-reaction to the Saviour’s love. We might, one day, realise that we’ve expressed our live to Him so little. Now that would be more than an embarrassment.