Keyboard sample mp3 by my friend and colleague Rique Pantoja, adjunct professor in our Music in Worship program at Biola University. This piece is the first audio example in the Worship Improv for Singers & Instrumentalists Improv book (see category). The book contains about another 150 mp3s.
When Colossians 1:28 and 3:16 are compared, it is quite clear that (at the minimum) some of our songs sung in church should have an admonishing/teaching function, and that the role of the pastor and head musician, in Paul’s view, would likely be similar. Examine the evidence yourself, and see chapter 2 of The New Worship PowerPoints category (listed here) for more detailed argument.
A theological discussion in a Protestant Evangelical classroom of Catholic hymns & Gregorian Chant. Why Evangelicals and Protestants in general tend to embrace whole-heartedly many of them and reject others. Revised 2.13.2013.
Short introduction. Luther & Calvin compared on music & the church. Luther: encourages poets to write original hymn lyrics – big mouth, outspoken, influential. Calvin: only scripture is worthy to be sung in church services – also influential. The importance of the Geneva Psalmer, a gigantic publishing enterprise by Calvinists.
Isaac Watts, Father of English Hymnology. Fought for the acceptance of original hymn lyrics in Calvinistic England when only scripture itself was considered acceptable in church services. Meets resistance. After his death, a cultural reversal, a changed landscape emerges.
The Wesley brothers, Charles (writer of 7000 hymns!), John (preacher/ publisher/translator), were simply indefatigable. Used by God to change 18thC England. Forced to work outside the established church. Hymn examples: theological content, leanings. (I put a lot of effort into this PowerPoint – interesting details)
Fanny Crosby, blind, phenomenal memory! 19thC writer of 8000 gospel songs (3000 published). Goal: to win a million souls for Christ. Famous and poor (find out why). Adored by average Americans, loved by 5 presidents. Rescue mission ministry. I see tears in my student’s eyes when we talk about this amazing woman. Wrote Blessed Assurance, To God be the Glory.
Four ways worship must relate to culture: transculturally, crossculturally, contextually, counterculturally. Discussion of hymns vs choruses.
Thumb-nail sketch of history of christian hymnody (Protestant perspective). Developing criteria for evaluating songs. How to be effective. A final admonition.
We often open class this way with some scripture memorization. The students seem to like the technique and stay focused.