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Van Cliburn pianist talks music in worship

World Magazine interviews pianist Alex McDonald. Here’s a relevant snippet:

In modern churches, we have a graven image of what the experience of God ought to be like, and we want our music to simulate that experience in us. It could be an organ or a praise team—either can create a God experience that may not have any of God in it at all. But people will feel like they’ve worshipped. And because the existential experience of God is more important to us than the [actual] experience of God, we’re satisfied—wrongly, I would add. If it feels impossible to worship God through styles that are uncomfortable to us, it’s because we’re asking the music to do for us what is actually an issue of the heart. The problem with the “worship wars” is that they’ve hidden the real issue: We are in love with ourselves, and we blame the music.

WORLD | Yeast in the dough | Arsenio Orteza | June 29, 2013.

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Cutlure, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and three children.

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