Tag Archives: art

Early Church Hymns

Early Church Hymns

This entry is part 9 of 14 in the series The Hymnody of the Christian Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The hymnody of the early church was naturally an extension of Hebrew hymnody.1 Therefore, we can expect the hymnody of the early church to have the same general characteristics of Hebrew hymns: Early church hymns were word-centered, modest, and distinct, and they continued to nurture the forms they inherited from Jewish worship. The only change would… Continue Reading

The Cultivation of Form

The Cultivation of Form

This entry is part 7 of 14 in the series The Hymnody of the Christian Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

On the wall in my study I have three portraits. All three are portraits of theologians who were also heavily involved with music. They are Martin Luther, J.S. Bach, and Isaac Watts. All three men fought their battles in defense of high standards for worship music. All three had their share of controversy. And all… Continue Reading

Musical Form in Christian Hymnody

This entry is part 5 of 14 in the series The Hymnody of the Christian Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Musical form shapes content in very similar ways to poetic form, yet it is a bit more abstract and thus considerably more difficult to readily recognize. But because music communicates by mimicking natural human expression, anyone can discern the basic meaning of music by simply listening closely and asking a few penetrating questions. Music contains… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 7

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 7

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If God does indeed imbue creation with his own value judgments, we are obligated to order our loves in analogy to his. If what I’m arguing is true, we are blameworthy, not only when we believe mistakenly (and thereby do not conform to God’s knowledge of himself or of his creation), but also when we… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 1

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 1

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Characteristic of our age is the wholehearted embrace of relativisms; I speak of relativisms (in the plural) because we can consider relativism from several (interrelated) perspectives. I often make use of a tripartite conception of man (as mind, will, and emotion) to classify some important relativistic views. If relativism is applied to mind, we relinquish… Continue Reading

Isn't there any room for preference?

We recently received an excellent question submitted through the “Article Suggestions” module in the right column of this site: “What areas of aesthetics are preferences that are relative to individuals (if any)?” I recently argued in a post on this site (from a chapter in Sound Worship) that it is the responsibility of Christians to… Continue Reading

Shall We Dance?

Shall We Dance?

When discussing what are or are not acceptable elements for worship, some will raise the issue of dancing. “David danced before the Lord, didn’t he?” Here are just some sketches of thoughts about this issue: 1. Whatever “dancing” is in the Old Testament, it is nowhere found in the New Testament, so a strict observance… Continue Reading

Understanding Conservative Christianity

Understanding Conservative Christianity

Part 1: Wherefore the Discussion? Printable Part 2: The Integrity of the Gospel Printable Part 3: All the Counsel of God Printable Part 4: The Rejection of Crisis Printable Part 5: The Rejection of Innovation Printable Part 6: The Religious Affections Printable Part 7: Culture and Tradition Printable Part 7 (Still): A Digression Printable Part… Continue Reading

Correcting Categories, Part 8 – Music and Emotion in the Church

Correcting Categories, Part 8 – Music and Emotion in the Church

A Radical Change Protestants have historically been suspect of Dionysian forms of music, especially in sacred contexts, because they recognized that spiritual life resides in the affections and not in the physical feelings. They did not want to stimulate artificial experiences of the senses but rather nurture biblical affections through the mind and spirit. Presbyterians,… Continue Reading

Correcting Categories, Part 7 – The Nature of Pop

Correcting Categories, Part 7 – The Nature of Pop

My goal in this series is to help believers apply the Bible to their musical choices in life and worship. My contention is, however, that believers today approach the issue of musical choices with certain errant foundational presuppositions that need to be corrected before they can rightly apply the Bible in this area. So my… Continue Reading

Correcting Categories, Part 2 – Emotional Metaphor

Correcting Categories, Part 2 – Emotional Metaphor

My goal in this series is to help believers apply the Bible to their musical choices in life and worship. My contention is, however, that believers today approach the issue of musical choices with certain errant foundational presuppositions that need to be corrected before they can rightly apply the Bible in this area. So my… Continue Reading