Tag Archives: Articles on Music

How does music mean?

How does music mean?

One of the most difficult matters to explain when dealing with issues of music in worship is how music communicates. I think most people intuitively understand that music communicates, but they have a hard time understanding how it does. Here is an excerpt from Sound Worship that succinctly summarizes how I explain it: Music is a medium of communication.… Continue Reading

Why Do We Sing in Worship?

Why Do We Sing in Worship?

This is a sermon I preached yesterday in our church on the purpose of music in worship. This is probably the sermon I most commonly preach when I’m asked to speak in other churches, and it provides the most succinct summary of my philosophy of worship and music. It is also a chapter in Sound Worship. Continue Reading

Calvin and Platonic aesthetics

Calvin and Platonic aesthetics

Yesterday, Scott Aniol showed that Martin Luther was influenced by Greek aesthetics, including that of Plato. In light of Dr. Aniol’s post, it is worth highlighting that Luther was not alone among the Reformers to be influenced by Plato’s thought on music. Calvin, in his preface to the Genevan Psalter, also cited Plato’s views: But… Continue Reading

Songs without words

Songs without words

I was a high school freshman when I first heard Mendelssohn’s “Songs without Words.” Wandering through the back of the music room to pick up my trombone, I noticed Mrs. Nancy Davis at the piano. She wasn’t practicing for a church service or playing through a new orchestra arrangement or preparing for tomorrow’s choir rehearsal.… Continue Reading

Why do we assume that music alone is immune from cultural decay?

Why do we assume that music alone is immune from cultural decay?

That culture in America is decaying is no secret to conservative Christians. Recent events surrounding homosexual marriage has once again pushed this realization to the forefront for we who have high moral standards rooted in the Word of God. But marriage isn’t the only cultural issue under attack; conservative Christians recognize the slow (and ever… Continue Reading

Music has not always been considered neutral

Music has not always been considered neutral

Since I’m in the mood to highlight other important articles, I want to direct your attention to an important article that I linked to Wednesday by Mark Snoeberger about music. Snoeberger’s basic point is the the idea that aesthetics is unimportant for Christians and purely preferential is a novel idea that runs contrary to the… Continue Reading

Recordings: Instrumental Hymns

Recordings: Instrumental Hymns

This is a brief series recommending good, conservative sacred music recordings. I began the series with several introductory remarks and a list of good albums of choral hymns and anthems. Last week I suggested several albums of Psalms sung in English. This final installment will list some different instrumental recordings of hymns. My list, again, is not… Continue Reading

Some concluding thoughts on discernment (Part 8)

Some concluding thoughts on discernment (Part 8)

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Discernment for the Glory of God You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series”Discernment for the Glory of God”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.I was pushed to write a series on discernment when I heard a famous evangelical pastor define discernment as the ability to see, allegedly… Continue Reading

On the suggestion that ‘holy hip hop’ is the new Baroque

On the suggestion that ‘holy hip hop’ is the new Baroque

Anthony Bradley recently submitted a commentary for World magazine publicizing ‘holy hip hop.’ He writes, “If you are looking for theologically saturated Christian music that has the greatest potential for widespread appeal, your best option may be Christian hip-hop.” The first sentence gives away a great deal. First, he missteps in the first clause, for… Continue Reading

T. David Gordon: “It’s like reaching the rich young ruler by throwing money at him.”

T. David Gordon: “It’s like reaching the rich young ruler by throwing money at him.”

“It’s like reaching the rich young ruler by throwing money at him,” is the apt comparison of T. David Gordon in response to whether or not church music should be “seeker-friendly.” In an interview with Christianity Today‘s Mark Moring that springs from his book Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns, Gordon makes the case for traditional worship. Among other… Continue Reading

To harmonize the affections

To harmonize the affections

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series”Missions and Music”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.And all would serve, the more speedily and effectually, to change the taste of Indians, and to bring them off from their barbarism and brutality, to a… Continue Reading

Edwards on Indians, Language, and Missions

Edwards on Indians, Language, and Missions

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series”Missions and Music”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.Jonathan Edwards very much wanted to see the American Indians believe the gospel. His famous grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, had published in 1723 a sermon asking Whether God… 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

What Others Are Saying About Worship in Song

What Others Are Saying About Worship in Song

Pre-order for 30% off | Book Website “Scott Aniol has contributed a reasoned, thoughtful, Scripture-infused, and theological approach to his subject. This book should prove to be a helpful volume to any serious worshiper.” Paul S. Jones, D.M. Organist and Music Director – Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia Author, Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church… Continue Reading

Contents of Worship in Song by Scott Aniol

Contents of Worship in Song by Scott Aniol

Pre-order for 30% off | Book Website SECTION ONE: LAYING THE FOUNDATION Chapter One: Biblical Authority in Matters of Faith and Practice Many Christians insist that because the Bible says nothing explicitly regarding the kind of music that pleases God, God must not care what we listen to. This chapter dispels that idea by demonstrating… Continue Reading

Pre-Order Now! Worship in Song by Scott Aniol

Pre-Order Now! Worship in Song by Scott Aniol

I am very excited about the upcoming release of my new book, Worship in Song: A Biblical Philosophy of Music and Worship. Published by BMH Books, this volume will be released in just a few weeks! The book will retail for $17.99, but for one week only, Religious Affections Ministries is offering a pre-order discount… Continue Reading