Tag Archives: Luther

Reformation Hymns

Reformation Hymns

Reformation Sunday is coming up on October 29, and this year is particularly special since we are celebrating the 500 year anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. In our church, each year on Reformation Sunday we sing Reformation hymns, that is, hymns that in some way connect to the Reformers and the movement they… Continue Reading

There hasn’t always been contemporary worship music

There hasn’t always been contemporary worship music

I’ve heard it said many times, often by people I love and respect: “Christians have always used contemporary music in their worship.” Or, it might go something like this: “Using pop music today is no different than what Luther or Watts did in their day.” What’s the point behind statements like these? Their purpose is… Continue Reading

The Rebirth of Martin Luther

The Rebirth of Martin Luther

In April of 1511, Martin Luther went to Wittenberg, a city of 2,000 to 2,500. Luther received his Doctor of Theology in October of the following year, but for all his accomplishments, certainty of salvation eluded his grasp. He confessed his sins as much as possible, even six hours at a time in the confessional… Continue Reading

Martin Luther and “pop music”

Martin Luther and “pop music”

Hymnologist Paul Westermeyer comments on Martin Luther’s hymn tune sources: Luther’s sources were Gregorian chant, medieval vernacular hymns, and two secular folk melodies that didn’t have staying power and themselves were abandoned for new tunes. Luther did not use “popular music.” The distinction between sacred and secular was not nearly so strong for him as… Continue Reading

The Lord’s Day, part 6

The Lord’s Day, part 6

Following the rigid ceremonialism of the Roman Catholic Church, reformers such as Luther and Calvin were cautious about formalizing Christian worship to a ceremonial “first day of the week” type of worship. They did not disagree with the fact that the first day of the week was the Lord’s Day, and thought it to be… Continue Reading

Did Luther use tunes from love songs?

Did Luther use tunes from love songs?

It is irresponsible to claim that Luther used tunes from secular loves songs for his hymns and compare it to today’s situation. If there is one argument in defense of bringing secular musical forms into the church that I’ve heard more than any other, it is certainly one that insists that Luther used tunes from… Continue Reading

The conservatism of the normative principle

The conservatism of the normative principle

At this year’s Conference on Conservative Christianity (which concluded Tuesday), Steve Thomas of Huron Baptist Church made a point in one of his sessions that I found remarkably insightful. Most of those attending the conference would either embrace the regulative principle of worship outright, or would advocate something very much like the regulative principle. The… Continue Reading

Martin Luther’s Worship Reforms

Martin Luther’s Worship Reforms

At the heart of Martin Luther’s reformation of the Church were his reforms in worship. In celebration of Reformation Day, let us consider his influence. Roman Worship Innovations Although the specific dogmas we associate with Roman Catholicism today were not officially canonized until the Counsel of Trent in 1554-1563, many of the Roman Church’s heresy… Continue Reading