Tag Archives: singing

Parallelism in Psalm 96

Parallelism in Psalm 96

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week we looked at several aspects of how various poetic devices were used in Psalm 96 to shape the content and form the singer and listener. Many of these poetic devices are still used in poetry and hymnody today. The most common poetic device in Hebrew poetry is parallelism, which has been captured in… Continue Reading

May a Baptist (or any other Protestant) sing Catholic hymns?

May a Baptist (or any other Protestant) sing Catholic hymns?

A critic recently approached me about our hymnal and rebuked us for (among other things) including hymns written by Catholics in our hymnal. It is no secret that we include Catholic and Orthodox hymn texts. For example, we include the very ancient Te Deum (“Holy God, We Praise Thy Name”). We include works by or attributed to… Continue Reading

How Poetry Forms Us

How Poetry Forms Us

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Singing both helps us express right affections to God in response to God’s character and works, and it also helps to form those affections when we make present through the art realities that are past, present, and future. But our affections are also formed by the art itself; in the case of Psalm 96, the… Continue Reading

How Singing Forms Us

How Singing Forms Us

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We have seen thus far that good hymns help us to express the affections of our hearts in response to God’s character and works, which brings him great glory he deserves, and that this kind of expression in public is a great witness to the unbelieving world. But there is a second reason that we… Continue Reading

Singing: Response to Who God Is and What He Has Done

Singing: Response to Who God Is and What He Has Done

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We are studying Psalm 96 in an attempt to answer the question, Why sing? Last week we saw that the unique power of singing is that it helps us to express affections of the heart in ways that would not be possible if we didn’t have song. Song gives us a language for the expression… Continue Reading

Why Does God Call Us to Sing?

Why Does God Call Us to Sing?

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last time in our study of Psalm 96, I made the point that structurally this psalm oscillates between calls to praise God through song followed by reciting reasons for praising God. Understanding this structure will help us to discern why God would have us sing this psalm, any psalm, or any song in worship for… Continue Reading

Looking through Psalm 137, Stanza 1: Worship in a Pagan Culture

Looking through Psalm 137, Stanza 1: Worship in a Pagan Culture

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series God's People in Exile You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In our study of Psalm 137 over the past several weeks, we have looked at the historical context of the psalm, the analogical relationships between the psalm and the present status of Christians, and what this psalm does aesthetically. We have seen that as pilgrims and exiles in this present world, Christians today have much to… Continue Reading

The most significant misconception about music in worship

The most significant misconception about music in worship

Here’s one of the most important concepts about music in worship I think needs to be communicated to pastors and parishioners alike: Music in the context of corporate worship is not primarily about giving people an authentic expression through their preferred musical style. Music in worship is (as is liturgy and preaching) formative. It shapes right spiritual… Continue Reading

How to help your congregation to sing

How to help your congregation to sing

Over at the 9Marks blog, Jonathan Leeman provides some tips for how to help your congregation sing. I would qualify some of his comments, but most of his tips are very good. Here are the tips, but head over there to see his full explanations. I’ve added a few comments in brackets. Teach the congregation… Continue Reading

John Wesley on good hymn tunes

John Wesley on good hymn tunes

Consider Paul Westermeyer’s description of John Wesleys concerns regarding the tunes of hymns: Like Luther, Wesley knew a body of Christians couldn’t have many continually changing versions of hymns and hymn tunes without creating confusion which endangered their song. . . . Two related concerns were at work here. 1) Wesley knew, again like Luther,… Continue Reading

Article 7: On Scripture Regulated Worship

Article 7: On Scripture Regulated Worship

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series A Conservative Christian Declaration You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This is a series to further explain the articles of “A Conservative Christian Declaration.” . We affirm that the worship of God is regulated through his Word. Innovation, however well-intentioned, is “will-worship” (Col. 2:23), violates the free consciences of individual Christians (Rom. 14:5, 23), and is therefore displeasing to God (Matt. 15:9). We affirm that the… Continue Reading

William Ames on the connection between prayer, singing, and outward expressions

William Ames on the connection between prayer, singing, and outward expressions

In the second book of The Marrow of Theology, William Ames’s (1576-1633) classic Post-Reformation work, Ames deals with a number of matters related to practical theology. The ninth chapter discusses prayer.1 As you will see, Ames’s approach to this topic is helpful from a historical and practical perspective. Prayer, Ames says, can be outward or inward–mental or audible.… Continue Reading

Is corporate worship better than private worship? (Part 5)

Is corporate worship better than private worship? (Part 5)

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Public Worship and Private Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

 |  |  | We have looking at different reasons why the regular meeting for worship with one’s church is better than private meetings of worship, including times of personal devotion and family worship. Both, we have consistently stressed, are essential for vital piety in the life of a believer. But one is more important than another. And… Continue Reading

Recordings: Choral Psalms

Recordings: Choral Psalms

I’m writing a brief series recommending different recordings of excellent sacred music in English. Last time I introduced several thoughts and recommended more than a dozen recordings of hymns and anthems. Today I want to recommend a handful of choral recordings of the Psalms in English. Again, my list will not be exhaustive, and I… Continue Reading

To sing or not to sing, that is the question

To sing or not to sing, that is the question

An interesting online discussion has emerged in the past few weeks about the issue of not singing a particular song in a service when that song expresses sentiments you do not believe to be true. The discussion began with Roger Olson, who argued that we should not sing a song when the doctrine does not… Continue Reading

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

Hymnody in the Judeo-Christian Tradition

This entry is part 8 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 Beginning The first mention of music in the Bible is in Genesis 4. Verses 17—22 list Cain’s descendants, and specifically those who began the development of various cultural and social skills. Jabal was “the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock,” Tubal-cain was “the forger of all instruments of bronze and… Continue Reading