Tag Archives: tradition

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

The Relationship between Cultural Conservatism and Theological Conservatism

The Relationship between Cultural Conservatism and Theological Conservatism

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Preserving the Truth in our Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

What I have described in this series is nothing more than historic conservative Christianity—Christianity that aims at conserving God’s truth both doctrinally and aesthetically. It is popular today to speak deridingly about “cultural conservatism” vs. “theological conservatism.” Most evangelicals and increasing numbers of fundamentalists claim that cultural conservatism is at best unnecessary and at worst legalistic. For example, Mark… Continue Reading

The Judeo-Christian Worship Tradition

The Judeo-Christian Worship Tradition

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Preserving the Truth in our Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I argued in the last essay that if we intend to preserve the truth handed down to us, we must never reject tradition outright. Instead, if we are intent upon preserving the truth handed down to us from Scripture, both its doctrinal content and the way the truth is imagined, we must continue to preserve and cultivate what… Continue Reading

Reforming Influences in 19th Century American Church Music

Reforming Influences in 19th Century American Church Music

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series 19th Century American Church Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

There were many composers, writers, and organizations during the nineteenth century that objected to the current condition of American church music and encouraged reform. Yet none had as lasting influence as the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, Thomas Hastings, and Lowell Mason. Boston Handel and Haydn Society The Handel and Haydn Society was formed in 1815 in Boston… Continue Reading

Culture and Tradition

Culture and Tradition

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Preserving the Truth in our Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I argued in the last post that all cultural forms are built upon something that came before, and we call this “tradition.” The implication of this is that all of the various cultural institutions, forms, artistic expressions, media, languages, and systems of thought are what they are today based on hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of… Continue Reading

Truth and Tradition

Truth and Tradition

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Preserving the Truth in our Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I have argued thus far that successful preservation of the truth necessitates that what is preserved is the doctrinal affirmations and the proper imagination of such affirmations, and I have suggested that the primary way in which this imaginative aspect is persevered is through conserving the Bible’s aesthetic forms in our worship. Culture and Imagination To speak of… Continue Reading

Cultivated, Commercial, and Communal Music

Cultivated, Commercial, and Communal Music

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series 19th Century American Church Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Church music in nineteenth century America can be summarized very simply with one word: reform. In many ways, the influential writers and composers of the nineteenth century were bent upon rejecting the new music of eighteenth century American composers and returning to more established classical traditions. In order to understand their motivation, however, one must consider both the changes… Continue Reading

Teach children hymns

Teach children hymns

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Children and Hymnody You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We believe that the great Christian tradition of hymnody should be perpetuated. We treasure the invaluable contributions of the saints to our corporate and private worship in the great texts and tunes. Artistically, we admire the great hymns’ beauty and profundity. Intellectually, we appreciate their imaginative but careful communication of great Christian theology. Experientially, these… Continue Reading

Three Cultural Streams in 19th-Century American Church Music

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series 19th Century American Church Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The development of American church music during the nineteenth century has important implications for the philosophy and practice of church music in the twentieth century and beyond. Indeed, “it would be difficult to overstate the impact that antebellum sacred music reforms had on subsequent musical developments in America, and many scholars identify this period as… Continue Reading

All Things to All Men

All Things to All Men

This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Few passages of Scripture are more popular among contemporary Christians than 1 Corinthians 9:19‐23. Especially fashionable is Paul’s line in verse 22 about becoming “all things to all men.” This passage is commonly taken to mean that effective e van gelism requires Christians to imitate the people around them. Many evangelicals cannot even imagine this… Continue Reading

Conservative Christians will be committed to transmitting these worship forms to future generations

Conservative Christians will be committed to transmitting these worship forms to future generations

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

Conservative Christianity, at its heart, is committed to preserving transcendent ideas rooted in the very nature and character of God. It seeks to accomplish this goal through the conservative of a tradition that has nurtured the expression of those ideas for ages. If our goal as conservative Christians is to conserve biblical worship and continue to… Continue Reading

Conservative Pillar II: Nurturing Tradition

Conservative Pillar II: Nurturing Tradition

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Defining Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Christian conservatism stands upon two primary pillars: 1) a commitment to align one’s ideas with transcendent absolutes that are rooted in God himself; and, 2) a commitment to preserve those traditions that have best expressed those transcendent ideas. In this essay I will explore the second of these twin pillars. In order to understand the… Continue Reading