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Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns

I don’t have time to do a full-fledged review of this new book by T. David Gordon (author of Why Johnny Can’t Preach), but I do want to highly recommend it to you. I couldn’t agree more with Gordon’s approach, underlying assumptions, and conclusions in this book.

Gordon argues that pop culture has so changed the fabric of society today as to create an environment in which good music is almost impossible to appreciate. His historical, culture, and musical analyses are spot on, in my opinion.

One of the best points Gordon makes is that most people today, even most Christians, are driven by a desire to be “contemporary.” “Contemporaneity” has become itself a virtue for most people, even Christians. It makes anything traditional or historic unattractive or even detestable. But Gordon argues that this “virtue” runs contrary to biblical values.

I think his argument here is important because I’ve heard many who even claim to be “conservative” who insist that we’ve got to have “fresh” sounding songs or settings of old hymns. Who says? Certainly not the Bible. What they are being driven by is an underlying assumption that contemporaneity is a virtue in itself.

Anyway, I hope to do a more thorough review eventually, but I wanted to recommend this excellent little book to you for your edification.

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.