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Isaac Watts Remembered

Mars Hill Church produced a bio video about Issac Watts:

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department 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.

8 Responses to Isaac Watts Remembered

  1. Moral of the story 1: rebel against the traditional position on worship; that's what Watts did, so you are in good company.

    Moral of the story 2: keep going when criticized for worship innovation.

    Moral of the story 3: they called Watts worldly too!

    Moral of the story 4: when you get criticized by Johnson and MacArthur for gutter language, worldly fads, and grunge Christianity, keep going; Watts suffered far worse.

    Moral of the story 5: calm down, at Mars Hill we're only doing what Watts did—no different.

    Moral of the story 6: every generation of Christian worship faces criticism for a change in genre and form, so just weather the storm; it's going to happen.

    Moral of the story 7: Mark Driscoll = Isaac Watts

  2. Kent, I have heard Watts used to defend contemporary practices, and that may have been partially in view here. Actually, it was in "fundamentalism" that I heard it most recently, and it was a ridiculous defense.

    However, I'm not sure that was really their motive here. This video is in a series of videos they've done on a whole lot of people.

    And, admittedly, Watts was very radical on this, and I happen to agree with it.

    Which is why I posted it; it makes a good point. We're not against change if it is right. We're against change if it is wrong.

    And yes, Chris, I just defended something from Mars Hill. :)

  3. That was helpful, Scott. Thanks.

    I don't have much sympathy for the "become grunge to win grunge" thinking (especially Paul almost always was giving up a privilege, not indulging in such scenarios). But it is commendable that they're pointing people back to a Watts, a Bliss, a Crosby. Even though it's not particularly cool to do so. :)

  4. Incidentally, Watts wasn't the first to push for the use of hymns other than Psalms; it was a Baptist, Benjamin Keach. Watts was just the first to have any success. :)

  5. Scott, did Keach write any hymns and if so do you know of any that you have found in hymnals?

  6. Thanks for the heads-up Scott. Maybe they are trying to interest their constituency in something different than they normally offer, with hopes of bringing them at least incrementally away from it. Love would hope so. It would fit how they could spur some interest in their following, at least in the Watts presentation. He bucked the trends and now he's been vindicated. The term "rebel," however, is loaded with meaning.

    I have heard among professing fundamentalists justification of their music by extrapolating their own practice from history. This usage of history is akin to what Carl Trueman is talking about here:… By using history, you affirm your own identity. The problem is when history is actually being spun, that is, truly misrepresented. Because ultimately it is all about God and His authority.

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