November 27, 2020

Congregational singing is not a matter of “taste.” Anything we do in corporate worship is about meaning, not preference. In my last post, “Why Singing Hymns the Traditional Way is Better than Singing the Pop Worship Way,” I highlighted some of the practical differences between singing hymns corporately and singing along with a soloist. My friend Sandra made this helpful comment: “It’s not a matter of ‘taste’ really. I’m not sure why people make that the argument. It’s singing corporately… Read more

November 24, 2020

Whenever I talk about how pop worship music is inappropriate for Christian worship, I  get comments accusing me of making hasty generalizations, and directing me to “fresh” and “new” pop recordings of treasured hymns. “See?!?” these people will usually say. “You can sing good theology but in a modern style that connects with younger generations!” I want to mention that if two generations of parents and churches had done their part, hymnody sung by choir and congregation, usually accompanied by… Read more

November 24, 2020

“This is precisely the Advent situation: doom on one hand, deliverance on the other.” “Advent tells us to look directly into the darkness and name it for what it is.” – Fleming Rutledge I’ve heard a lot of talk of rushing the season, even more than usual. I’m hearing the rumblings from church musicians, as well. One person told me this: “Usually I wait until Christmas Eve to sing Christmas carols, but we should give people what they need. They… Read more

November 23, 2020

I understand the significance and love advent hymns and will even sing a few, but otherwise, pass. My congregation would throttle me if we waited until Christmas for those songs, especially this year. – a church music director, commenting on my previous post about Advent hymns I’ve been there, too, and it’s quite difficult. But it’s your job. Even if the people who hired you don’t know it, it’s your job to help them understand why we don’t sing Christmas… Read more

November 21, 2020

It’s called Advent, people, and it’s crucial to our understanding of Christmas. In Advent, we put ourselves in the place of the faithful who had waited generations for their promised King. Our four-week period of hope and expectation encapsulates the longing and yearning into which Jesus finally, miraculously arrived. Advent slows us down and restores our hearts and minds so that the heaven-born Prince of Peace can be fully born in our hearts once again. People of God, take time… Read more

November 20, 2020

I’ve always said that it’s important to keep writing new hymns. I still believe this. But I’m increasingly dismayed at what is being thrown our way. On the one hand, we have radio music from the contemporary “worship” industry being reproduced by house cover bands every Sunday. The songs are largely terrible in textual/poetic quality and theological content, and are written in a musical style that is incompatible with liturgy. Pop music is created to sell records; those who create… Read more

July 22, 2020

During this time of fear and uncertainty in the COVID-19 wilderness, I’ve decided to do something a little different. I’m going to be daily using my blog to share texts and videos of hymns that pass along hope and comfort until the restrictions are lifted, and we can worship in our buildings once again. I hope you find them to be encouraging and edifying during this time. Take care, everyone. Wash your hands. And keep the faith. Today’s hymn is… Read more

July 21, 2020

During this time of fear and uncertainty in the COVID-19 wilderness, I’ve decided to do something a little different. I’m going to be daily using my blog to share texts and videos of hymns that pass along hope and comfort until the restrictions are lifted, and we can worship in our buildings once again. I hope you find them to be encouraging and edifying during this time. Take care, everyone. Wash your hands. And keep the faith. Sorry, not sorry… Read more

July 20, 2020

During this time of fear and uncertainty in the COVID-19 wilderness, I’ve decided to do something a little different. I’m going to be daily using my blog to share texts and videos of hymns that pass along hope and comfort until the restrictions are lifted, and we can worship in our buildings once again. I hope you find them to be encouraging and edifying during this time. Take care, everyone. Wash your hands. And keep the faith. Here are the… Read more

July 19, 2020

During this time of fear and uncertainty in the COVID-19 wilderness, I’ve decided to do something a little different. I’m going to be daily using my blog to share texts and videos of hymns that pass along hope and comfort until the restrictions are lifted, and we can worship in our buildings once again. I hope you find them to be encouraging and edifying during this time. Take care, everyone. Wash your hands. And keep the faith. I need some… Read more




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