February 3, 2020

I shared my last post in the ever-popular “I’m Fed Up With Bad Church Music” Facebook group. This was one of the responses I received: “I am actively involved in my smells-and-bells, musically diverse Episcopal parish that reaches out to its worshippers by offering the Eucharist and reaches out to its neighbors by acts of kindness. I am also profoundly moved by Hillsong music. For me, I don’t see conflict or competition. At heart, Hillsong artists are psalmists. If I… Read more

January 31, 2020

Hillsong Worship is embarking on a US tour this Spring, and it all begins in my hometown of Houston, Texas. Well, they’re actually coming to Sugar Land, which at rush hour is about as close to Houston as Nazareth is to Bethlehem, but whatever. They’ve just released their first album in some 15 years (remember, Hillsong Worship is different from Hillsong United, Hillsong Young & Free, Hillsong the Purple Dinosaur and Friends, and whatever other offerings the Hillsong Corp. has… Read more

January 21, 2020

Two of the biggest problems with nondenominational, megachurch-style pop worship is that the pastor, who usually functions as a self-appointed pseudo-bishop, often has an inflated sense of self-importance. He and the house cover band are the stars of the show, and aim to give their congregation audience the best entertainment their dollars can buy. United Church in Gallatin, TN is an aspiring megachurch pastored by Dan Smith. Apparently as Danny Boy began his sermon this past Sunday, there was a… Read more

November 25, 2019

“Isn’t he part of the problem?” – Chris W. “Jonathan, am I right in thinking that somewhere on your blog you’ve indicated some reservations towards the Gettys’ hymns? If so, what are they?” – Terry “[The Christian Post article] was a lame interview article, quite a bit of self promotion as well… so the Commercial problem remains, even as we try to turn the ship around to use and seek out, better worship songs and hymns. The Gettys and their… Read more

November 24, 2019

In a recent interview with The Christian Post, Keith Getty had some strong words for the so-called “contemporary worship movement.” Modern worship is an movement of “cultural relevance.” It’s “utterly dangerous,” and is leading to the “de-Christianizing of God’s people.’” “An authentic generation doesn’t begin with catharsis; it has to begin with an authentic picture of the God of the Bible.” “Over 75 percent of what are called the great hymns of the faith talk about eternity, Heaven, Hell, and… Read more

November 10, 2019

This little blog post about hymnals, written over five years ago, continues to be read and shared. For that, I am grateful. It also continues to provoke friendly responses like this one: The HYMNAL IS A TOOL like any other! If you are handicapped and can’t hold the hymnal or can’t see well and read the hymnal would you not look for other tools? A variety of tools are helpful for a diverse population with various needs. It is not… Read more

September 18, 2019

This is what Union Seminary in New York tweeted out yesterday. Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor. What do you confess to the plants in your life? pic.twitter.com/tEs3Vm8oU4 — Union Seminary (@UnionSeminary) September 17, 2019 I’m not concerning myself with the obvious idiocy of confessing sins to vegetation. Lots… Read more

July 10, 2019

How Can We Stop Their “Singing” Words: Jonathan Aigner Tune: HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING The church was once a place of rest, Of prayer, and chant, and preaching. But then they sold the organ pipes And hushed the choir’s singing. The praise band whines, and beats their drums, And all the while I’m thinking: “Oh my dear God, what have we done? How can we stop their ‘singing?'” They hired a hipster with guitar, Called him the “worship… Read more

July 2, 2019

Reports indicate that five music professors have been unceremoniously terminated from their positions at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s School of Church Music. A sixth position is being eliminated through attrition. R. Allen Lott, Professor of Music History, and Senior Associate Dean for the Academic Division, and a 33-year SWBTS faculty member Dr. Lott has degrees in piano (B.M., Trinity University) and musicology (Ph.D., City University of New York), and he has previously served as a research assistant for Grove’s Dictionaries… Read more

June 23, 2019

In response to yesterday’s post about the dismantling of the music program at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, there were a few comments expressing hope that, at least, the once-prominent School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was still offering legitimate church music studies. That is apparently not the case, according to multiple sources close to the situation Full-time faculty positions have been reduced from 11 to 5. (Update: Most music specialists are gone. This includes Distinguished Professor of… Read more

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