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We should approach our task with an intensity of focus that produces a solid outcome. This is counterintuitive for some churches, where worship leadership is handed to a young man whose primary qualification is that he can play an instrument or sing. It counters worship leaders who do only what is needed to get through Sunday so the focus is solely on the preaching of the Word.
Some songs quote passages without their context, leaving the exegetical work to the listener--which isn’t inherently wrong but also isn’t helpful. Other songs distorts the true intent of the text by putting verses a new context, which does a tremendous disservice to the church and dishonor to God. I hope this article will challenge songwriters to write, pastors to select, and Christians to champion songs that treat passages in their original context with a renewed commitment to clarifying the biblical author’s intended meaning of a passage.
You may only have to pick four songs every week to keep your boss satisfied and your congregation singing, but there’s so much more you actually can, should, and need to do to maintain your integrity as someone who has been called to sing Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to the people God has called to worship Him in grace and truth.
In a matter of years, Steele became one of the best-loved names in hymnody. Just as Watts was crowned the “father of English hymnody,” Steele has been called the “mother of the English hymn." Since her day there has not been a woman hymn-writer who has matched Steele’s ability and nuance with the doctrinal fidelity and care she demonstrates....Read More ➔
Every once in a while you stumble across a historical figure whose voice speaks—no, shouts—with all kinds of contemporary relevance. For me, that figure is Thomas Cranmer, and the more I get to know him, the more I am inspired by this theologian, pastor, artist, and worship leader. If Cranmer is remembered at all, he is often caricatured as a wishy-washy politician, flitting to and fro in the winds of the whims of the mad King Henry VIII....Read More ➔
Easter is not the "Super Bowl of the church." Easter is not the day we suit up, march onto the field and win the game for Jesus. Easter is the day we fix our eyes on the resurrected Christ. Easter is the day we gather together to remind one another that Jesus has already won for us....Read More ➔
For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship by Daniel I. Block. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014, vii + 410 pp., $34.99, hardcover. Daniel I. Block, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, writes from the conviction that “true worship involves reverential human acts of submission and homage before the divine Sovereign in response to his gracious revelation of himself and in accord with his will” (23). Block seeks to elucidate thi...Read More ➔
New church, new worship team, first rehearsal. Awkwardness and nerves. I start slowly with a familiar tune. We reach the end, notes still trailing off and fading. My mind computing through a rapid succession of silent assessments. The drummer only played three fills, the bass player stuck to the root and even though the guitar player had seventeen more pedals than I thought necessary, the playing was tasteful and appropriate. I look up to gage the teams reaction, and the...Read More ➔