Music and the Worship Service
Links updated February 2011
"Thy statutes are my songs in the house of my pilgrimage." —Psalm 119:54
- The Liturgical Authority of the Old Testament. By Rev. Dr. Robert S. Rayburn, pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Tacoma, Washington. "Christians will never grow up to real spiritual stature if their worship remains juvenile, concentrating on the simplest part of divine revelation and those parts that least distinguish the Christian mind from the mind of the world. God did not do that when he provided a manual of sung worship for his people."
- With Hearts and Minds and Voices. By John MacArthur (2004). "In general, the rise of the gospel song in congregational singing signaled a diminishing emphasis on objective doctrinal truth and a magnification of subjective personal experience."
- What Makes a Great Hymn? Thematic issue of New Horizons magazine, March 2009.
- How Does the Music Sound? by Dr. Timothy Shafer, Professor of Music at Penn State University.
- Music and the Word. A review of the Church Music at a Crossroads conference held in Orlando, 2000.
- Understanding the Rules of Music. By Ian Hodge. "Popular music and modern church music are examples of a shift away from the older, more complex, more sophisticated, and therefore, more intellectually rigorous forms of music."
- Book Reviews of Apostles of Rock: The Splintered World of Contemporary Christian Music and At the Crossroads: An Insider's Look at the Past, Present, and Future of Contemporary Christian Music. From First Things 100 (February 2000).
- Vain Repetition. By Kevin Swanson. "Some new worship methods are very similar to the techniques used by hypnotists or eastern mystics."
- The Music Stinks! By Dave Hatcher of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho.
- Introducing Contemporary Worship Into a Traditional Church. By Josh Hunt. Advocates praise choruses and other contemporary music, but describes some of the problems.
- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. By Dr. Jack Kinneer of Echo Hills Christian Study Center in Indian Head, Pennsylvania.
- Truly Spiritual Worship. By Joseph E. Rolison of the Protestant Alliance. Also here.
- Teenagers and Church Music: What Do They Really Think? Summarizes findings of a 1995 survey by a Lutheran researcher on the topic. You may be surprised. Also here.
- Church Music in the Nineties: Problems and Prognoses. by Carl Schalk, professor of music at Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois.
- Music, Worship, and Martin Luther. By Rev. Charles P. St-Onge, pastor of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Ridley Park, Penn.
- Please Me, O Lord. By S. M. Hutchens (Touchstone magazine, May 2004). "Many of Evangelicalism's most beloved verses are off-putting to men (at least those who are paying attention to the words) because they seem to be proper to women, or even homosexuals." Also here.
- A Call for Reformation for Contemporary Christian Music. By Steve Camp. "Transitory, temporal, trivial messages that devalue Deity and raise 'felt need' affairs above eternal 'real need' concerns produce disposable, consumer-driven, cotton-candy music."
- Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Noise. By Steve Camp. "Music is powerful and must be used wisely not frivolously ... after a few listens, it can be imbedded in your thoughts for a lifetime."
- Instrumental Music in the Worship of the Church, by Dr. John L. Girardeau (1888). An old-fashioned Presbyterian seminary professor presents arguments against the use of instrumental music in the worship service. Other books along the same line are on the same site here.
- Reforming Worship: Reverence, the Reformed Tradition, and the Crisis of Protestant Worship. By D. G. Hart, Touchstone, Fall 1995.
- Luther and Calvin on Music and Worship. By John Barber, PhD.
- Religious Affections Ministries, by Scott Aniol. Many articles on the subject of church music. "Religious Affections Ministries is committed to helping believers think biblically about their music choices and their worship. The ministry consists in speaking, writing, providing resources, and holding conferences on the topics of worship, music, Christian aesthetics, culture, and Church music administration."
- Articles by Michael S. Horton:
- Articles by Dr. Paul S. Jones (Organist and Music Director of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania):