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tjservant
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Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Hymns: Effective Carriers of Christian Doctrine

Hymns: Effective Carriers of Christian Doctrine

Quoting Paul S. Jones . . .

The average college freshman today, who has attended church all of his life, is acquainted with twenty hymns or fewer; some know none at all. This is more than sad; it is tragic. Robert Rayburn, founding President of Covenant Theological Seminary, encountered that same kind of folly fifty years ago.

He wrote of the then-popular 'gospel song' [genre]:

"It is not just the poverty of the gospel song as an instrument of praise that is of serious concern. It is the woeful ignorance which Christians today demonstrate with regard to the almost inexhaustible riches of sacred song which are theirs in the great hymns which have come down through the centuries. A good hymnbook is the repository of the deepest devotion of the saints of the ages. It's treasures are priceless. Next to the bible a good hymn book is a Christian's greatest devotional guide. Yet many Christians will spend money readily for daily devotional readings which are far inferior to the great poetry of the hymnbook."

Hymns have always been effective carriers of Christian doctrine, and without their definitive presence our collective theological understanding has become shallower. But this should not surprise us if we take a good hard look at ourselves. In the postmodern, post-Christian age in which we live, worship and the music of corporate worship in evangelical churches have both followed the relativistic path of our culture.


From:

Singing and Making Music


_________________
TJ

 2009/10/28 10:45Profile









 Re: Hymns: Effective Carriers of Christian Doctrine

Very true, good post!!

 2009/10/28 11:01
Heydave
Member



Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re: Hymns: Effective Carriers of Christian Doctrine

Quote:
Hymns have always been effective carriers of Christian doctrine, and without their definitive presence our collective theological understanding has become shallower. But this should not surprise us if we take a good hard look at ourselves. In the postmodern, post-Christian age in which we live, worship and the music of corporate worship in evangelical churches have both followed the relativistic path of our culture.


I was thinking about this subject of getting doctrine from hymns and worship songs. I agree that this medium can be very powerful both for good and bad.
How often do we think a certain way about God because of what we sing rather than what we read in the bible? I think this is a particular problem today where the average 'christian' knows his bible less than the songs he sings. The new choruses are all too often wrong in their doctrine. Of course it is also possible that the older hymns will reflect the author's doctrinal bent. Therefore we need to be thinking about what we are singing.
Someone said once (may have been Ravenhill) that more lies are sung by Christian's during a worship service than anywhere else. What was meant was that the great claims made of utter devotion to Christ in song are sung without ever really meaning it.
I do try and meditate on the words I am singing and will change them if neccesary to be compatable with reality and truth.


_________________
Dave

 2009/10/28 14:16Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Quote:
I was thinking about this subject of getting doctrine from hymns and worship songs. I agree that this medium can be very powerful both for good and bad. How often do we think a certain way about God because of what we sing rather than what we read in the bible? I think this is a particular problem today where the average 'christian' knows his bible less than the songs he sings. The new choruses are all too often wrong in their doctrine. Of course it is also possible that the older hymns will reflect the author's doctrinal bent. Therefore we need to be thinking about what we are singing. Someone said once (may have been Ravenhill) that more lies are sung by Christian's during a worship service than anywhere else. What was meant was that the great claims made of utter devotion to Christ in song are sung without ever really meaning it. I do try and meditate on the words I am singing and will change them if neccesary to be compatable with reality and truth.



Good points brother. You are right. Many folks do get their “doctrine” from songs and bumper stickers. I think some folks gather part of their understanding of “church” from TV shows like Little House on The Prairie. Not bashing the show, just pointing out that just because a particular program shows people walking into a church building does not mean it has anything inherently Christian to offer us.

You are also right about the author’s doctrinal bent. That is why we should recognize the good in hymns without blindly accepting all of them.


I remember once reading that Isaac Watts said he was only ever truly tempted to judge another when he would hear hymns being sang with dry eyes.

Thanks for you insights brother.


_________________
TJ

 2009/10/28 14:32Profile





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