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Preaching and the Elders

We are living today in a highly critical age. People no longer are afraid of attacking anything or anyone. Even the Lord of heaven and earth is openly criticized and blasphemed as if He were mere man. And surely if they fear not God, they have lost all respect for the Word and the service of the […]

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Secularism in Church Music

Several readers of my introductory article to this series on the problems of Calvinism and church music have questioned the need for reverting to the days of John Calvin in our discussion of music in the Calvinistic church. This writer is convinced that the very vague sense of direction which we Calvinists have regarding church music […]

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Church Music – Let There Be Variety

If you’ve ever visited an art museum with family members or friends, you know the experience well. You want to pause and admire the realistic works of Rembrandt; you’re impressed with his use of light and shadow, but others in your group eagerly urge you on to another wing of the museum. They’ve come especially […]

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Why Do We Sing?

In response to the invitation given by God. through the apostle Paul to “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…” (Eph. 5:19b), the Christian church has set the Psalms to music and developed a hymnody known and loved around the world.               For the next few months, […]

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Church Music Throughout the Ages

Music like all artistic expression is a gift of God to humankind. And like any of God’s gifts, music can be put to good use or to bad use; it can be used in holy ways or in unholy ways; it can be a power for virtue or for vice.                 […]

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Church Music: Some Problem Principles

A former editor of a church periodical once referred to church music as the “War Department” of the church. He was writing about something most of us have experienced personally: disputes about “good” and “bad” church music. In some congregations these disputes center upon the tastes of a choir director or an organist. In the most […]

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Church Music: Watch Those Words!

Setting down certain principles for evaluating the words of songs suitable for Reformed worship is a tricky business. On the one hand, these principles can be stated so generally that they are not at all helpful in evaluating any particular song. On the other hand, we can become so rigorous in our principles, setting law upon law, […]

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Real Worship: Calling the Nations to Praise (II)

Last month, I told you about the “Jesus of the Tortilla,” the sad but true tale of just how far our society has drifted in its understanding of worship. Just as superstitious as was the homemaker who “found” the image of Jesus in the burn marks on her frying tortilla is the modern Reformed Christian who has lost sight […]

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Asaph: A Musician in God’s House

“[David] appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, to make petition, to give thanks, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel: Asaph was the chief.” —1 Chronicles 16:4–5a One of the greatest gifts God has entrusted to man is the gift of music. Not every person may have […]

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What is Reformed Worship? (IV) It is Covenantal

Jesus changed everything. His coming turned the world upside down: the poor became rich, the blind were given sight, the lame were made to walk, the mute were restored to sing, the outcast was welcomed, the weary were given rest. Because of what He accomplished, we now have free access into the very presence of […]

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