REFORMATION 500: Good for Whom?

Our society is mixed. In almost every congregation there are folks who want to sing the “old” hymns (i.e., those of revivalism), people who want to sing the “good” hymns (i.e., those that are in good taste), and persons who want to sing “something that moves” (i.e., those songs that have a “beat”). I would submit that none of these is more Christian or more adequate than any of the others. We must learn to think of our Church music in terms of being “good for” whom, not in abstract terms of quality. 

—James F. White, “Liturgical Reformation: Sixteenth Century and Twentieth,” in Christian Worship in North America, A Retrospective: 1955-1995, 72

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All of the Above

The ‘vertical’ and the ‘horizontal’ dimensions of what takes place should not be artificially separated. One part of our meetings cannot be ‘the worship time’ (prayer and praise) and another part ‘the edification time’ (preaching and exhortation), since Paul’s teaching encourages us to view the same activities from both points of view.

—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together, 41

Purposeful Praise

Praise provides Christians with the opportunity to confess together what they believe about God. So it becomes a way of realigning ourselves with His character and will. Praise edifies the church and encourages faithfulness to God in everyday living.

—David G. Peterson, Encountering God Together,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       126.