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» The Effectiveness of Traditional Hymn Tunes: Eric’s Response 1

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Thanks, David, for sharing this email. It is thought provoking as it touches on a number of important issues, issues that I think will strike at the heart of Doxologue.

First of all, I would like to acknowledge how important loving yet critical feedback is to our theological and spiritual formation. Proverbs 27:6 states, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” I would rather have a friend who wounds me to my face in love and then praises me behind my back than an enemy who does the opposite. I hope that Doxologue is more than a blog of mutual backslapping. I hope it is a place where we can lovingly disagree as we seek the glory of God in the good of the church. Friction is necessary when “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17). I know that the critical feedback of both of you has only served to improve my hymns (and my humility).

"The Critic" writes (throughout I'll quote him in italics):I love the old tunes and find them easy to sing and rich in melody.

It is important to acknowledge that many do love the ‘old tunes’... (continue reading...)

» Kevin’s Doxa-biography

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I grew up in and out of church in Drexel, Missouri. When our family was there, I recollect hearing the big American hymns most of you out there have heard of. However, my memory fails me as to which ones I actually learned.

In college at the University of Missouri, I began to be exposed to the praise and worship movement. While a part of a campus ministry in the early nineties, we sang a wide variety of praise choruses. It was during my senior year that I picked up the guitar again (had been burned out from playing for my sister in country music shows as a child, believe it or not) and began learning worship songs.

Following college, I did an internship with a campus ministry in Springfield, Missouri. There I became exposed to more praise and worship songs. I simultaneously became involved in a local church. Over the course of 7 years, I led worship with the campus ministry and played in the church worship band, largely doing praise and worship choruses interspersed with a few widely known traditional hymns.

I moved to Louisville in 2001... (continue reading...)

» Doxa-biographies? (originally posted by Eric)

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When I took Hymnology in seminary, our first required paper was a 'hymnological biography.' We were to write about the hymnological influences in our life to that point. Might this be a good idea for us? What sort of worship environments were we raised in--church, home, private? What were the songs, styles, etc. that shaped? How have these been a help or hindrance toward God-centered worship?

» The Effectiveness of Traditional Hymn Tunes: Kevin’s Response 1

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David, I certainly agree with your statements at and disagree with your critic for the following reasons:

1) There seems to be an unhelpful division in the writer's mind between thinking and feeling in worship. Many in the Reformed camp today have overreacted against the praise and worship movement, saying that feelings are irrelevant (this is similar to many in the church reacting to our society's "I fell out of love" point of view by responding with "love is a choice"). The author says, "Corporate singing is the worship of believers to the truth of God's Word and His character." What, then, is "worship?" Is it informing God of truths about himself? It it simply an intellectual exercise for us? Or is worship, by definition, an expression of emotion? I say it is. And I stand with Jonathan Edwards, among others, in saying this. Our church, in our bi-weekly "Brew and Books (by dead guys)," had the opportunity to read through parts of Edwards' Religious Affections, where he argues that religion devoid of affections for God or for others is no religion at all. Do we dumb down our lyrics and sing 7-11 choruses endlessly (7 words,... (continue reading...)

» The Effectiveness of Traditional Hymn Tunes

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From time to time I receive critical feedback about what I am doing over at Reformed Praise and thought that I would share a recent email that is thought-provoking. I haven't responded to the author yet, so perhaps your comments might help me craft a deft reply.

On the homepage of it states:
Hymns have long been a rich source of deep lyrics, but many traditional tunes used to sing these hymns hinder rather than help believers feel what they are singing.
The response:
I lovingly disagree with this point. I love the old tunes and find them easy to sing and rich in melody. I have never found them to hinder my worship because the content is the focus. The one word that came to my attention here is "feel". Corporate singing is the worship of believers to the truth of God's Word and His character. Feelings cannot be trusted and should not be a focus of worship. Today's music is sung to ellicit "feelings" and get people stirred up to a point of hypersuggestiveness to where they cannot reason. We should be responding appropriately to God and His Word in humility and praise.
When... (continue reading...)

» Worship Organizer Worth A Look

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My resident worship dude, Luke Daugherty, and I have enjoyed greatly planning our worship services using WorshipOrganizer. Check out this super program here. My friend David Ward created it. I guarantee it will make your planning more efficient and accessible.

» Welcome to the Doxologue!

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Greetings in the name of Christ! A new team has hit the blogosphere. In this blog, entitled Doxologue, a small group of men who are passionate about seeing God glorified in the local church will converse about God-centered worship. Check back regularly.

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