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Are The Great Hymns Of The Church On The Way Out?

Quoting James Montgomery Boice:

The great hymns of the church are on the way out. They are not gone entirely, but they are going and in their place have come trite jingles that have more in common with contemporary advertising ditties than the psalms. The problem here is not so much the style of the music, though trite words fit best with trite tunes and harmonies. Rather it is with the content of the songs. The old hymns expressed the theology of the Bible in profound and perceptive ways and with winsome memorable language. Today’s songs are focused on ourselves. They reflect our shallow or nonexistent theology and do almost nothing to elevate our thoughts about God. Worst of all are songs that merely repeat a trite idea, word, or phrase over and over again. Songs like this are not worship, though they may give the church-goer a religious feeling. They are mantras, which belong more in a gathering of New Agers than among the worshiping people of God.

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4 Responses

  1. They are not lost – just gone underground – no worries!

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  2. I so much agree with this – I have been doing worship for a long time, translated many popular, contemporary, ‘modern’ songs into Hungarian, and I have noticed this subtle shift with regards to their lyrics. In the past few years I just could not translate much because of it as I noticed how shallow the lyrics have become. It’s like they are all the same: self-centered and without any real, deep biblical truths. Nowadays I have been studying the lyrics of the old hymns, I even got an old Salvation Army songbook – and I just love reading the lyrics from there, even though I don’t know the tunes. I read it like a devotional and realize how we have missed the mark pertaining to our Church worship culture. …Thank you for this post.

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  3. […] https://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/are-the-great-hymns-of-the-church-on-the-way-out/ Ford.: wordwatcherdawn 48.293940 20.693411 Share […]

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  4. We still sing them in our church every Lord’s Day, along with the Psalms, which I never heard until they were introduced in our church ten years ago. God’s people are still singing His songs. Thank you for your thoughts on this subject. Your blog is a treasure.

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