Category: Corporate Worship

My Thoughts On BJU’s Music Philosophy

by Rick Pidcock

Earlier this week, Bob Jones University released its long awaited “Music Philosophy” paper, which you can read here. Over the past few years, I have purposefully stayed out of the fundamentalist music debates. But I’d like to share my thoughts regarding BJU’s statement.

I graduated from BJU with a B.A. in Bible in 2004. We then moved out to Denver, CO for seven years to help plant a church. And in the Fall of 2011, we moved back to Greenville. Since our return, I have attended a few BJU events, and have been pleasantly surprised by a noticeable difference from when I was a student. While I have my differences with the school, I write this response as an alumnus who wants to be able to support the school. And I believe that the vast majority of recent graduates and current students will be sympathetic to the perspective of this review. (more…)

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CJ Mahaney On Christ As Our Mediator In Worship

“We must never leave the impression in our worship that we do not need a Mediator.”–CJ Mahaney

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”–1 Peter 2:4,5

Time Traveling Worship

by Rick Pidcock

Have you ever had the opportunity to experience worship in a completely different cultural context than the one that you are most comfortable with?  And by different culture, I mean more than just music style, I’m also talking about language, and even time.

Some of you might say, “Yes!  My church still worships as if they are in the 1600’s!”

Revelation 15:3 says, “And the sing the song of Moses, the servant of God.”  These are worshipers, thousands of years after Moses, worshiping God with a worship song that is much older than the hymns that many of our churches sing today.

So, I began to wonder, “What if we sang the same song that was sung thousands of years ago, in a different style and language?”  What would that look like?  Could the same song, in different cultures, communicate the same thing about God?  Or would the different setting bring out an entirely new vision of God?

Below are two recordings of the ancient hymn, “Phos Hilaron: Hail the Gladdening Light,” which dates back to 290-310 A.D.  The music in the first recording is Byzantine, even though the hymn text dates even further back than Gregorian chant.

The second recording is a recently released version by the David Crowder Band, in their album “Church Music.”

After you’re initially blown away by the difference in style, ask yourself these questions:

What does the first version cause you to reflect on God about?

What does the second version cause you to reflect on God about?

What do you get more of in one than in the other?

Do either of them seem to be missing something that the other does quite well?

What different emotions do each of these versions produce within you?

Does listening to both of them give you a more complete appreciation for the character of God, and the power of the gospel across language, time, and style?  If so, how?  If not, why not?


Worship Song–Let Me Sing

Have you ever been overcome with awe of how creation proclaims the gloriously creative power of God?  Every morning as I watch the colors of the sunrise reflecting off of the mountains on my way to work, I am reminded of His greatness and beauty.

Yet, if a fallen creation is a testimony to God’s creative glory, how much more are we a testament to God’s re-creative glory!

This is a great worship song by Todd Fields that calls us to worship God louder than the rest of creation does because of God’s re-creative power in our lives.

Excellent Worship Music–Part Three

by Rick Pidcock

In our discussion about excellent worship music so far, we have discussed both the basis and the goal of music.  Part One explained how we are called to excellence in worship because God is primarily and passionately in love with Himself.  Part Two explained that music communication can be used either to edify or to corrupt others.

Today we will be focusing on the decision process that we must go through in order to determine which music songs and styles are the best to edify the worshipers God has called us to minister to.

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Excellent Worship Music–Part Two

by Rick Pidcock

Have you ever been watching a movie and found yourself laughing one moment, and then struggling not to cry in the next moment?  There is probably a good chance that one of the major factors that influenced your mood swing was the background music.

Music is universally recognized as one of the most powerful tools of influence.  Aristotle once said, “Music has the power to shape character.”  Scottish philosopher Andrew Fletcher said, “Give me the making of the songs of a nation and I do not care who writes its laws.”

Since music has such power to influence, we would be foolish if we did not consider such power in light of God’s Word.  Although the Bible never directly prescribes which styles of music we should use, it does address symbols and communication in general.  Thus, the basis for our entire discussion will be the power of music as a communication tool. (more…)