Monday, March 29, 2010

What does the hymn teach?

I just finished a Bible study using the Good News issue on Worship. For the past four weeks we have been discussing how worship is not about us, it's not about what we give to God, it's not about pleasing God with what we do during worship, despite the false doctrine Rick Warren proffers.
God-pleasing worship is found in what we receive through Christ Jesus: peace, forgiveness and salvation. Worship is not founded on what we do but what God does for us through Jesus Christ. For more resources and discussion get a copy of this issue or check out some of the information on this blog for the Bible study.

This morning Mollie Hemingway posted this quote on the Brothers of John the Steadfast blog and it fits perfectly into God-pleasing worship and the need to receive Christ and be taught doctrine during worship:

“I came across this fantastic quote:

We must take note also of a most deplorable tendency of our times, namely, that of preferring the shallow modern “Gospel anthem” to the classical hymns of our Church. The reference is both to the text and to the tunes in use in many churches. On all sides the criticism is heard that the old Lutheran hymns are “too heavy, too doctrinal; that our age does not understand them.” Strange that the Lutherans of four centuries and of countless languages could understand and appreciate them, even as late as a generation ago! Is the present generation less intelligent or merely more frivolous?
When was this written? Back in June 1929. (Source: Paul E. Kretzmann, Magazin für evang.-luth. Homiletik und Pastoraltheologie [June 1929], pp. 216-217)

Perhaps it should make me sad that confessional Lutherans have been fighting these battles for so long but, for some reason, it makes me hopeful. I think sometimes we think things used to be great and now they’re awful. In fact, I think that we’ve always had people in our midst who didn’t appreciate our Lutheran identity. And sometimes I think things are actually better now than they have been in recent memory. In any case, a blessed Holy Week to everyone.”
Thanks for the quote Mollie.

39 comments:

Josh Evans said...

You might be interested in "Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service" by Arthur A. Just, Jr. Just is the director of deaconess studies at the Fort Wayne seminary, and I have had his book for some time now with the intention of actually reading it someday. I did, however, skim the introduction at one point, and his argument for Christ-centered worship fits in nicely with your post here.

Sean said...

The small pamphlet by Chad Bird entitled, "Why Lutherans Sing What They Sing" is thorough and excellent, regarding hymns in particular.

It used to be available from Gottesdienst. Try inquiring about it here: http://gottesdienst.org/5299.html

John said...

More reading means more fun. Thanks for the suggestions.

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