Friday, June 15, 2012
Thoughts from James 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 churchgoer a religious feeling. They are mantras, which belong more in a gathering of New Agers than among the worshiping people of God.
Dr. James Montgomery Boice, quoted by Elisabeth Elliot Gren, 1998
cited in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Maranatha Bible Church newsletter, 2/98