Chapter 7: Solid Rock? What the Bible Says about Contemporary Worship
by John MacArthur
Great comments about keeping a variety of musical forms in corporate worship (according to Colossians 3:16) and a call not to forget about great hymns of the faith that typically have that strong didactic approach that is lost in other forms. Here are some great quotes from this book/chapter:
p115-"...Neither the antiquity nor the popularity of a gospel song is a good measure of its worthiness. And the fact that a gospel song is 'old-fasioned' is quite clearly no guarantee that it is suited for edifying the church. When it comes to church music, older is not necessarily better."
p118-"There is certainly nothing wrong with the simple, straightforward personal praise that characterizes the best of today's praise choruses. Neither is there anything wrong with the evangelistic and testimonial thrust of yesterday's gospel songs. But it is a profound tragedy that in some circles, only contemporary choruses are sung...."
p119-"Paul was calling for a variety of musical forms and a breadth of spiritual expression that cannot be embodied in any one musical form. the strict psalms-only view (which is gaining popularity in some reformed circles today) allows for none of that variety. The views of fundamentalist-traditionalists who seem to limit church music to the Gospel-song forms of the early twentieth century would also squelch the variety Paul calls for. More significantly, the prevailing mood in modern evangelical churches-where people seem to want to binge on a steady diet of nothing but simplistic praise choruses-also destroys the principle of variety Paul sets forth here [Colossians 3:16]...the error lay in utterly casting aside the rich heritage of hymns-along with the didactic, doctrinal richness of Christian music that had edified and sustained so many generations."