Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Word and Music

Reading Mark Dever's little book What is a Healthy Church, I came across this:

"During a day-long seminar on Puritanism that I taught at a church in London, I remarked at one point that Puritan sermons were sometimes two hours long. A member of the class gasped audibly and asked, "What time did that leave for worship?" Clearly, the individual assumed that listening to God's Word preached did not constitute worship. I replied that many English Protestants in former centuries believed that the most essential part of their worship was hearing God's Word in their own language (a freedom purchased by the blood of more than one martyr) and responding to it in their lives. Whether they had time to sing, though not entirely insignificant, was of comparatively little concern to them. Our churches, too, must recover the centrality of the Word in our worship. Music is a biblically required response to God's Word, but the music God gave us was not given to build our churches upon. A church built on music--of whatever style--is a church built on shifting sands."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


In his commentary on Genesis, Walton defines paganism in this way: "The heart of paganism is not found in the perversity of rituals but in the degradation of deity." That is to say that paganism is trying to bring "the gods" down to humanity's level.

Then, he goes on to make this powerful statement.

"By nature we are all pagans caught in the Babel syndrome (Genesis 11:1-9). When we think we can manipulate God by praying in Jesus' name to achieve selfish purposes, our paganism is showing. When we "claim promises" as a means of making God do what we want him to do, our paganism is showing. When we come to think we are indispensable to God because of the money we donate, the talents we have, the ministries we engage in, or the worship we offer, our paganism is showing. When we treat God as a child to be cajoled or a tyrant to be appeased, the Bable syndrome is surging in our veins. We want a manageable "God-lite." We want to be able to harness his power for our own benefit, no strings attached."