Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thought for the Day


Thought for the Day

If you want to know what a Christian musician believes philosophically about music, just listen to him or her music unto God.

 

What is Philosophy? part 1

What is Philosophy? part 1
What is philosophy?  If one is going to read about philosophy it seems logical to start with some understanding of what it is.  Philosophy is generally believed to be the pursuit of wisdom which involves an understanding of the nature and value of some aspect of life or all of life for that matter.  It is a search for a general understanding of a field of knowledge that will reveal what the “main thing” is.  It will include an analysis of the basic principles for one’s underlying beliefs that serve as the grounds for why one does what he or she does.   It will reveal how to keep the main thing the main thing.  It is a search for wisdom that will guide one’s processes of thought and conduct.

Philosophy is more than a quest for wisdom that guides our thought patterns.  It also guides what we do.  Historically a strong philosophy was a love for wisdom.  Our word philosophy is derived from two Greek words philos, which meant a predilection or love for something and sophia, which meant wisdom.  Thus philosophy from at last the early writings of the Greeks may be described as preconceived love for a wisdom that would bring a systematized calm or composure.  Classical philosophers believed that philosophy could and would bring about a unified filed of wisdom based on knowledge that would give an “inner peace”. 

 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day 
The only thing that post postmoderns seem to know for sure is that they cannot know for sure.

 

 

All Music Represents Some Philosophical Presupposition part 2

All Music Represents Some Philosophical Presupposition part 2
            It is of little wonder to me that many 21st century musicians compose music that consists of all or nearly all tension and distortion.  These composers are faithless because they are looking for answers without coming under the “way” or lordship of Christ.  It is no wonder their music is so tense and grotesque since it is a mere reflection of their philosophy that man exists in a purposeless universe trying to authenticate himself through an act of his will.
         These composers and performers have never passed from death unto life, so they have never experienced the “new and living way.”  They are searching for truth within themselves.  It is sad but most often they will never come to the knowledge of truth because they will not accept Christ who is “the way the truth and the life.”  I Timothy 3:7 explains that they are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  This hopeless searching for truth often makes these musicians bitter, confused, and sometimes nihilistic.  Their philosophy is distorted therefore their music is distorted because it represents their worldview.  To accomplish this effect they use fuzz guitars and distorted sounds on keyboards and turn the volume up until the speakers distort while they literally scream out the vocal lyrics in an un-vocal manner.

 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day
A presupposition is an implicit assumption about a belief that a person takes for granted.  I choose to believe that God exists and that He will guide Christians into all truth.  Those who do not believe in God choose not to believe so they miss the blessing of having the Holy Spirit  guide them in making life’s choices.

All Music Represents Some Philosophical Presupposition part 1

All Music Represents Some Philosophical Presupposition part 1
            Christian musicians must realize that all art forms are the product of the artist’s philosophical presuppositions.  Many composers who are not Christians believe that life exists in a purposeless universe with no absolutes, no order and no answers. In other words, to the 21st century man outside of the grace of God, life is meaningless, and to them, there are no answers to life’s questions. 
            These musicians often do not believe what Jesus said in St. John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  Jesus didn’t say, I am the answer but rather, “I am the way”.  This generation is searching for the answers without taking the way of Christ.  Hebrews 10:20-23 states, By a new and living way, which he [Christ] hath consecrated [made new] for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)”.  (Words in brackets are mine.)

 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Prayer, Song, and Thought for the Day

Prayer for the Day
Oh my wonderful and precious loving Lord and Savior, I am coming to You this day to thank You for Your Word.  Thank You that it is “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  Praise God! I love You and I want to express that love to You this morning!  Lord, I am asking you to help me to be Your good and faithful musical today.  Lord I am sorry that I have been whining for the past few days about possibly losing the Christian battle for music.  This morning I am giving this battle back to You.  These things I am prying in Your Strong name.  Amen.
Song for the Day How Firm a Foundation  Attr. to John Rippon
Thought for the Day
The reason that God’s word is relevant today is because as Hebrews 13:8 explains Jesus Christ really is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

Have We Lost the Battle for Christian Music?

Have We Lost the Battle for Christian Music?
Our God made a wonderful promise in Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”  Jesus made the same promise when He declared in the Gospel of St. Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”  Sometimes I need to read these Old and New Testament proofs after I have had conversations with my colleagues.  The other day one of my longtime musician friends made the statement “I think we have lost the battle on that one.”  His statement came as a result of my conservative stand on a particular aspect of how we should music unto God. 
            Although he did not mean to depress me, I went away from that conversation about music with a heavy heart. Since then I have pondered for days on the question of whether or not we are pressing musical issues that are not really relevant in this century.  I have pondered over whether or not I am the last “musical boy scout”.  I keep quoting Scriptures on music from the Bible and studying what lexicographers and trusted Bible writers have had to say about the meaning of these passages of God’s Word.  Is all this study “much ado about nothing”?
            This morning I got up early, made some coffee and picked up a book and read these words, “The only reason the Bible can be relevant today, as well as at all other times, is that it is true.  It claims within itself to come from an all-knowing all powerful, persona and only existing God.” The Best of Josh McDowell A Ready Reference by Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson p. 23.  My heart was instantly blessed and I headed to my lap-top to tell you Christian musicians that I believe.  First, I believe because I trust God’s Word to be “true truth” yesterday, today and forever.  Second, I believe because 2Timothy 3:16-17 reminds us that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
            So, I am blessed in my human spirit because the Holy Spirit has witnessed to me again this morning that God’s Word is true and relevant in this century.  Third, I believe because Christian musicians have not “lost the music battle:, because regardless of how many people do not believe what the Bible teaches us about music, I believe that just as YHVH reminded Jehoshaphat  in 2Ch 20:15 “… the battle is not yours, but God's.”  My problem in the past few days has been that I temporarily forgot that the battle for Christian music is not my battle but rather it is the LORD’S battle.  I am reminded this morning that He is saying to me what he said to Timothy in 2Timothy 2:3 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thought for the Day

Thought for the Day
Omitting standard punctuation from song texts which are projected on an overhead screen because of the notion that some worshipers will not understand its meaning is somewhat like teaching to the bottom of the class—it may seem like a good idea but it hinders more than it helps.

Punctuating Our Worship Music part 2

Punctuating Our Worship Music part 2
            I am well aware that many Christian musicians are interested in warm fuzzy statements about music worship.  However, it appears to me that someone needs to bring to the attention of worship leaders how illogical it is to handicap the gospel message by omitting something as important as standard punctuation marks. Words have specific in the context in which they are used in sentences. Worship music has many purposes but it is ultimately about meaning.  I am also aware that worship music is more than rhetoric, but it till is rhetoric.  Christian musicians should realize that rhetoric is an effective technique of using language which is either written, spoken or sung to more persuasively present the meaning of the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.            
              I am concerned about the inadvertent philosophical statements we make when we fall into the current trend of dumbing down the presentation of church music. When one partially strips words from their meaning by removing punctuation from their meaning, that worship leader is guilty of dumbing down the spiritual message of the lyric poetry which is being sung. Surely any thinking worship leader could not believe that punctuation marks get in the way of cognitive worship or the emotion of worship for that matter. 
            Perhaps the reason that many churches find it hard to attract and engage educated people is that the message of the gospel is so often presented in such uncultured and uneducated ways. True believers should always seek to present the spiritual messages of worship in the best possible ways!  If God is the audience and our aim is a greater understanding of His moral nature, then a musician should use every appropriate means to engage the minds of the worshipers as they music unto God.