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The Living Waters Podcast

Ep. 71 – The Power of Hymns and Worship Music

Debates among Christians over music cover everything from which instruments may be used in a church service to whether a congregation should sing hymns or contemporary worship songs. The guys dive into the conversation, and explore how different types of music can be used to glorify God.

Show Notes

In today’s episode, the guys discuss music, something that is at one and the same time an amazing gift and the focus of huge controversy among Christians.  Focusing first on the gift that music is, the guys discuss how it is powerful and embedded into the very fabric of creation and meant to bring joy.  Music is also meant to honor and point us back to the Lord.  Because of God’s common grace, we can honor Him through music that is not overtly Christian.  While there are examples of secular music that are improper for the Christian, and while discernment in what we listen to is crucial, the world is full of beautiful music to enjoy as a reminder of God’s goodness.  Of course, music can also be used to glorify God in more overt ways.  This occurs when we engage with music that is explicitly God-worshiping; that is, music that directs praise and adoration toward God.  True “worship music” is God-centered, focusing at heart not on the human response to God or petitions to bring before Him, but on God Himself.

The frequent debates among Christians over music concern everything from what instruments may be used in a church service to whether a congregation should sing hymns or contemporary worship songs.  The debates often involve a high level of subjectivity, rather than direct biblical command.  The guys try to cut through the fog of debate and offer simple advice: look for music to sing in a church context (and even to use for personal edification and worship) that is biblically grounded, theologically sound, and centered on the Lord.  Artists like Shane & Shane, Beautiful Eulogy, City Alight, and Sovereign Grace Music offer good examples of this kind of music.  The guys also talk about the difference between hymns and contemporary Christian songs, the way in which Christian music reflects the state of the church, and how the rich history behind many of the most widely loved hymns demonstrates what Christian music, at its best, ultimately is.  This music arises from a heart enamored with and trusting in God through the circumstances of real life, and draws others to worship, as well.

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