(Original posting 12/19/2015) Mere symbols. That’s how a Baptist might typically describe baptism and the Lord’s Supper. However, reading the New Testament one would get the impression that these are something more than that. For their first two hundred years, Baptists thought of these ordinances as more than symbolic. Perhaps they were onto something? Here’s a paper I presented for Baptist Heritage this summer (2015) arguing that what Baptists call ‘ordinances’ are not mere symbols, but, ‘mighty signs’.
In both Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5, Paul uses the phrase “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” when commanding the church to use music in its discipleship. Are these terms three different kinds of music? Synonyms meaning pretty much the same thing? Generic terms embracing all kinds of music? Well, analyzing Paul’s use of Greek is […]
Well, I’ll leave you to look up the Blazing Saddles reference yourself if it’s unfamiliar but, while you’re here, I do have some questions for you to consider: Where do music ministers, often called worship leaders, come from? How do they become caretakers of your church’s music? What training should they have? What skills are […]
This is a piece written last summer with the intention of debuting it in our “A Sacred Christmas” program at our church. We had to cut it from the program at the last minute and, subsequent to the disappointment of losing the performance, it has been languishing on the dusty shelves of my hard drive […]
I finally jumped off the bridge and installed NotePerformer 3.2 this week as my virtual instrument library on my 25.4 version of Finale. Here is my initial, and highly premature, reaction to this shiny new toy. First off, what is NotePerformer? It is a software library, produced by Wallander Instruments, of most orchestral and band […]
In 1861, the sight of Northern troops assembling in Washington, D.C., inspired Julia Ward Howe to pen the words to The Battle Hymn of the Republic, which begins, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” Although originally intended to stimulate patriotic fervor, the text’s potent depiction of biblical themes – […]
Holy Week is behind us with a mixture of relief and fulfillment as we bask in the afterglow of remembering the resurrection. But the music minister has no time to relax with summer rapidly approaching. Putting together the summer program is perhaps less intense than the Easter and Christmas seasons but has its own set […]