January 23, 2021

Church Music Month on Internet Monk

Ghent Altarpiece, van Eyck

October will be “Church Music Month” on Internet Monk.

Throughout the month we will feature posts about the ministry of music, with particular emphasis on its role in worship in the local congregation.

  • Articles that express various perspectives about church music.
  • Interviews with people who are working in congregations in the ministry of worship and music.
  • Pieces that explore congregational music in church history.
  • Reviews and recommendations regarding recordings and resources for church music.
  • Classic Michael Spencer articles about the state of Christian music.
  • Other posts to be developed based on your suggestions and our conversations.

Feel free to write me or drop Jeff a line (use the links at the upper right hand corner) with ideas of topics you’d like to see covered or any other suggestions.

To turn our thoughts toward music, let us start with our good friend Martin Luther, for whom music represented one of God’s greatest gifts:

We can only mention one point (which experience confirms), namely, that next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise.

…For whether you wish to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate — and who could number all these masters of the human heart, namely, the emotions, inclinations, and affections that impel men to evil or good? — what more effective means than music could you find?

– Preface to Georg Rhau’s Symphoniae iucundae


  1. Looking forward to it! Music is such a pivotal part of the Christian life, and a wonderful one at that.

  2. I love the stories I have read of music being used to calm ill and hurting people. One woman takes her harp into the room of the dying person. She plays until she finds the right note that she can tell the person needs to hear to help him or her relax. And then she continues to play that note.

  3. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Church Music Month while everyone else is Fighting the Culture War over The Devil’s Holiday(TM). At the very least, you’ll pick up Culture War refugees.

  4. Wenatchee The Hatchet says

    Think of how much longer the Axis of Awesome musical punchline on I-V-vi-IV could be if they threw in CCM.

  5. Steve Newell says

    When I sign a song at church, I want to understand what the lyrics are saying? Are they teaching me theology? Are they pointing me to Christ? Are they proclaiming Law and Gospel?

    There is are newer hymns that are great we should keep them. Likewise, there are old hymns that are terrible and we should get rid of the.

  6. Here’s a thought provoking blog post. I would like to see a post exploring the similarities between modern praise and worship and pornography. There has been a recent study talking about how people get highes from teh praise and worship in mega chruches. How is this high comparable to a high one gets from pornograghy, alcohol, etc.. This could be an interesting discussion.

  7. And thus began what came to be known as the Great Worship War of ’12 on Internet Monk, which led to no known fatalities, but some did get their knickers in a twist.

  8. Great idea. I look forward to reading posts and comments. I’d like to see a post that meditates on this simple observation: both music and the Word are heard. I’m not sure where that would go (that’s part of the fun) but I think it would be both edifying and interesting.

  9. A topic: what are the boundaries between worship music and entertainment? Does worship involve active participation in order for it to be worship? Is a member of a congregation worshipping if that person is just watching someone else perform without participating (such as singing) in any way? (yes, I am using the narrow definition here of worship as “that time in church when we sing”…)

    Somewhat wordy context for those questions as I might not have expressed it as best as I could: Back in the ancient times of the late 90s, I graduated from college, got a “real” job, and started going to lots of concerts. I noticed that the music high in concerts looked/felt a lot like what people described as being “moved by the Spirit”. (Maybe this ties in w/Eagle’s question above.) So, is there a difference between worship and entertainment? (I couldn’t really discuss this w/people at the time because I don’t think many of the people I was around then would go to a non-CCM concert…) A difference between ministry and entertainment? If so, where would one place the line? (Am I creating an arbitrary division that doesn’t need to be made? Maybe I am just distrustful of anything in church that is “fun”…)

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