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Thursday, July 27, 2006

John Bell's Voice


This is a guy I want to hear more from. In the July 25 issue of "The Christian Century" there is an interview with John Bell, a minister in the Church of Scotland, a fellow of the Royal School of Music and a member of the Iona Community. In this brief interview he makes a convincing theological case for congregational singing as "doing something together for God." Our singing together is "identity shaping." But into today's culture, with enhanced video, most music that comes to us is not meant to be sung along with, but watched. How much worship is "watched" either on the screen or up front on the chancel as the choir sings or musical teams lead?
Too many of the churches I worship in have a growing passivity when it comes to singing. But it's not about contemporary/traditional. It's bigger than that. Where else in our society do we sing together? How many families have sung a song together at home in the last year? What's happening in schools around the country to music education? How many people are functionally illiterate when it comes to reading notes on a page? How many church musicians can't read music? Where do we find our repertoire? All these kinds of questions get raised as you read this article.
This is a man from whom we need to hear more!

7 Comments:

At 5:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up singing and playing piano in a small Baptist Church. I am grateful for the countless times words of hymns have "popped" into my head and ministered to me. (I believe it's the Holy Spirit at work.) I am saddened that if churches don't sing together, especially "time-tested" songs, the Holy Spirit might have one less way of ministering to people. Everyone ought to know Amazing Grace. Deb

 
At 5:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up singing and playing piano in a small Baptist Church. I am grateful for the countless times words of hymns have "popped" into my head and ministered to me. (I believe it's the Holy Spirit at work.) I am saddened that if churches don't sing together, especially "time-tested" songs, the Holy Spirit might have one less way of ministering to people. Everyone ought to know Amazing Grace. Deb

 
At 8:33 AM , Anonymous kent said...

Hey Don,

That beard thing would look good on you!

 
At 10:49 PM , Anonymous Isaac said...

its a cultural thing.

today music is no longer performed, singers no longer croon tunes to the band.

Instead, singers are manufactured based on looks. Their voices don't matter - they lay a track and it's heavily modified in post production.

Then again, that's the c--p they play on the radio and MTV. i tend to stick with indy stuff on emusic.

but honestly, one has to wonder what the world has come to when the only decent modern music in my major metropolitan town comes from a station owned and operated by Minneasota Public Radio (89.3 the Current)

 
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