Good stuff.

from J. Ligon Duncan III, “Does God Care How We Worship” in Give Praise to God: A Vision for Reforming Worship: Celebrating the Legacy of James Montgomery Boice (Philip Graham Ryken, Derek W. H. Thomas, J. Ligon Duncan III, ed.; Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2003), 25-26.

“Evangelicals do think that worship matters, but they also often view worship as a means to some other end that that of the glorification and enjoyment of God: some view worship as evangelism (thus misunderstanding its goal); some think that a person’s heart, intentions, motives, and sincerity are the only things important in how we worship (thus downplaying the Bible’s standards, principles, and rules for worship); and some view the emotional product of the worship experience as the prime factor in “good” worship (thus overstressing the subjective and often unwittingly imposing particular cultural opinions about emotional expression on the worshipers). Evangelicals believe these things about worship, but they do not think there are many biblical principles about how to worship or what we are to do and not to do in worship.”

from James Montgomery Boice, Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001), 180.

“One of the saddest features of contemporary worship is that the great hymns of the church are on the way out. They are not gone entirely, but they are going. And in their place have come trite jingles that have more in common with contemporary advertising ditties than with the psalms. The problem here is not so much the style of the music, though trite words fit best with trite tunes and harmonies. Rather the problem is with the content of the songs. The old hymns expressed the theology of the church in profound and perceptive ways and with winsome, memorable language. They lifted the worshiper’s thoughts to God and gave him striking words by which to remember God’s attributes. Today’s songs reflect our shallow or nonexistent theology and do almost nothing to elevate one’s thoughts about God.

“Worst of all are songs that merely repeat a trite idea, word, or phrase over and over again. Songs like this are not worship, though they may give the churchgoer a religious feeling. They are mantras, which belong more in a gathering of New Agers than among God’s worshiping people.”

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