I have recently came upon some short lectures by Dr Derek Thomas, co-editor of the book Give Praise to God and Minister of Teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi (the church J. Ligon Duncan III serves as senior minister).
I recommend your listening to several of these. They are all brief, only seven to ten minutes in length. For those of you who do not listen to many things on-line, the church has also posted transcripts of each in this series called “Understanding the Times.” “Flip-Flops in the House of God” (audio) is pretty good, and calls the church back to recognizing that one’s dress to some degree does matter. He has some good points in “The Idea of the Holy” (audio) as well, adding a great remark by C. S. Lewis. I very much enjoyed his tribute to Thomas Tallis, “Too Many Notes” (audio). I nearly fell out of my chair (for delight) as he concluded,
Not all music is appropriate for public worship or to express particular thoughts and ideas about God. Anyone who remotely raises the chestnut of Luther employing bar-songs is the victim of twentieth century historical revisionism/deconstruction. “It ain’t true, my friend!” Our heavenly Father deserves and demands the best we have to offer. As literature and art can be critiqued according to certain standards, so too can music. And when it comes to public worship—there is a style that is better than another, else we might as well abandon any hope of biblically critiquing western culture and throw in our lot with the Philistines!
I recommend that we all read that last sentence one more time: “And when it comes to public worship—There is a style that is better than another, else we might as well abandon any hope of biblically critiquing western culture and throw in our lot with the Philistines.”
It certainly is nice to hear other Christian brothers speak concerning these matters.