In Singing and Making Music, Paul Jones writes,

Today traditional church musicians speak out against the inundation of ‘praise’ choruses for similar theological and musical reasons. In the mid-twentieth century, Robert Rayburn and others printed similar criticisms of ‘gospel songs,’ which, interestingly enough, are often the so-called ‘grand old hymns of the church’ to which older folks in our churches refer. According to Rayburn, ‘All serious Christians should examine their own preferences and perhaps they will find a need to enrich substantially their musical praise by using more of the great hymns of exalted devotion based upon thoroughly scriptural concepts rather than the more shallow sentimental songs whose appeal is largely musical.’ [Robert G. Rayburn, O Come, Let Us Worship: Corporate Worship in the Evangelical Church (New York: Westminster Publishing House, n.d., ca. 1950), 230. Rayburn wrote, ‘One of the problems that contemporary congregations face is that many of the gospel songs are popular because the tunes to which they are sung have an appealing rhythm and a lighthearted melody.’ Ibid.] The greatest hymns, the ones that have survived the test of time, are those most closely allied to Scripture and set to well-constructed music. Texts that are trendy, overly experiential, or linked to events too provincial to be aplied to the church universal do not last.”

Singing and Making Melody: Issues in Church Music Today (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2006), 111.

Advertisements