The Biblical Foundations of Instrumental Music in Worship: Four Pillars

The Biblical Foundations of Instrumental Music in Worship: Four Pillars

by Brian L. Hedrick

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Overview

The purpose of this book is to provide an accessible, comprehensive biblical philosophy of instrumental music in worship for church instrumental directors and instrumentalists in churches. This information will better inform and enrich their ministry, transforming them as worship leaders, and ultimately, transforming the worship practices of their churches. This book will prove to be a valuable resource for directors, as they justify their ministry in their respective churches, but also as an apologetic to those from churches and denominations who refute the use of instrumental music in New Testament worship. Furthermore, this resource will provide a biblical basis for the practice of instrumental music ministry, beyond a simple justification, examining the scriptural guidelines for the ministry and operation of instrumental music in the worship of the church. This information is formatted in the appendix as a series of devotionals, so directors are able to present it to their instrumental groups, making sure both directors and instrumentalists understand the biblical basis and guidelines for their practice of instrumental music in Christian worship. As the director presents this devotional series to his instrumentalists, he will more effectively internalize the biblical principles of the series, as he is required to study the material and then verbalize it to his group.

A biblical understanding of the use of instrumental music in worship is of utmost importance to practicing church instrumentalists and directors. My concern is the fact that a well-defined, comprehensive biblical philosophy on this subject has not been readily available for church instrumental directors. When church instrumental directors are asked to justify their ministry from a biblical perspective, they have had relatively few resources to consult. I have discovered no books dedicated exclusively to the subject, and only two books with a complete chapter devoted to the biblical foundations of instrumental music in worship. On the other hand, there is an abundance of written material readily available concerning the prohibition of instrumental music in worship. Individuals and denominations that generate this material take a position based solely on the regulative principle, otherwise know as the negative hermeneutic. "The 'negative hermeneutic' says that because something is not found in the New Testament - in this case, instrumental music - it is inherently wrong and unbiblical." I believe this position is unfounded, and needs to be addressed with a strong, comprehensive rationale for the use of instrumental music in Christian worship.

As I examined the biblical references to instrumental music in worship, I have organized the references into four basic pillars. The first pillar is the many references to instrumental music in the Psalms, which is related to the second pillar, the Davidic tradition of instrumental music in worship. King David is associated with many of the psalms, and was in large part responsible for establishing a tradition of instrumental music in ancient Hebrew worship that extended to Temple worship in Jesus' time.

The overwhelming majority of biblical references to instrumental music in worship are found in the Old Testament, but there are also limited references in the New Testament. The third pillar is the implied references in two familiar worship passages, Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, and their reference to using psalms in Christian worship. I will also consider the reference to "making melody" in Ephesians 5:19, which is from the Greek word psallo, and has a possible connection to instrumental music. Finally, the fourth pillar is the mention of instruments in the context of heavenly worship in the book of Revelation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781432711917
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 02/19/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 108
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.26(d)

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The Biblical Foundations of Instrumental Music in Worship: Four Pillars 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
larrydellis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The subject of using musical instruments in Christian worship is something that most Christians have never thought about, because their use every week is such a common practice in almost all churches. The biblical justification for this practice is considered about as often as whether a doctor should be trained or whether children should be educated as they grow up. If our church musicians better understood the basis for and importance of instrumental musical worship, it would give them a stronger sense of spiritual calling and mission for their work, which the primarily do because the love doing it. Dr. Hedrick has produced a brief but powerful book looking at what he calls four pillars in support of instrumental music in Christian worship. He examines the many 1.) Psalms that exhort worshipers to use instruments, even some were singing is not a part of the worship. 2.) He looks at the Temple worship as set in place by King David and the role of the Levitical musicians whose ministry was that of instrumental and vocal music in the temple worship. 3.) He honestly addresses the absence of direct commands to the use of instruments in the Ancient church era, although he examines several passages that imply that instrumental worship was a part of their practices. 4.) Finally he examines the role of instrumental worship in Heaven as is presented in the book of Revelation. Particularly interesting is his analysis of those practices that would teach that only what is specifically authorized to be a part of Christian worship in the New Testament may be used. He addresses the fallacies of this approach to study of scripture quite effectively.Several of his appendices make the purchase of the book important for anyone who is leading in Christian worship using instrumental music. Dr. Hedrick has provided a series of short summary devotionals that can be used in your instrumental rehearsals with your musicians. He has pulled together a broad spectrum of specific resource material which can be examined by the reader and frankly has put together this reference material for which there is very little written. This is by far the most comprehensive biblical explanation that I have ever seen of why we should have instrumental music in our worship. When examining the importance of instrumental music in worship, I would strongly recommend this book. It is only 95 pages in length and the bibliography at the end will provide an almost inexhaustible resource for those who want to study the subject even more.
LarryDEllis More than 1 year ago
The subject of using musical instruments in Christian worship is something that most Christians have never thought about, because their use every week is such a common practice in almost all churches. The biblical justification for this practice is considered about as often as whether a doctor should be trained or whether children should be educated as they grow up. If our church musicians better understood the basis for and importance of instrumental musical worship, it would give them a stronger sense of spiritual calling and mission for their work, which the primarily do because the love doing it. Dr. Hedrick has produced a brief but powerful book looking at what he calls four pillars in support of instrumental music in Christian worship. He examines the many 1.) Psalms that exhort worshipers to use instruments, even some were singing is not a part of the worship. 2.) He looks at the Temple worship as set in place by King David and the role of the Levitical musicians whose ministry was that of instrumental and vocal music in the temple worship. 3.) He honestly addresses the absence of direct commands to the use of instruments in the Ancient church era, although he examines several passages that imply that instrumental worship was a part of their practices. 4.) Finally he examines the role of instrumental worship in Heaven as is presented in the book of Revelation. Particularly interesting is his analysis of those practices that would teach that only what is specifically authorized to be a part of Christian worship in the New Testament may be used. He addresses the fallacies of this approach to study of scripture quite effectively. Several of his appendices make the purchase of the book important for anyone who is leading in Christian worship using instrumental music. Dr. Hedrick has provided a series of short summary devotionals that can be used in your instrumental rehearsals with your musicians. He has pulled together a broad spectrum of specific resource material which can be examined by the reader and frankly has put together this reference material for which there is very little written. This is by far the most comprehensive biblical explanation that I have ever seen of why we should have instrumental music in our worship. When examining the importance of instrumental music in worship, I would strongly recommend this book. It is only 95 pages in length and the bibliography at the end will provide an almost inexhaustible resource for those who want to study the subject even more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for any liturgical musician!
HornPlayer More than 1 year ago
Finally, a well written, comprehensive text covering the biblical basis for instrumental music in worship! Dr. Hedrick does an excellent job describing the history of instrumental use in worship, as well as bringing thoughtful insight regarding why we would want to use instruments in our current day worship. This is a concise, well organized text. The devotionals would be a great tool for any orchestra or band director! Highly recommend!