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Great Advice to churches: How to Fail at Failing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 11 October 2010 11:03

The 45 year old President and CEO of the largest employer we have here in Springfield, MassMutual Financial Group, says he is a "huge fan of slow and steady growth" and under his leadership, the Insurance Company has been seeing exactly that.  He also has an eye for national trends and plans his sales and growth strategy accordingly.  He is now anticipating that by 2040, America will have a non-white Majority.  He is gearing up sales campaigns and training his staff to reach Latinos, African Americans and Asians who will makeup that new Majority.  That is America's demographic future and this CEO wants to be ready for it.  How about your church and its Leadership?  Are you ready to reach and serve Latinos, Blacks and Asians?  Better be!!

James White always has insightful commentary and suggestions for making the church relevant to cultural changes.  His Blog today has 5 very, very good suggestions about how to fail at failure.  He offers excellent advice for those who want the church to be alive and well in its mission of serving Christ in the coming years

http://www.churchandculture.org/

 

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Last Updated on Monday, 11 October 2010 11:06
 
Using the Psalms to evaluate today's "Praise Songs" - a major Essay PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 07 October 2010 13:08

A typical Reformed Argument against Praise Songs re-evaluated

Eph 5:19-20 [we are commanded to] …sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus

Church Music (and styles of Worship) continues to be a bone of contention for many of us. Churches have tried to solve the problems with it by the unhappy compromise of blending of styles or by going all traditional or all contemporary.  And the major rationale every time is that, it is said, “the choice comes down to a matter of personal preference- whatever works for me or for us.  If someone else doesn’t like it they may go to another church. There is no absolute right or wrong about this, it is a personal matter.”  Really?  I respectfully and strongly disagree. I have written about this subject before, using the the Regulative Principal versus the Normative Principle. That did not seem to settle the issue. Today, I will attempt a different, new approach using the Psalms.  This one settles the issue for me.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 09 October 2010 07:04
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Worship and Singing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Saturday, 20 March 2010 17:59

The Essentials of Worship

I am in search of guidelines in the selection and use of music in Worship.  It will help if we begin with a definition of Worship. Many excellent books have been written on the subject. Three of them laying on my desk at the moment are "Worship, Rediscovering the Missing Jewel"  by Allen and Borror; "The Worship Maze" by Basden and "A Royal 'Waste' of Time" by Marva Dawn.  The word "worship" means to acknowledge the worth (literally, the weight, the importance of) someone or something.  Christian Worship is acknowledging the worth, the supreme importance of the Triune God of the Bible. This is done primarily by offering sacrifices to Him.  A “sacrifice “ is surrendering, giving up, forfeiting [an animal or other item] to God something we value to demonstrate how highly we esteem Him. Such an act, all worship, is a direct response to the grace or works or Word of God.  It is not necessarily for atonement, to secure forgiveness of sins. It can be to express thanksgiving, gratitude or to signify honor and devotion or loyalty.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 12:54
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God's Favorite Hymns PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Saturday, 20 March 2010 17:47

Now let us consider the matter of singing.  There is no question that God commands singing songs of praise and thanksgiving.  Therefore, this is an essential in Worship. 

Psalm 96:1 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord , all the earth!
Psalm 96:2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!


But is the singing governed by the Regulative or the Normative Principle?  A very good case can be made that God commands, not simply singing, but the singing of inspired Psalms (the ones found in Scripture).  Furthermore, the case can be made from Scripture that singing of the Psalms only is commanded and that singing is to be a cappela (without instruments).  Indeed, the Church agreed and that was the practice well into the 18th Century!

 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 12:55
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Christian Music versus Sacred Music (Revised) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Saturday, 20 March 2010 17:25

Christian Music

Christian Music (as all Christian Art forms) is defined as overtly Christ-centered and normally involves lyrics, accompanied by instrumentation, about Christ or the Gospel, Salvation (testimonies), Christian life and witness.  Christian music  focuses especially on our personal relationship with Christ. An old favorite is a classic illustration of this theme: "In the Garden" (I walk with Him and I talk with Him and He tells me I am His own.  Oh the joy we share ...) Some Christian music includes words about God Himself ("Holy, Holy, Holy") but such words are not the primary content of most singing or of music among many Christians.  Very few Christian songs are addressed directly to God.  If He is mentioned, it is in the third person, even as the Doxology is.)  Many Christians will  insist that their music is spiritual and makes them aware of God's presence and they become touched, maybe overwhelmed, by that presence when they sing it or hear it.  It is, they say, both worshipful and edifying.  I have enjoyed and used Christian music of all types all my life.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 12:52
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