From the Elders’ Desk: Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns

Monthly Reading Recommendation
February 2017

Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns
by T. David Gordon

From Our Elders:
An entire generation has grown up in the church with a contemporary music atmosphere, but churches are only now realizing some of the negative effects of having distanced themselves from the historic hymns of the church. They’ve now responded by reinstating the church’s historic music, but have only to found themselves disappointed by their “new” old music. They’re now singing good and theologically rich music, so why does it feel cold, mechanical, and dead? All of a sudden, maybe the contemporary, light-weight music wasn’t so bad after all. At least it was singable!

In Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns, T. David Gordon explains this phenomenon, but the underlying principle is this: we have failed to recognize how the culture has altered what we believe to be excellent music. In fact, Gordon even predicts the sense of frustration in many churches, “The mere introduction of the church’s historic hymnody to the service… will simply not do” (181). In fact, we would likely “accomplish little more than emptying the building” (181). The problem is only compounded by the fact that many wrongly assume a song to be suitable for congregational worship by mere virtue that it exists in the hymnal, or that it is unsuitable simply because it’s contemporary. So how exactly do we select our music, and how can you, as a member of the church, prepare for it? Our hope is that you will benefit greatly from reading this work as we’re confident it will help you in your development of a biblical philosophy of worship.

In keeping with that, we would also like to provide you with the opportunity to listen to one of the greatest contemporary hymn-writers of the 21st century. Keith and Kristyn Getty’s hymns top the CCLI rankings as the world’s most loved and most sung hymns in today’s church. What’s more, each of their songs are carefully vetted by a panel of pastors, such as R.C. Sproul, Alistair Begg, and John MacArthur, for theological content before being published.

Matt Tarr

This offer is now available at the church Welcome Center
Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns: $10.00
In Christ Alone: $12.00
Special Combined Offer: $20.00

Comments are closed