- Paperback: 56 pages
- Publisher: Concordia Publishing House (September 1, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0570013372
- ISBN-13: 978-0570013372
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,005,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Luther on Music: Paradigms of Praise
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I will say, however that in the last chapter, he uses Luther's opinions to try to craft an indictment against contemporary worship. Personally, I prefer traditional worship music, as does Schalk, but I call it what it is, an opinion. My taste needs not suit everyone. The common accusation of traditionalists is that contemporary worshipers want to be "entertained." Sorry, that's not true of most. Many of us traditionalists prefer classical music, but no one accuses us of seeking to be entertained for using music that we like. I have participated in contemporary worship services and the people are only looking for music that suits their culture and expresses worship with a sound and a style that they see themselves expressing naturally. No one condemns African missionaries for utilizing music from the African culture. No one condemns Brazilian worshipers for using a South-American music style. So why is there such a propensity to try to show Christian Contemporary music as "wrong"? Indeed, some contemporary music and lyrics are vapid, but not all; and if you think about it, the music of many traditional hymns isn't exactly ground breaking. As many readers of this review may suspect, this is a big issue among many in the church. I do agree with Schalk that there is good reason to honor the Liturgy and the traditions of past generations (though I do not think that we have to do so in every worship situation). As Schalk points out, utilizing the Liturgy and music of past generations does connect us with believers that have gone before us. In a sense, we all worship together, which is a great comfort to those with loved ones that have died.
I will say that the discussion of contemporary worship was a very small section of the book. Overall, the book has great information and scholarship. Schalk himself is a very fine musician, composer and arranger; and the primary function of the book is to illustrate Luther's high opinion of worship music during a time when some believed that music was detrimental to Christianity. The implication for today is that we take music seriously, too and use it as a valuable tool to honor God in worship.