Academic journal article The Hymn

Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church Music Today

Academic journal article The Hymn

Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church Music Today

Article excerpt

Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church Music Today by Paul S. Jones. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing Co., 2006. 316+xvi pp. ISBN: 0-87552-617-9. U.S. $16.99.

Paul S. Jones is Organist and Music Director at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. He is also on the Council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and states from the outset that Evangelical Christian educators and musicians are the intended audience for his book, which is a clarion call for the maintenance and/or return to traditional church music standards based in Biblical theology. Dr. Jones's writing is engaging and the 32 essays that make up the book are thought-provoking. J. Ligon Duncan III, Senior Minister at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, has called the book "constructively provocative." The short chapters and variety of topics make the book easy to dip into a little at a time.

Much of the book is about worship theology and practice or music ministry issues, not hymnology. The seven chapters of Part 2 are, however, devoted to "Hymnody and Psalmody." Included in this section of the book is a chapter on "Writing Hymns" and one entitled "Biblical Hymns of James Montgomery Boice." Boice (1938-2000) was pastor at Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia, where he and the author collaborated in some hymnwriting. Examples of their hymns in this book are drawn from a larger collection published by the church called Hymns for a Modern Reformation (2000). Later in the book, Jones has an excellent chapter about the process of writing a tune for a text by Eric J. Alexander.

Dr. Jones anchors his book in the Bible and Reform theology at every turn, quoting liberally from scripture and both Luther and Calvin. …

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