From Heavenly Harmony

The Depths of Solemn Grandeur

by Ken Myers

Many years ago, my undisguised disapproval of worship music that is inspired by contemporary pop music was (somewhat glibly) diagnosed by an acquaintance as an expression of a severely rationalist temperament. "You don't like these new praise songs because you don't want worship to be too emotional," explained my interlocutor. "Actually," I responded, "the problem with this music is that it isn't emotional enough. It typically lacks the aesthetic resources to express the depth of joy, sorrow, gratitude, and awe that worship demands." Well, those weren't exactly my words at the time, but it's what I was trying to convey. And my concern about the adequacy of musical language in worship . . .

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Ken Myers is the host and producer of the Mars Hill Audio Journal. Formerly an arts editor with National Public Radio, he also served as editor of Eternity, the Evangelical monthly magazine, and This World, the quarterly predecessor to First Things. He also serves as music director at All Saints Anglican Church in Ivy, Virginia. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.

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33.3—May/June 2020

Consolation in Death

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