The issue of the type of music used for worship is one of the most debated topics in Christian worship today, though history shows that the issue of music and worship has been argued many times over the past 5,000 years back to the ancient Greeks.
I have been a church musician (choir and instruments) for many years, having participated in both traditional and contemporary worship music environments. As one of the lead guitarists in the Praise & Worship band for a contemporary church, I helped arrange, transcribe, and transpose Contemporary Christian Music (a true misnomer--I call it Christian pop music) for the band.
In one instance (explained in detail It's All About HYMN: Essays on Reclaiming Sacred and Traditional Music for Worship), I realized that this music and my participation in it contributed to the creation of the entertainment atmosphere. The congregation praised my guitar solos more than the message from the sermon.
It's All About HYMN: Essays on Reclaiming Sacred and Traditional Music for Worship consists of 13 chapters that address many of the facets involved with how we as Christians worship and the music we choose to accompany that worship.
What Others Are Saying About It's All About HYMN:
“As the so-called ‘worship-wars’ continue to ravish the church of Christ, some have stepped up to offer wise, biblical insight. Donn LeVie, Jr. is one of these. In It's All About HYMN, Donn provides well-informed, scripturally based criteria by which to select and use music appropriate for worship of our holy God. All who are serious about corporate worship will greatly benefit from a careful study of this thought-provoking book.”
Dr. Gary Gilley
Pastor, Southern View Chapel
Author of This Little Church Went to Market; This Little Church Stayed Home; Is That You, Lord?: Hearing the Voice of the Lord, A Biblical Perspective; I Just
Wanted More Land – Jabez
“Donn LeVie, Jr. has provided biblically based, balanced, and sound arguments for the use in modern worship of sacred music in traditional forms. He points out that we often ask the wrong questions about our worship music: ‘Do we like it?’ ‘Is it popular?’‘Will it attract crowds?’ rather than ‘Does it fit with scriptural principles of worship?’ ‘Does it help us grow in the faith?’ ‘Who is being honored by and through our music?’ LeVie clearly points out that worship and its music is not a matter of our personal likes and dislikes or of the commercial success of the music, but of obedience to the principles laid out in the Bible. This book should be read by
all leaders of Christian worship—and by members of their congregations as well.”
Dr. David W. Music
Professor of Church Music, Baylor University
Author of Christian Hymnody in Twentieth-Century Britain and America: An Annotated Bibliography; Oliver Holden (1765 – 1844): Selected Works; Hymnology; Instruments in Church; A Survey of Christian Hymnody; Christmas Sinfonias: Piano/Organ Book
“Church music leaders in the 21st century face a unique challenge as we respond to technology, paradigm shifts in society, relevance and how best to preserve the church’s rich heritage of music and liturgy for future generations. Donn LeVie, Jr. offers articulate, insightful and diverse essays framed from his varied experience as a church musician of many years. It provokes concerns that all leaders in the contemporary Christian church share. Let the dialogue continue!”
Dr. John Marsh
Vice-Chair, National Leadership Program for Musicians (LPM) Board; Dir. of Music Ministries, Christ the King Lutheran Church Norcross, GA
“Through the varied chapters of It's All About HYMN runs an admirable commitment to the importance of congregational song in the formation and expression of Christian faith and practice. The warnings to worship planners and musicians concerning the trap of choosing music merely by personal preference (regardless of whether it is classical or rock or anything else) are especially worth attention.”
Dr. Carl P. Daw, Jr.
Executive Director, The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada