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The Deception of Music

Image of Bookcover of Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin on with Darryl SchoemanAs part of my theological studies, I am busy with a book by Bob Kauflin called Worship Matters. It is a profoundly theological book on the subject of Christian worship, especially as it pertains to the musical aspect of worship.

One of the key thoughts that he has focused on is how deceptive music can be. He writes that music can make theologically shallow or vague songs appear to be substantive, yet according to Jesus’ command, it is the Word of God that should be dwelling in us richly, not musical experiences. To quote Bob directly, “Sing God’s Word. Lyrics matter more than music. Truth transcends tunes.”

Truth transcends tunes.

But he shares the following story that illustrates the deceptive nature of music most profoundly:

I once heard of a Christian woman who spent time serving God in South Africa. While visiting a health clinic, she was deeply moved by the sound of the local Zulu women singing. Their harmonies were hauntingly beautiful. With tears in her eyes [emphasis mine], she asked a friend if she knew the translation of the words. “Sure,” her friend replied. “‘If you boil the water, you won’t get dysentery.'”

Now, coming from South Africa, I can truly relate to the harmonious capabilities of my fellow country-men. But this example highlighted acutely the reality of the power of music to “alter” one’s perspective, even negatively.

Follow me on Twitter as I periodically Tweet Bob’s pearls of wisdom from Worship Matters.

my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say

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