PHILOSOPHY OF MUSIC
My Psalm settings and hymns were written with congregational singing in mind. As such, the aesthetics of these works is consciously striving towards accessibility and excellence. One of my foundational motivations in planning worship services is choosing and writing music and texts that are objectively beautiful and good as an appropriate offering to the Most High God as He calls us as His people into worship.
I believe that the eternal Word of God should be set to music that has an appropriate Biblical sense of permanence, beauty, goodness and truth. There is a timelessness that is inherent in music of folk traditions that transcends when it was written—this has been a significant source of inspiration since that timelessness provides an appropriate foundation for eternal truth. Hans Rookmaaker reminded the Church that we must bring the Gospel to bear in the times in which God has placed us. While this does not mean succumbing to the styles of the day, it does pose the challenge of applying theological, Biblical and historical models to our own era.
With this in mind, the music and texts reflect that specific needs for corporate worship in a local church: specifically a local congregation in the Middle Tennessee—an area steeped in folk, Celtic and Southern Harmony musical roots. Some of these songs have texts that fit a particular sermon or service. Many of these Psalm settings were written as the Psalm of the Month for our worship services.
In no way would I say that this is the only way to present Psalms and hymns for corporate worship, but it has been an effective way for our congregation to sing, meditate and incarnate the Word of God in their families, hearts and lives.
I believe that beauty is an attribute of God and is therefore a theological issue.
I believe that beauty and excellence are objective and that the Bible provides the standard for what is beautiful and excellent.
I believe that since there is a biblical objective standard for what is beautiful and excellent that this should apply especially in areas of worship.
I believe that an understanding of beauty enables a greater understanding of the nature and character of God.
I believe that the arts are worldview incarnate.
I believe that goodness, truth, and beauty are Trinitarian concepts and that each element requires the relationship of the other two for complete understanding.
I believe that the saints need to know how to sing for the sake of the worship of God.
I believe that we should know, respect, and utilize the arts of the past as we continue to create new art that is historically informed but also Biblically creative.
I believe that originality is not a Biblical notion.
I believe Philippians 4:8 provides a Biblical pattern by which to critique our thoughts and actions as well as our affections
I believe that the Church no longer has clarity on how to train and equip artists because we have often adopted a secular view of the arts.