Introduction to the Instrumental Music Issue (Sept-Dec 2010)

By Matt Dabbs

by Jay Guin, Guest Editor
September – December, 2010

Accompanied or A Capella?Flipping through the archives of New Wineskins, I discovered that there’d never been an issue on instrumental music. I mean, for a Church of Christ publication not to address instrumental music is unthinkable. And so, this month we’ll redress the failure.

But we won’t address it in the usual way. Everyone’s heard all the old arguments pro and con. After over a century of debate, the paths are well worn and the ground is packed hard. What would be the point of regurgitating either set of arguments yet one more time? And so, this time, the discussion will cover fresh ground. Here’s the plan —

  1. “On God’s Salvation, Galatians, and the Instrument,” by Jay Guin. I’ll consider how Galatians speaks to the modern instrumental music controversy.
  2. “Thy Kingdom Come,” by Jay Guin. I’ll offer an alternative approach to hermeneutics, based on the Sermon on the Mount and related passages.
  3. “The Early Church on Instrumental Music,” by Danny Corbitt. Danny, the author of Missing More Than Music: When Disputable Matters Eclipse Worship and Unity, will offer material regarding the historical argument that should be brand new to most readers. Recent research into the writing and thinking of the Early Church Fathers has dramatically changed our understanding of why they said what they said about instrumental music.
  4.  
  5. “Reconsidering Ephesians 5:19” by Clyde Symonette. Clyde will offer an approach to the passage that I’d never heard before and that I think is a far better interpretation than any other I’ve ever heard.
  6.  
  7. Psallō: Lost in Translation?,” by Danny Corbitt, providing an extensive word study on psallō.
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  9. “Reflective or Regulative? Inquiry into Two Interpretive Principles and their Application to Instrumental Accompaniment in a Worship Assembly,” by Al Maxey. Al will offer a critique of the Regulative Principle (silence is a prohibition) and offer a better way of addressing the silences of the scriptures.
  10.  
  11. “An Afternoon with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman” is an interview by me of Rick and Chris. Rick is the senior minister of The Hills Church of Christ (formerly The Richland Hills Church of Christ), which is the largest congregation among the Churches of Christ. Chris is the senior minister of the Farmer’s Branch Church of Christ. Both congregations have added instrumental services in addition to their a cappella services.

    Rich and Chris will address a variety of topics, including why they made the change, how they handled the transition, how the addition of instrumental services have helped the congregations fulfill God’s mission. Part 1
    | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

  12.  
  13. “Reflections on My Interview with Rick Atchley and Chris Seidman,” by Jay Guin. This will be my reflections on what Rick and Chris taught me in the interview. And they taught me a lot.
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  15. “David’s Psalms and the New Testament“ by Clyde Symonette. In this second article, Clyde examines the impact of prophecy on the worship of the church.
  16.  
  17. “Beyond the Pitch Pipe” by Ryan Christian. Ryan is the worship minister for The Hills Church of Christ, and he will address what any church considering an instrumental service needs to know about the practicalities of adding an instrumental worship.
  18.  

You see, it’s time. It’s time to get past the “whether it’s okay” debate and move on to the “Is it necessary for this church?” discussion and, for some churches, to the “How do we do it?” discussion.

We’ll post these articles about every-other day. The Q&A with Rick and Chris will be broken down into four posts, due to the length and depth of their comments. And they are deep.

There are two reasons I’m particularly proud of this body of work — meaning the articles by people other than me. First, I’m thrilled to introduce readers to Clyde Symonette, a Bahamian minister for the Westridge Church of Christ, Nassau, Bahamas. We Americans tend to assume that all good Church of Christ theology comes from the USA. God’s mission is to call all nations into his Kingdom, and that can’t happen if no one outside the U.S. gets to be a part of these discussions. Until then, it’s just religious colonialism.

Second, I don’t know about you, but I love a good discussion about doctrinal and practical church leadership issues — when the topic is close to my heart. And this one is. It’s an issue I grew up with and live with. It’s part of who I am. And I’ve savored every word of these articles. Agree or disagree, these are thoughtful, well-written, insightful, fresh works. Enjoy!New Wineskins

Jay GuinJay Guin grew up in northwest Alabama where he learned both the joys and tribulations of the Churches of Christ first hand. He attended David Lipscomb College (now University) in Nashville, majoring in mathematics. At Lipscomb he met, wooed, and married his wife Denise. Jay and Denise have four sons, two of whom graduated from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. Jay’s oldest son, Chris, works in Boston, where he’s part of a church plant. Jonathan is a tax attorney with Ernst & Young in Boston. Another son, Tyler, is attending Auburn University, studying chemical engineering, and the youngest, Philip, is studying computer science at the University of Alabama. After clerking for a federal judge for a year, Jay returned to Tuscaloosa (and the University Church of Christ) to practice law, founding his own firm, Tanner & Guin, LLC, in 1984. Jay has been very active in church, and now serves there as an elder and in leading the effort to merge his congregation with the Alberta Church of Christ, the relocation of the congregation, and two major building programs. Jay has recently spoken at the Pepperdine Lectureship, ACU Lectureship, the Harding University Lectureship, the Lipscomb lectureship (called Summer Celebration), and at ElderLink programs in Atlanta. You can read his bio on his site at [http://oneinjesus.info/about-the-author/] and contact him through the information there.

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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1577 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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