April 07, 2014

How Many Minor Keys Are We Singing In? Why ask the question? I'm preparing a 90-minute seminar as part of doctoral work at Durham University (England) on the place of sadness in contemporary praise and worship. Needless to say, my project includes many facets of research on this topic. One aspect is to explore musical modes of contemporary praise and worship songs. Below is a chart on the relevant emotion of a particular musical structure. I have highlighted the lines that mention sadness. What list of songs is being used? Dr. Lester Ruth at Duke University began compiling a list of songs in 1994 that have appeared on the US Top 25 lists published by CCLI twice a year. As of February, 2014, Ruth has identified 104 unique songs that have been on the US Top 25 lists in the past 25 years (since CCLI began publishing such lists in 1989). What does it mean? We must be careful in saying too much about what this means. Not all "laments" are in minor keys, and not all songs in minor keys are "laments". A more detailed analysis of words and themes is necessary. (Dr. Lester Ruth has done an analysis of verbs; I will mention his findings in my project but not here for now.) How you can help Since none of the songs are technically in a minor key, I have created a range of categories for "minor motifs". I'd appreciate your help in going through the list and seeing which songs belong to which category. UPDATE: I'm working on making more precise notes to my Word Doc. Here are some new categories: “Minor Motif Scale” mm 1: verse or chorus begins or ends with minor chord mm 2: verse and chorus begin or end with minor chord mm 3: verse or chorus begins and ends with...
What is Sanctification FOR? In the flurry of conversation about sanctification-- thanks to the public disagreement between Pastor Tullian and The Gospel Coalition-- I keep wondering if one question is being ignored: What is sanctification for? We've explored what it might mean-- a looking back or a striving toward-- and if it results in transformation or not...but why does it matter? What is it for? In our day, we seem to force everything through the grid of acceptance and rejection. So, when it comes to sanctifcation, we ask, "Will I be accepted if I am not fully sanctified?" Or, "How sanctified do I have to be in order to not be rejected-- by God or by the Church?" While these might be sincere questions, I suspect they are misguided. Consider the following: (a) If we were created to be God's image-bearers-- to reflect God's wise and loving rule into God's world, and (b) if the Fall has marred that image (at best), and (c) if Jesus is the perfect image of God, and (d) if salvation-- in its totality-- is about setting us right, putting us and the world back together again in such a way that we and all creation are being made 'new', (e) then sanctification is about restoring the image of God in us for the glory of God and for the life of the world. When God incorporates us into Christ, His righteousness becomes ours, the Spirit in-dwells us, and we are called children of God. And then the Spirit begins to work in us both to desire and to do (Phil. 2:12-13), conforming us to the image of the Son of God...not so we can become children of God, but because we are dearly loved children of God (Eph. 5:1). The Spirit helps us become the children of God...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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