PART 2 - NEW SONG IN AMERICAN REVIVALS
PART 3- NEW SONG AND THE JESUS MOVEMENT
SUMMATION AND OBSERVATIONS
I waited patiently for the Lord
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me out of a horrible pit,
Out of miry clay
And set my feet upon a rock
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth.
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:1-3)
Throughout history, music has been a primary means of expression for people whose lives have been touched and changed at the deepest levels. Its astonishing power as a tool for teaching, testifying and, most importantly, transformation, resists all efforts to institutionalize and codify. Despite the best efforts of theologians and musicologists, the enduring power of music remains largely a mystery. Its role in revival is indispensable and, in any true spiritual awakening, evidence of what King David in Psalm 40 called the "New Song" will be found.
New Song may be calm or ecstatic, shouted or spoken in the silence of the heart, but it will always convey a potent spiritual vitality, always create for itself new forms of relevant expression.
In Psalm 40, as elsewhere in scripture, we see a distinct pattern for the New Song emerge--a biblical prototype that repeats itself throughout history. The spirit responds to an encounter with God; man is delivered, renewed and set on a high place. A fresh expression of spontaneous praise and worship celebrates the deliverance. The experience of salvation becomes the substance of song. God is glorified, faith is revitalized, and the community is blessed.
The purpose of our study is threefold: first, to survey the individuals, movements, and events historically relating to New Song; second, to examine the influence of and response to New Song; and third, to study the relationship over the past fifteen years between New Song and the Jesus Movement.
What, then, is New Song? Where does it come from and what does it sound like? For the purposes of this paper, we may define New Song as any music motivated by faith, celebrating the work of God, and often expressing itself in popular idioms.
A review of the literature related to the role of music in revival reveals the need for familiarity in several disciplines in order to fully grasp the breadth of the subject.
Commenting on this dilemma, one scholar stated: For too long church musicians have failed to admit to the theological presuppositions which determined their musical practice as they have also failed to accept the pastoral implications for their musical presuppositions. (Williamson, 1967, p. 10.)
Although the very nature of our subject defies analysis, interesting and revealing studies have nevertheless emerged. Many center on the personalities involved in the music of revival--Calvin, Watts, and Hastings, to name a few. A dissertation on John Calvin by James Miller, for example, is particularly illuminating. So also is Paul Kaatrud's comprehensive work on American revival music from 1830-60, Revivalism and the Popular Spiritual Song. Francis Williamson's The Lord's Song and the Church is a definitive theological work on music ministry. While George Stansbury gives an excellent overview of music's role in Billy Graham's organization, there is nevertheless a notable lack of material on contemporary new song, particularly in its relation to modern communication tools. This study is divided into three sections. The first is foundational, discussing biblical references, cultural influences, and the historical record. Section II explores the role of New Song in specific American awakenings, highlighting selected events and personalities. Section m examines the advent of New Song in the Jesus Movement, with our vantage point being that of a participant/observer from the year 1969 until the present day.
The role of New Song has special relevance to many of those who trace their Christian roots to the Jesus Movement. Music generally has played a more important role in the lives of this generation than perhaps any other group in history. For Christians, it has served as a great unifier, being used for exhortation, instruction and evangelism and creating a potent and emotional lingua franca for the age.
It is hoped that this paper might clarify the importance and impact of New Song on spiritual awakening.
This study is divided into three sections. The first is foundational, discussing biblical references, cultural influences, and the historical record. Section II explores the role of New Song in specific American awakenings, highlighting selected events and personalities. Section m examines the advent of New Song in the Jesus Movement, with our vantage point being that of a participant/observer from the year 1969 until the present day.
The role of New Song has special relevance to many of those who trace their Christian roots to the Jesus Movement. Music generally has played a more important role in the lives of this generation than perhaps any other group in history. For Christians, it has served as a great unifier, being used for exhortation, instruction and evangelism and creating a potent and emotional lingua franca for the age.
It is hoped that this paper might clarify the importance and impact of New Song on spiritual awakening.
Music also played a vital role in the development of the New Testament church. Fragments of first century hymnody are scattered throughout the letters of Paul, as well as in the works of other church fathers. Such hymn forms were valuable for evangelistic and didactic purposes as well as for worship. The Psalms were a rich source of inspiration for New Testament writers. Of the estimated 287 Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament, 116 are from the Psalter.
Music was a vital part of the functional life of New Testament believers. At informal assemblies, the brethren were encouraged to celebrate in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Pliny the Younger in the year 112, reports that Christians gathered at dawn to sing "to Christ as to God." Yet this emerging tradition was not formed wholly by early Christian practice and Hebraic models. The abstract, theoretical understanding of the Greeks also played an important role.
Music in Hellenistic culture had developed as an applied science, a science that has effects how music is played and heard even to this day. Hellenistic thought informed church leaders as Augustine and Calvin, creating the foundation for some of the most significant musical advances of western civilization. At the same time, there was a tendency among the Greeks to remove music from its place in the fabric of life, establishing it as art for its own sake. The morality of music no longer hinged on its reflection of the truth, but on the beauty of its execution.
According to Pythagorus, Plato and Aristotle, music unerringly mirrors the emotional state of men, imparting to the listener its own emotional complexion. The qualities of gentleness, anger, courage, passion and their opposites, could all be expressed musically. Additionally, music had a moral quality in and of itself--a force for either good or evil effects. Around these doctrines of imitation and ethos, the early church constructed an entire philosophy of music. Its power needed to be controlled. Much of the spontaneous nature of the Hebraic musical model was indeed tamed when from the first to eighth centuries, oral traditions gave way to written notations. In this and other ways, the forms and functions of music were tailored to meet the requirements of a growing church authority. There is, of course, more to godly music than proper construction and execution. While skillful playing is encouraged in the Bible, yet scripture constantly centers on a more significant consideration; the motive of the individual's heart. As the heterogeneous, democratic framework of the apostolic age yielded to hierarchical systems headed by western popes and eastern patriarchs, the didactic function of music quickly became evident. Some of the earliest examples of Christian hymnody were written to counteract Gnostic and Arian heresies: Chrysostom sought to overcome the perverting influence of Arian hymnology with solemn doxologies. Hilary of Poitiers, the first hymn writer of the Latin church, composed orthodox hymns to oppose the spread of the popular Arian hymns.
Ephraim, leader of the Syrian church, introduced to public worship a body of poetry that countered the heretical poetry of the Gnostic Bardesanes.
St. Ambrose, the father of Latin church song, who clashed with the Arians in 386, is quoted as saying, ". . . some claim that I have ensnared people by the melodies of my hymns. I do not deny it." As the fourth century Bishop of Milan, Ambrose's compositions, which made use of popular Greek melodies, facilitated spiritual awakenings, as well as combating heresy. Augustine recorded that he was deeply moved by the hymn singing in Milan.
Yet, even in the earliest days of the church, ritualistic tendencies began to formalize the use of song in worship making little allowance for creativity and spontaneity. "Besides the appointed singers who mount the ambo and sing from the book, others shall not sing in the church," declared the Council of Laodicea in the fourth century.
In marked contrast to such developing church formalism were the Montanist, a charismatic movement first noted about the middle of the second century. Montanus, the founder of the sect, compared a man in the ecstasy of spiritual prophesy to "a musical instrument on which the Holy Spirit plays his melodies." The young church's revulsion at the abysmal public displays in Roman theaters, circuses and arenas where musical instruments contributed to the general debauchery resulted in a ban on musical accompaniment. The misuse of musical instruments has been a source of continuing controversy even to this day. Eusebius, bishop of Caesar in Palestine, eloquently stated, "Our instrument is the entire body by whose movement and action the soul sings a fitting hymn to God . . . Our ten string psaltery is the veneration of the Holy Spirit by the five senses of the body and the five virtues of the spirit." Who could argue with that? Certainly not the common man who by this time was helplessly witnessing the elevation of sacred song to realms far beyond his understanding. The congregation found its role shifted from active participant to passive spectator, ceasing to share in the vital act of worship. Singing became the domain of choral groups drawn from the clergy and a tightly prescribed body of cha nts became the liturgical substance of worship for the next thousand years.
The results were, without question, aesthetically magnificent. Specialized Christian music was developed around an exclusive vocal art. Proclaimed as the exemplary ideal of all music, the Gregorian Chant was based entirely on melody, rejecting totally the alarming possibility of rhythm to inflame and incite. The Gregorian Chant is also one of the great treasures of western civilization. It embodies beautifully the attitude of devotion; the sentiments of humility, awe, and hope; and the transcendental nature of worship.
The only problem was, the people could not sing it. They were required, instead, to stand by and listen as the clergy performed exquisite musical prayers on their behalf. It is little wonder then, that the meaning of what was being done was quickly lost. A strict music form had been needed that could be propagated and controlled by the church with the help of the state. The Gregorian chants brilliantly fit the need.
It was against this formidable and forbidding backdrop that new forms of music struggled to express a hunger for God by the religiously disenfranchised. Throughout the Middle Ages, up to the very threshold of the reformation, small brushfires of prototype revival flared up across Europe, each with its distinctive use of music.
Little is known of what was occurring beyond church walls in this period, aside from the certain fact that God acted then, as elsewhere in history, outside the realms of high culture to move directly among His people. It seems apparent, from the scant evidence available, that while priests intoned chants and muttered litanies in Latin for no one's benefit other than their own, music was serving an important function in popular religious movements. Medieval monks (the Puritans, pietists and evangelicals of their day) didn't hesitate to use new forms of music in their missions. An exemplar of this monastic model was St. Bernard (1090-1153). He was a hymn writer held in high regard by Luther, who said of him, "He loved Jesus as much as anyone can." It was Bernard, founder and abbot of the Convent of Clairveaux, who wrote the timeless hymn:
Jesus, thou joy of loving hearts
Thou fount of life,
thou light of men
From the best bliss which earth imparts
We turn unfilled to thee again.
St. Bernard is only one example of an early reformer, moving among the common people, preaching, singing, and performing signs and wonders in open fields and town squares.
Another light of the age was the German prophetess Hildegard (1098-1179) who is said to have given concerts in the spirit. A recognized healer and severe critic of the established church, Hildegard composed words and music for 63 popular hymns.
Singing was such an important part of the mission of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) that he once proclaimed himself to be "God's gleeman." He is known to have improvised many of his hymns of praise and devotion, which flourished for six hundred years in the informal religious life of the Italians and formed a foundation for enduring folk music forms among them. The founder of the Franciscans is perhaps best known in musical circles for composing the famous "Canticle of the Sun," but as a revivalist who employed music to spread the gospel, he was simply one of the few at that time unafraid to use what so well suited his purpose.
So it was also with John Huss in 1410, founder of a revival movement known as The Hussites. Meeting in marketplaces, fields, and meadows, they sang simple hymns with folk characteristics, many written by Huss in his native Czech to encourage worship in the vernacular. As did many of the Bohemian reformers, Huss based his hymnology on the Psalms, using also ancient Latin hymns, traditional folk songs with religious content, and melodies derived from both sacred and secular sources. He and others set about improving existing texts and establishing new hymns in place of old, doctrinally objectionable material. When Huss was burned at the stake as a heretic, he sang, "Christ, thou Son of the Living God, have mercy upon me."
Another revival movement contemporary to the Hussites and which also fell afoul of the clergy was the Lollards. Poor preachers under the direction of John Wycliff, they taught and sang the word of God in the language of the common man throughout Europe.
It was the Flagellants, however, who seemed to make the most extensive use of music, especially within the context of their penitential crusades. They are generally credited with having revived the use of popular religious songs at several distinct points throughout the Middle Ages, despite relentless persecution by the church. They sang hymns employing popular melodies, but filled with thoughts of death, the woes of humanity, and abundant allegorical references to Mary. Song, for the Flagellants, served many functions, including a means of unification within the sect, an exercise drill for their bizarre rites of penitence and a means of teaching doctrine to the benighted, plague-ridden populace.
The musical legacy of the Middle Ages left the Reformation fathers with a variety of musical traditions, both ecclesiastical and popular, from which to work. While the dominant force in church music continued to be the professional performance of the
Gregorian Chant, hymns of adoration, prophetic and worship music and spiritual song utilizing secular melodies were all being heard outside the church. It was inevitable, in this time of extreme religious polarization, when the rites of the priesthood were so far removed from the needs of the people, that radical expressions of dissent and revival were inevitable.
In the great light of the Reformation new potentials for music were illuminated. One important innovation of the period which aided in music's dramatic impact on ordinary lives was the printing press. Gutenbergs gift to humanity created new audiences, as well as new patrons for the musical art, broadening the traditional support base for music. As in so many areas of endeavor, the press facilitated cooperation across political, social, and cultural boundaries. Composers rapidly absorbed from each others' technical and artistic advances. Most importantly, distribution of printed material, resulting in widespread availability of song and liturgy, increased the level of involvement in all forms of music among the populace.
A revolution in spiritual song was underway as early as 1501 when the first Protestant hymn books were printed by the Bohemian brethren. By re-introducing public worship, the reformers displaced virtually overnight a thousand years of high church ritual. The Reformation fathers condemned the Gregorian Chant for some very telling reasons, revealing along the way their own evolving concepts of music. They objected to the distractions of elaborate vocal and instrumental music, the dangers of overly theatrical performances, the unwarranted expense of elaborate ceremonies and enormous pipe organs and the uselessness of text unintelligible to the common man.
Contrasting the high church's entrenched musical traditions was the simple and pragmatic approach of men like Martin Luther. One of Luther's stated goals was the restoration of true worship. He understood the tremendous benefit resulting from hearing the word of God and then uniting as a congregation to offer thanksgiving in song. This stress on congregational participation in worship became a lynchpin of the Reformation. In 1523, Thomas Muntzer was the first to replace the clerical choir with congregational singing, using virtually the same music. He translated the text into the vernacular--a true beginning of the restoration of biblical psalm singing among the people.
It was in Strausburg, however, in 1524 that Bucer instituted the first singing of hymns, although the text of the material was still rigorously scriptural. In 1526 congregational hymns appeared as part of Luther's liturgical innovations, earning for him the title "father of congregational singing." So effective were Luther's musical reforms (built in part out of the text of Gregorian Chants, Latin hymns and secular melodies) that one outraged Jesuit churchman remarked, "The hymns of Luther have killed more souls than his sermons." Luther's love of music is evident by its abundance in his own life. As a singer and lute player, he often participated in musicals held in his home. Luther said, I am not ashamed to confess publicly that after theology, there is no art which can equal music."
The musical views of another Reformation giant, John Calvin, were distinctly different from those of Luther. Calvin is sometimes portrayed as having a negative influence on church music and accused, quite unfairly, of throwing out the choir and organ music of his day. In fact, the opposite is true. When Calvin first arrived in Geneva in 1536, the first stages of reformation had already been completed under the auspices of Zwingli, a man whose views on music were so doctrinaire as to exclude singing or any other forms of external worship in the church. "Those who praise the singing of the choir so highly are either foolish or childish," Zwingli flatly stated, no doubt partly in reaction to the deplorable state of music at the time. It was against this backdrop that Calvin began to introduce his concept of psalm singing. He paved the way in practice and theory by proclaiming, "We desire the psalms to be sung in spirit. We have seen the example of the ancient church and the witness of St. Paul who said, 'It is good to sing in a congregation with a mouth and heart'." Calvin unquestionably possessed both. Calvin was convinced that psalm singing was of vital importance to the Reformation, a view that put him at odds with the Genevan church and contributed to his exile from that city. Upon his return in 1540, one of his first priorities was to compose the Geneva Psalter, a work that took twenty years to complete. "It will be a good thing to introduce church song," he said, adding, on perhaps a wry note, "As a beginning we shall teach the little children. With time all the church can follow. In his work on the Psalter, Calvin employed the services of two poets, Theodore Beza an Clement Marot (who was a popular secular author), as well as the composer Bourgois who developed simple melodies for the psalms.
Practical, hard-headed and courageous, Calvin held strong views on the place of music in the spiritual lives of his flock. He was known to quote Plato's maxim that "there is scarcely anything in this world which can more powerfully turn or influence the manners of man than music.'' He wrote that through song a doctrine might be better known than if it were simply taught, with sound and rhythm aiding the memory.
Calvin eventually promulgated a complex theory of music that drew heavily on his concept of the sovereignty of God. At its core was the certainty that the Almighty can use the inherent power of music to work His will. What is more than a little surprising, considering the tenor of the times, was Calvin's belief that the same central truth applied to dancing. He held that old Testament precedents established dance as a an acceptable form of worship, so long as it was done in service to God. He stated, "The Israelites had their dances through which they used to sing the praises of God; and that was a decent and chaste rejoicing, indeed, even holy as long as it was part of the service of God."
Such ideas affirmed one of the great contributions of Reformation thought: dancing, singing, instrumental music, and other human expressions were not evil in themselves, but rather had become tools of evil through misuse. The pleasures of such good things, according to Calvin, had to be used to the common benefit of society, tempered with the fear of God. While he showed a real concern for the ethical influence of song, recognizing its corrupting power especially among the young, he nevertheless insisted that the redeemed could reclaim music as an avenue of fellowship with God by the action of the Holy Spirit.
The singing of psalms--Calvin's enduring musical legacy--became so much a part of the work of reform theology that it was eventually to symbolize the insurrection itself. "To know them (the Psalms) by heart is among them a mark of their communion," remarked a Jesuit observer, "to our great shame in those towns where they are in great number, one hears them resounding from the mouth of the artisans, and in the country, from the mouth of the laborer, while the Catholics are either mute or singing some disreputable song." To be a Protestant and to sing psalms was virtually the same, and many a martyr proved the point by going to his death singing. The popularity and spiritual efficacy of this form of worship proved Calvin's contention that psalmody was an expression and affirmation of the priesthood of all believers. At the same time, he rejected "hymns of human composure" asserting that the psalms of David were the perfect models of Christian prayer. His insistence that the music of wors hip be comprehensible to the humblest member of the body (that it seek, in essence, the lowest common denominator) represented a far more radical reformation in spiritual song than that put forward by Luther and others. The liberating effect of the Reformation on worship music was accomplished through the vision, insight and bravery of many men. Each added to the cumulative understanding that a new song was expressing the dynamic of revitalization for their age. These men spoke on the subject of music with an intellectual depth and clarity never heard before or, it could be argued, since. They dealt with this topic as they did all other vital issues of the day--seeking biblical underpinnings and practical applications. In the process, they accomplished the formidable task of wrenching worship from the hands of the priests and returning it to the people. This, undoubtedly, was one of the crowning achievements of the Reformation.
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In the Great Awakening of 1740 it was inevitable that a New Song would have to emerge as fresh spiritual impulses began to be felt. Such impulses were given voice in the work of a remarkable English poet and congregational minister, Isaac Watts, who stands alone in his contributions to the field of hymnology. It was Watts who bridged the gap between the stale, song service of his time and the exuberant hymn singing of the Awakening.
Watts, an accomplished man in a great many disciplines, knew exactly what he wanted to achieve in his hymnody and psalm writing. "There are times and seasons when we should abstain from liberty," he said, echoing the sentiments of John Calvin in his desire that worship music be made accessible to the common man. Sinking his art, as Watts termed it, was a strategy that acknowledged the need for singing with understanding and for a uniformity of interpretation within the congregation. "Songs are generally expressions of our own experience," observed the author of such standards as "Joy to the World" and "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross." Watts continues, "There ought to be some terms of expression that make it look at least like (our) own (present) meditation." Watts' compositions (collected in two books entitled Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs) were widely in use throughout the Great Awakening of 1740.3 Prior to that time, a stern musical tradition held sway, focusing on the psalms of Calvin.
Downey, writing on the music of American revivalism, summarizes the musical heritage brought to New England by the Puritans: "Calvanistic in nature, with little scope for development beyond a methodical vocalization of the Psalms; there was little evidence of free expression ...evangelical hymnody had to wait for a theological re-orientation.
Worship had become a duty, rarely a joy. It was the forceful preaching of the Awakening leaders, typified by George Whitefield, that brought new life to the act of worship in mid-eighteenth century. Whitefield, an Anglican priest, was the most enthusiastic promoter of Watts in the colonies. For his part, Watts reserved judgment. In an account of a meeting between the two, shortly before Whitefield left on his second voyage to Americas, Watts is quoted as saying, "I...warned him of the danger of delusion, irregularity and imprudence that youth and zeal might lead him into." Apparently Watts was more than a little concerned about the enthusiastic methods of the American revival, especially as pertaining to the evangelistic use of his music.
As early as 1713, however, Watts' influence was being felt in the colonies. In that year, Cotton Mather completed a sermon by driving his point home with a hymn by Watts. It is really meaningful," wrote another of the revival's leading figures, Jonathan Edwards, in 1742, "that we should have some other songs besides the psalms of David." In marked contrast to the conservative musical tradition of colonial urban centers, a whole host of traveling exhorters, Baptist farmer/preachers roamed the countryside, utilizing revival music in a variety of ways, including singing in the streets. By encouraging the recently saved to express their new found assurance in song, they helped to crystallize the opposition of anti-revivalist parties, such as the venerable Reverend Ebenesar Turell who condemned the singing of hymns of human composure in the streets and on ferry boats late at night. Would the reverend prefer to hear the cursing and profane songs normally emanating from such places, queried a spokesman for the revivalists? Lower class contingents of the awakening, such as the Separatists, would help to usher in a golden age of new folk hymnody, eloquently expressing the exuberance and fervor of the renewal. James Downey stated, "The most vigorous musical activity resulting from the revival of 1740 existed among the Separatists and Baptists.'' The folk hymn forms of this period (marked by repetition in text and musical improvisation) surfaced again, sixty years later, in the popular camp meeting movement of the early nineteenth century.
The rising spiritual tide at the end of the eighteenth century, dubbed the Second Awakening, was marked in 1792 by "a revival of great power" according to Edward Griffen, reporting from his church in New Salem, Massachusetts. Again we see the tremendous creative potential of revival being realized in a proliferation of fresh and innovative music, such as the pocket hymnals of the Methodist circuit riders, circa 1788. Alongside such startling advances was the distinct polarization of urban and rural factions, with credit for spontaneity and informality going distinctly to the countryfolk. In 1799 the all-sufficiency of Watts was being supplanted by such urban innovations as The Hartford Selection, a hymnal developed outside ecclesiastical sanction. By the early nineteenth century, it was clear that the hymns of Watts had failed to weather the shifting theological currents of revival. His rigorously Calvinistic thought, centered on awe and devotion and reflected in the content of his hymns, could not meet the needs of the Second Awakening. The expressive, emotive and evangelistic hymnody of Charles Wesley (fitting the emerging Armenian thought of the time) did, however.
Wesley's music had been forged in the early Methodist revivals of the mideighteenth century. Over the course of the next seventy-five years, the musical contributions of Wesley, combined with established American folk hymnody (exemplified in the camp meeting phenomenon), resulted in the birth of a hybrid musical form, the gospel song. In successive revivals throughout the era, this form underwent a number of marked stages, each keyed to meet the individual needs of specific awakenings.
In the aforementioned camp meeting movement, which was initiated in 1800, spontaneous, improvised music played a vital role. Camp meetings spread rapidly across the expanding western frontier and were marked by emotionalism, powerful preaching, and days filled with song. Worship songs better suited to the style of urban believers were first collected by such compilers as Ashel Nettleton, an early professional evangelist in New England. His popular hymnal Village Hymns contained songs reflecting the new spirit of evangelical hymnody.
Timothy Dwight, leader of the Yale revival, assembled over 200 hymns under the title Psalms of David. Such efforts reflected a keen interest among revival leaders in the music of their time. While acknowledging that many revival tunes were irregular and grotesque, Congregationalist Pastor Lyman Beecher, exalted them because they appealed to the imagination of the common people. Beecher's music director was Lowell Mason who worked closely with another urban musical progressive, Thomas Hastings, to produce Spiritual Songs for Social Worship.
Hastings was, in turn, associated with evangelist Charles Finney, who promoted Spiritual Songs for Social Worship at his meetings. Finny took a conservative view of music, observing that "a singing revival could never amount to much, because singing dissipated a deep feeling that was necessary for conversion." Rejoicing in song with young converts," he remarked, "often consumed too much time in prayer meetings."
The millennial concerns of Mason and Hastings were reflected in their advanced musical tastes. They viewed the music of rural revival as distinctly inferior, insisting on original and scientifically accurate music with no unholy associations. They condemned the use in revival of the "refuse of secular music which even the devil had abandoned," characterizing it as "being whistled by every chimney sweep and roared by every drunken sailor as he reeled home from the circus or brothel." Despite such prejudices, Mason and Hastings made immeasurable contributions to American revival hymnody. Their association with the evangelistic leaders of their time helped to spread those contributions. In direct contrast to the progressivism of Mason and Hastings was the pragmatic Joshua Leavitt who compiled the popular hymnal The Christian Lyre. Leavitt, who was not a professional musician, greatly admired Charles Finney and produced his hymnal to meet the needs of Finneys revival.
Finney, however, did not reciprocate, choosing instead the Mason/Hastings compilation. Leavitt spoke for the common people in their disregard for those "music masters, writers and organists who denounced revival music as unscientific." Widening schisms between the established church and the revival community were evidenced in musical spheres. Joshua Leavitt stated, "Every person conversant with revivals must have observed that whenever meetings for prayers and conference consume a special interest there is a desire for hymns and music of a different character from those ordinarily heard in church." In other words, the shift in the function of spiritual song during the nineteenth century reflected the revivalists' emphasis on an appeal, to the heart of the common man, accentuating that quality of God which invited fellowship as opposed to that of an Almighty judge, breathing fire and brimstone.
This point of reference emphasis was enriched by the work of a whole crop of American and English writers. Kaatrud quotes William Hunter, a Methodist hymn writer, as saying, "Popular hearts at religious meetings need texts that are warm, animated, energetic, stirring, sentimental, thrilling and filled with enlivening fervor." And that, from all available evidence, is exactly what they got in secular tunes that were known by all classes of people and sparked by potent new spiritual texts. "Any popular song or negro melody," asserted William Bradbury, nineteenth century leader in the reformation of Sunday School music, "may be introduced into the Sabbath school and, house of prayer even with perfect propriety by merely substituting sacred words...." One scholar has observed that music during this period served a number of functions: it aroused Christian workers, inspired holiness, created intimacy within the religious community, aroused interest and excitement at mass meetings and was used as a persuasive tool of conversion. It was an era marked both by the contributions of many outstanding individuals (such as the blind poetess Fanny Crosby who wrote over 8,000 hymns and lived among the poor of New York City) and the rise of commercialism in gospel song.
Revivals created an appetite for published songs, with composers and compilers rushing to meet the need. One man who resisted the tempting commercial lure of the day was pioneer gospel soloist Philip P. Bliss who would accept no money for his contributions to the popular hymnal Gospel Hymns and Spiritual Songs. It was the interdenominational prayer meetings of 1857-58 that marked the beginning of the Fourth Awakening. Commenting on the prayer meetings, George S. Stevens, Methodist minister and historian, said, "the singing was so spirited as to have banished the idea that organs and choirs were indispensable." The prayer meetings were to lead to the international evangelistic ministry of D. L. Moody and Ira Sankey. Ira Sankey provided a musical model adopted by hundreds of imitators in the coming century. "Sankey's songs are true folk music of the people," remarked one observer. By 1899, Sankey had sold over twenty million copies of his hymn books, with all profits and royalties funneled to religious programs and not a penny going to the composer. It was a practice future musical ministers might have done well to follow.
The Moody/Sankey model set the stage for subsequent editions of the preacher/music minister teams that peppered American revival history, including Rubin Torry/Charles Alexander, Billy Sunday/Homer Rhodeheaver and Billy Graham/Cliff Barrows. The twentieth century inherited the well-oiled religious machinery of revival constructed by the preceding generations. Rubin Torry was among the earliest of the classic American evangelists to follow Moody, leading his first worldwide crusade in 1901. Charlie Alexander was Torry's musical man of the hour. An innovator who introduced the piano to revival meeting, Alexander acted as the crusade's master of ceremonies with all the vivaciousness of a community song-fest leader. Apparently less than discreet in his business affairs, which included the administration of substantial publishing interests, Alexander earned Torry's ire when he hired his own personal publicist for their crusades.
Alexander, in turn, served as a model for Billy Sunday's chorister, Homer Rodeheaver, who carried the show business potential of revivalism to its extreme. Joining Billy Sunday in 1910, Rodeheaver like Alexander before him formed his own publishing firm, The Rodeheaver Company, which became one of the largest gospel music enterprises in America. Rodeheaver's crowd pleasing warmed up revival gatherings. He urged the eager congregation to compete with the choir for spectacular musical special effects. "Whenever I go around to churches I tell people there's no use in sitting around like a lot of sour crabapples scaring people away," enthused Rodeheaver who was once called "the most expert master in crowd psychology in the country." "We Christians have the right to be happy n exclaimed Rodeheaver. "So come on! Make this world a better and brighter place. Such bland boosterism of homespun philosophy made Rodeheaver, whose publicity handouts referred to him unabashedly as "the world's greatest songleader," tremendously popular.
According to one contemporary account, he set people to laughing first and then singing and then praying and then thinking about their souls. Significantly, he was also one of the first to recognize the potential in rising communications technologies, recording Christians records as early as 1910. In the Awakening of 1905, the famed Azusa Street meetings in Los Angeles, California gave birth to the Pentecostal movement. A study of the musical practices of the Assembly of God denomination provides an interesting look at musical forms in modern revival. Their services were characterized by fervent singing undirected and often unaccompanied. Sometimes, however, the lively congregational chorus would be joined by the beat of drums and tambourines, the strumming of guitars, along with violins, and the blare of trombones and coronets in the manner of a Salvation Army street band. Initially, the Azusa Street awakening held firmly to the musical worship they felt was characterized by the early days of Pentecost. They eschewed formalism and structure, only later succumbing to an official hymnal.
It seems evident in a study of revivals from 1930-50 that the music of these periods had no genuine awakening with which to attach itself. The issue was further clouded by the encroachment of such modern variables as mass communication and the advent of entertainment values into the revival equation. Sharp eyed social commentators like Sinclair Lewis made literary hay from the confusion and duplicity that had marred 80 much religious activity since the early decades of this century. Whether or not his creation Elmer Gantry was a purposeful distortion of actual evangelical abuses, Lewis found an audience ready to believe the worst of the Bible-pounding preachers with their good time musical cohorts. It was a spiritual revitalization in the late 1940's that birthed the Billy Graham organization. Creating a national publicity stir, the revival was credited with the con version of several pop culture luminaries. Over 700 churches in the Los Angeles area alone cooperated with Graham's efforts resulting In thousands of recorded decisions for Christ. Cliff Barrows commenting on the music of the Graham Crusade said, "Some of the best singing was that which took place before the service actually began, as the people sat together thinking and praying. They just naturally burst into songs such as 'Shall We Gather at the River' and There's a Land That is Fairer Than Day."
The Graham revival was concurrent with other, lesser, awakenings around the country including the Texas Youth Revival Movement of the late forties. One participant of the Baylor University campus revival was Jarrell McCracken, a future far-sighted entrepreneur in Christian communications. McCracken relates that in early mee tings of the Baylor revival, he was inspired by "worshipful emotion and a challenging dedication to Jesus. But it was music that brought it all together. McKracken went on to found the most successful of Christian record labels, Word Records. The arrival of such magnetic media personalities as Alexander and Rodeheaver, coincided with religious music's continued drift out of the hands of pastors and church leaders and into the increasingly powerful grip of publishers, promoters and shadowy parachurch organizations. Increasingly sophisticated marketing and merchandising techniques blurred the distinctions between a genuine work of God's Spirit and the manipulating efforts of men whose motives were as questionable as their methods.
The overriding criteria of any new spiritual song was no longer its impact on the human spirit but its survivability in the marketplace, on radio and records and as a sheet of printed music. The inevitable conclusion was that between 1930 and 1950 revival music had no real revival with which to attach itself. By the time Billy Graham began his work in the early fifties, the music of spiritual awakening had once again found purpose, although it is interesting to note that Graham and his music collabo rator Cliff Barrows depended heavily on tried and true standards such as the Graham crusade standard Just As I Am," a song with a century of respectable tradition behind it. There was a notable lack of innovation following the debilitating excesses of the thirties and forties. Perhaps the most significant contribution to spiritual song up until 1968 was the introduction of then-popular folk music forms to Sunday evening evangelistic services.
Against this backdrop, the revolution of the late sixties and early seventies exploded. record companies such as Word Records, resulting in part from the communications revolution of the second half o- the twentieth century, had a dramatic Impact on the listening habits and appetites of the American people. The advent of radio, phonograph, magnetic tape and transistors brought with it staggering innovationsan electronic age offering unique and creative challenges. Evangelical and revival leaders and strategists were quick to recognize the incredible potential that the nourishing new media's held for their work. They were perhaps less quick to realize the impact of the medium on the gospel message, especially as It pertained to music. The mushrooming new market for religious music (over the radio, on records, and h sheet music) created completely new and utterly baffling problems and tensions.
The voracious markets created in the opening years of the fifties imposed unsettling demands on the writers and performers of Christian music. They found thousands competing not only against the world, the flesh and the devil but among themselves. Success, in the fickle and mercurial marketplace, required adapting to each and every changing musical fashion. Nothing was constant but change itself. The twentieth century new song, for better or worse, was tied to the breathless pace of the communications revolution. For almost sixty years, from the early twenties, the most successful use of media innovations were under the auspices of pioneering parachurch organizations.
Men like Charles P. Fuller on radio programs such as "The Old Fashion Revival Hour" yielded incredible results while the established church struggled to simply understand. It was a struggle that exacted its toll, in an increasing alienation between the church and a media-saturated world. Each time modern musical artists were condemned from the pulpit as "uncircumcised Philistines," corrupting youth with their devilish, sensuous sounds, the church was seen, in the world's eyes as proportionately backward, stale and unaware of what was happening under its nose. As music gained increasing control of the methods and means of gospel music production, the church languished for want of genuine spiritual revitalization, singing century-old songs and resolutely resisting the onslaught of new styles, forms and practices. By the mid-sixties, it was generally acknowledged that if God had ever spoken at all through music, it had only been in the cherished hymns and psalms of the forefathers; that all things musically modern were, at best, tainted and unprofitable; and that spiritual song was best left safely locked up in the sanctity of ceremony. There were minor innovations, during this time.
As early as 1956, the British composer Geoffrey Beaumont, dismayed at the lack of what could properly be called a folk mass, responded by writing one of his own in the popular idiom. Later, in the early sixties, evangelical churches formed traveling pop music groups known for their "progressive" musical style, including Thurlow Spurs and the Spurlows, the World Action Singers and several Youth for Christ ensembles. In 1962, the Papal Bull allowing mass to be said in the vernacular spawned the creation of several Catholic folk masses. Among Protestant evangelicals, a significant development occurred with "The Restless One," a film by the Billy Graham organizaton, featuring a soundtrack with electric bass guitar and drums. The film also included the tune "He Is Everything to Me" still popular today. In 1967, a group of Baptist music directors composed the musical called "GoodNews" which was performed the following year at the Southern Baptist Convention in Houston, Texas. It set a precedent for a number of similar musicals espousing the Christian message, including "Natural High" and "Tell It Like It Is," standard youth program fare for years to come in progressive evangelical churches. Despite their titles, however, such efforts didn't always "tell it like it was." It was not considered kosher in our songwriting to use the name of Jesus in the lyrics," recalls a composer of one such religious pop musical. "That's why we would use pronouns like 'Him,"He,' or 'the One' to refer to God." Other popular "spiritual" hits of the period from I've Got that Joy in My Heart" to "Kum Ba Yah" bear out the contention.
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It was into this vacuum then that a remarkable new musical tradition exploded, one keyed to the age, and making perhaps the most effective use of music in this century. To understand the extraordinary events in New Song beginning in 1968, it is helpful to recall the turbulence, excitement, and danger that characterized the decade. "Choose your apocalypse," quipped one writer of the period, "ecological, political, thermonuclear, social, famine, overpopulation, natural disaster. The experts say it's all going to happen." And indeed, by 1968, much of it, if not all, had happened. Assassinations, political disillusionment, rising drug use, campus chaos, and the Vietnam War were a few plagues of the time. Western civilization was suddenly and completely thrown into a state of violent flux and from the turmoil emerged a strange new figure--the counter- cultural anti-hero, enemy of authority, committed free thinker, impassioned free lover, obsessive searcher. Enclaves of new youth sprang up everywhere and their most potent means of communication, the glue holding them together and passing on the dictates of the new order, was popular music. The musicians espoused the maxims of rebellion and ultimate freedom, their music carrying the virus of social and spiritual transformation.
"There is no separation of form and content in rock and roll music," one observer stated. "They're infused in a continuous experience, simultaneous impressions and feelings. It's as much felt as heard; a participatory music." The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, and their predecessors, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard were the standard bearers of a new consciousness.
The response of the church was both predictable and understandable. The burgeoning youth culture's out-of-hand rejection of old forms and traditions was clear rebellious apostasy. Youth had set itself outside both biblical Christianity and God's redemptive work in man. An uncompromising attack was launched by the church on the sixties' youth culture in general and rock and roll music in particular. Warnings were met, in turn, with derision and contempt. After all, what was the church offering musically except outdated irrelevancies sung by somnambulant choirs? What in the traditional body of church music even approached the exuberance and sense of fun in the latest hit songs by the Beatles or Rolling Stones?
In this atmosphere of recrimination and hostility a sudden spiritual awakening shook the complacent on both sides of the generation divide. The epicenter of that explosive renewal cannot, with any accuracy, be pinpointed, but it is certain that fuses were lit with the work of several independent ministries during 1967-68. Outreaches to the counter-cultures were dubbed by the media "The Jesus Movement." Spiritual sparks began to fly across America and, in the parlance of the day, thousands of disenfranchised youth "turned on" to Jesus.
The movement is apart from, rather than against, established religion," remarked Time Magazine in June 1971. "Some converts speak disparagingly of the blandness or hypocrisy of their former churches, while others work comfortably as a revitalizing force for change from within."
Such observations were made in the midst of a sweeping revival among young Americans in the late sixties and early seventies. Outbreaks of revitalizing fervor were being reported in such cities as Seattle, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and elsewhere, with the west coast of California being a point of both inception and concentrated activity. Hundreds of ministries were being formed primarily to evangelize the counter-culture. Christian communes and coffee houses appeared in metropolitan centers. One such coffee house in New York City was underwritten by the Graham organization which saw quickly the potential of such culturally relevant meeting places. At the end of the sixties, such established youth outreaches as Campus Crusade for Christ virtually doubled in size, adding hundreds of workers to their staffs and increasing both the breadth and number of their mission fields.
Lutheran Youth Alive was constituted in 1969 and the following year sent out ninety teams to announce the new revival to Lutheran churches around the nation. The Christian World Liberation Front, sounding more like a revolutionary cell than an evangelistic organization, was formed in the fall of 1968 to bring the Gospel message to the radical student population at the University of California at Berkeley.
"The message of the Jesus Freaks," remarked a highly critical observer at the time, "is simply down-home, Jesus-is-the-way, evangelical fundamentalism delivered with flower child innocence and visionary fervor. Most of the converted are between fourteen and twenty, and they possess an amazingly glowing energy and commitment, all shining as though they've just washed their hair."
"Rather offbeat and bizarre," was how another, more sympathetic writer, described them, "but with an outpouring of enthusiastic commitments to the person of Jesus. The highly emotional behavior of its participants is reminiscent of the ecstatic phenomena that accompanied the revival movements of the nineteenth century Protestantism."
"I see the dangers," a Presbyterian minister warned. "This biblical literalism. The kids quote verses without understanding them to prove a point. I thought we had out-grown that.
Whatever they had outgrown, it was clear to the astute that the Jesus People carried with them to their new-found faith many of the ideals of their former lifestyles. "Hippies had," said one writer, "served as a prophetic voice to lash out at materialism and the capitalist success system, advising instead detachment from wealth, attention to people, openness to beauty, cultivation of diversity." This concept is central to understanding the unique contributions of the Jesus People to Christian thought and practice in the sixties and seventies, particularly in regard to music.
Calvary Chapel, in Costa Mesa, California played a particularly important role in the development of New Song during those decades, and continuing even to the present day. Prior to the rising spiritual tide of 1968, the church had a congregation of 150 people, grown from its original flock of thirty when Chuck Smith, an affable, soft-spoken pastor arrived in late 1965. Today, the church numbers well over 20,000 in weekly attendance and has spun off over 250 daughter churches, some with congregations in excess of 5,000.
Most church historians agree that it was the Baptists who gained the most ground in the Awakening of 1740, while Methodist numbers swelled in the camp meetings of the nineteenth century and Pentecostals in the 1905 worldwide revival. Similarly, there can be little doubt that the Jesus Movement grew most markedly in 1968 under the auspices of non-denominational church systems exemplified by Calvary Chapel. The obverse also obtains. The fact is that while the Jesus Movement brought in the numbers which built Calvary Chapel, the church itself provided the foundation for thousands of young believers to mature and find their way as adult Christians. The church was one among a handful experimenting with ways to effectively reach the counter-culture. One such method was the Christian commune, also known as the House Ministry. In these informal living arrangements, music played an indispensable role. John Higgins, who oversaw Calvary House Ministry program, recalls, "We sang every day. There was lots of rejoicing and people were making up new songs all the time. Some would even write lyrics to things like Coca Cola commercials." Another leader of an early Christian commune recalls, What God was doing among us created an immediate demand for something new to sing. Music was the center of our culture, everybody was going to concerts. Sponsoring Christian concerts seemed to be the right way to share the faith. I remember one religious group in the area was preaching against rock music. We thought such preaching was nuts.
Author John Sherril provides this account of a typical evening in a Christian commune:
As the music continued, several people at the table began to "sing in the Spirit." Soon the whole room was singing a complicated harmony without score, created spontaneously. It was eerie but extraordinarily beautiful. Without prompting, one quarter of the room would suddenly start to sing very loudly while others subsided. Harmonies and counter-harmonies wove in and out of each other.
It's a description that might well fit the musical celebrations of nineteenth century camp meetings or perhaps even such spiritual singing as is related in the New Testament.
The early years of the Jesus Movement were also marked by the emergence of the modern Christian music group employing conventional pop instrumentation--electric guitars and keyboards, as well as a full array of percussion instruments. The band Love Song is a telling example of such a group. Love Song was initially a secular rock and roll band that earned its living by playing in bars and nightclubs. In the late sixties, group members lived together communally, experimenting with drugs and dabbling in Eastern mysticism. The group's leader, Tommy Coomes, recalls the group's first encounter with the potent revival of the period centering at Calvary Chapel:
Towards the end of the service the people began to sing. I found that the worship and the singing was really touching. The melodies were pretty--a little old fashioned but they were very warm and it made me feel good to sing them. It was really quite beautiful. The feeling I got was of elation. My impression was that these people really knew who God was. Four of the members of Love Song became Christians shortly after this encounter. Coomes recalls, "After we'd been going to church a few weeks, we asked Chuck Smith if we could sing some of the songs we'd written. He wanted to hear them, so we went out in the parking lot and played a few for him. I remember that he cried and asked us to play that evening."
Love Song's audition song was an original composition called "Welcome Back," and a sampling of its lyrics reflect the intensely personal nature of early Jesus Music:
Welcome back to the things you once believed in,
Welcome back to what you knew was right all along,
I'm so happy now to welcome you back,
Welcome back to Jesus.
At a subsequent Bible study at which the group performed, Coomes recalls another incident that revealed the new relationship between the growing church and their music: I remember we'd just finished a song and all of a sudden Chuck jumped up and started preaching on the subject we'd been singing about. It was incredible. These songs were just personal to us and I never thought of somebody taking the lyrics and turning them into a sermon. Afterwards he gave an altar call and a lot of people were saved. That sort of thing started happening over and over again.
The unmistakable patterns of New Song were indeed becoming evident. Love Song went on to become one of the most popular groups of the Jesus Movement, traveling the country, doing concerts in churches and schools, often as part of an anti-drug program. By the time they disbanded in 1974, they had inspired dozens of imitators who identified not so much with their particular sound as with the sincerity of their expression. They had come to typify the music and ministry of their day in much the same way that Ira Sankey did in his.
New Song, by the early seventies, was evident everywhere youth congregated--in communes, church youth Bible studies, beach baptisms, street corners and witness concerts. This latter forum became increasingly popular as public schools opened their auditorium doors to a type of music that seemed to effect so positively the communities' youth. Chuck Smith recalled one such concert as being particularly dramatic. At Milliken High School in February, 1971, over five hundred made public decisions for Christ. Smith was most impressed by the fact that as he left the auditorium, he saw groups of kids, huddled in small prayer groups, stretching down the street. It was a period that also saw the increased popularity of music festivals, such as the 1970's Love Song Festival in Southern California and Expo '72, sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ in Dallas. Such events reportedly drew up to 80,000 participants.
Some of the most successful evangelism was accomplished by traveling teams of musicians and "exhorters." In the summer of 1971, for example, many such teams roamed throughout Europe, creating a popular sensation. One team was met in Stockholm by hundreds of young people singing hymns, A very successful evangelistic campaign followed.
By 1977 it was apparent that a thriving commercial enterprise had grown up around the popularity of contemporary New Song. An extraordinary number of publishing and recording businesses were birthed. Christian radio, programming for the New Song, became a major force, as composers were made aware of the importance of radio airplay in selling their work. This burgeoning new Christian industry created staggering moral and ethical dilemmas. Fame became equated with effective ministry. Aesthetic considerations dominated as musicians became absorbed in the process rather than the purpose of making music. The message of redemption was soft-peddled as attempts to break into the "secular" music mainstream intensified. This industry and the established church often seemed to be working at cross purpose.
Late in the decade, however, a process of reflection and re-evaluation began to take place. Artists and executives returned to a serious search for the purpose to which God had called them. For example, at Maranatha! Music in 1979, we had a full roster of popular contemporary Christian artists, each requiring substantial recording and promotional budgets to continue their "ministries." Fewer artists were receiving greater attention with diminishing results. At the same time, that branch of Maranatha! Music involved with simple songs of worship, called Praise Music, was flourishing. Our mandate seemed clear: by 1980 we had released from contractual obligations all of our artists and began concentrating our efforts on a program of equipping young music ministers for active roles in local communities.
Although its form was often modeled on the surrounding pop culture, New Song of the seventies was, by and large, born of a work of the Holy Spirit and nurtured by a young and growing church. The ranks of Christian workers in the creative arts--utilizing the full spectrum of modern communications--evidenced a continued and genuine desire for reformation and renewal.
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This paper has attempted to provide insight into some of the key individuals, movements, and events relating to the role of music in revival, with a particular emphasis on the contemporary awakening of the Jesus Movement.
Section I was foundational, exploring biblical song and its vital place in scripture, which described rather than prescribed the uses of music. We reviewed briefly Hebraic musical practices as contrasted with the Greek science of music--a theoretical doctrine which separated music from the fabric of life. We reviewed the rise of the hierarchical church through the Middle Ages, a period when the act of worship was increasingly normalized in such musical traditions as the Gregorian Chant. We noted a few exceptions of individuals and groups with whom the New Song was evident.
With the Reformation, we attempted to document the activities of the music reformers, most often the key theologians and pastors of the time. The restoration of congregational song, in public worship and through the singing of psalms and hymns, was noted. We alluded, in passing, to the impact of the printing press.
Section two dealt with the New Song in American Revivalism, most particularly through the influence of Isaac Watts, who bridged the gap between outmoded psalm singing and a genuine expressions of praise. Along with the developing rural tradition of folk hymnody, the turn of the eighteenth century saw the hymns of Charles Wesley gain widespread acceptance. New Song re-emerged in the camp meetings, Sunday school, and those gospel music forms popularized by Ira Sankey in 1875. The communications revolution marked the advent of the twentieth century with the long-term impact on both the substance and style of revival music. We followed in Section III with a review of New Songs role in the Jesus Movement of the late sixties as well as the birth of a contem- porary music form and the attendant rise of commercialism.
We have observed that, almost without exception, genuine spiritual awakening has resulted in the birth of New Song. New Song is associative to God's work, not causative, although it serves several important functions. It bears the message of renewal. It unites the people in worship. It records God's work.
Additionally, in many ways it symbolizes the renewal, tracing the history of the awakening and reflecting its theological concerns. The universal priesthood of the believer, espoused by Luther, was made manifest in congregational singing. Calvin's vision of the church as a restored Israel resulted in his work to renew the psalms. Their ac- complishments will endure, and our concern should lie at least as much with their practices as with their product.
The church has for too long majored in theological thought and minored in an understanding of the importance of music to express the truth of Jesus Christ. Music that meets the needs of the people is the direct result of ecstatic revival, while change in ecclesiastical musical tradition is often slow and agonizing. Jonathan Edwards, in his defense of the revival of 1740, set out five criteria for genuine spiritual revival. It must first exalt Jesus Christ. It must attack the Kingdom of Darkness. It must honor the scriptures. It must promote sound doctrine. It must involve an outpouring of love toward God and man. To this list, we might add a sixth: it must bring a New Song to the church.
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