How Modern Gizmos Changed Church Music
Our grandparents survived the revolution–the Second Industrial Revolution. While today some of them might be temporarily mystified when configuring their laptop for wireless Internet, most have happily discovered this is no harder than configuring the antenna for an Atwater Kent. In a similar way, our grandparents are also familiar with the dire predictions of social upheaval supposedly caused by the Internet, cable broadcasting, and MP3 players–because they first heard these warnings in relation to radio, phonographs, moving pictures, and eventually TV. The arguments have not changed; neither has the essential problem. All that’s different is the technology. In light of this, I’ve been happy to discover our senior saints have great sympathy for the discernment problems that plague our current generation of parents. After all, our grandparents lived through these same issues as the firstborn children of the media age.
This recent history has been the subject of much recent comment on SharperIron. In fact, some conservative church musicians have blamed the 1920s for most of our current ills, suggesting that commercialism began with the Gospel hymns of Moody and Sankey, continued unabated through the Gospel songs of Rodeheaver, and reached its nadir with today’s CCM styles. While I agree with some of these concerns, this approach occasionally smacks of a conspiracy theory that conveniently overlooks conflicting evidence in order to prove a particular philosophical point.
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