Gregg Strawbridge continues his series about contemporary music styles in the church.
Toward a Truly Christian Aesthetics of Music
The Biblical Foundations
As has been demonstrated, music in the Bible is both emotive and fluidly connected to language. Yet Scripture strongly indicates the role of music in life and ministry, even apart from the function of the propositional word. The beauty of skillful music itself can remind us of the beauty of the Lord. Beauty without utility was ordained by God in worship (Exo 28ff.). In fact, the first person recorded as being filled with the Holy Spirit is not filled to give a verbal message in prophecy or teaching, but to create works of art (Bazelel, Exo 35:30ff.). The Psalmist reminds us, “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth” (50:2).
The beauty we perceive in this fallen world is merely a dim reflection of the “perfection of beauty, God.” The Psalter’s term, “Selah,” seems to even indicate times for musical, non-lyrical, expression. Thus, music as a non-verbal art can minister (1Sa 16:15-23) and can reflect the beauty of God (Psa 27:4).