Sunday, September 30, 2012

FW: Church Music Month on Internet Monk


Worth watching…


Posted on: Sunday, September 30, 2012 11:00 AM
Author: Chaplain Mike
Subject: Church Music Month on Internet Monk


Ghent Altarpiece, van Eyck

October will be "Church Music Month" on Internet Monk.

Throughout the month we will feature posts about the ministry of music, with particular emphasis on its role in worship in the local congregation.

  • Articles that express various perspectives about church music.
  • Interviews with people who are working in congregations in the ministry of worship and music.
  • Pieces that explore congregational music in church history.
  • Reviews and recommendations regarding recordings and resources for church music.
  • Classic Michael Spencer articles about the state of Christian music.
  • Other posts to be developed based on your suggestions and our conversations.

Feel free to write me or drop Jeff a line (use the links at the upper right hand corner) with ideas of topics you'd like to see covered or any other suggestions.

To turn our thoughts toward music, let us start with our good friend Martin Luther, for whom music represented one of God's greatest gifts:

We can only mention one point (which experience confirms), namely, that next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise.

…For whether you wish to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate — and who could number all these masters of the human heart, namely, the emotions, inclinations, and affections that impel men to evil or good? — what more effective means than music could you find?

- Preface to Georg Rhau's Symphoniae iucundae

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Closing 6.3 and Opening 6.4

Michaelmas: Closing Issue 6.3 and Opening Issue 6.4

This post will mark the last entry in QBR 6.3, Apostles' Tide,
and the opening entry in Angels' Tide, QBR 6.4

With the beginning of Volume 6,
we intend to discontinue making pdf editions of this blog
(unless there are overwhelming requests for them).

In response to an expressed need,
we now have two sub blogs that both feed into
Liturgy, Hymnody, and Pulpit Quarterly Book Review

The content of
should appear to remain the same. 

Readers that wish to receive only our forwards
can now also go to

Readers that wish to only receive
our original book and resource reviews
and be notified of new resources that we have received
may go to,
the LHP Lutheran Book Review blog.
We DO plan to make pdf versions of LHP LBR.

The Editor

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

FW: Orthodox Worship Versus Contemporary Worship




Feed: Pastoral Meanderings
Posted on: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 5:00 AM
Author: (Pastor Peters)
Subject: Orthodox Worship Versus Contemporary Worship


Within the past few decades, a new form of worship has become widely popular among Christians. Where before people would sing hymns accompanied by an organ, then listen to a sermon, in this new worship there are praise bands that use rock band instruments, short, catchy praise songs, sophisticated Powerpoint presentations, and the pastor giving uplifting practical teachings about having a fulfilling life as a Christian. This new kind of worship is so popular that people come to these services by the thousands. They go because the services are fun, exciting, easy to understand, and easy to relate to. Yet this new style of worship is light years away from the more traditional and liturgical Orthodox style of worship.

So begins a lengthly blog post from Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy on the subject of contemporary worship.  It is worth the read.  Even if you do not agree with everything he says, it is a thoughtful post and a good entry into the ever popular worship wars debate.

First we need to ask: Is there a guiding principle for right worship?  St. Stephen, the first martyr, gave a sermon about the history of the Jewish nation.  In this sermon he notes that Old Testament worship was "according to the pattern."

Our forefathers had the tabernacle of the Testimony with them in the desert.  It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. (Acts 7:44 NIV, bolds added).  

This phrase comes up again in the book of Hebrews.

They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.  This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."  (Hebrews 8:5 NIV, bold added)

The phrase is a reference to Exodus 24:15-18 when Moses went up on Mt. Sinai and spent forty days and forty nights up there.  On Mt. Sinai Moses was in the direct presence of God receiving instructions about how to order the life of the new Jewish nation.  Thus, the guiding principle for Old Testament worship was not creative improvisation nor adapting to contemporary culture but imitation of the heavenly prototype.

The article just keeps getting better.  Especially significant is the last line of the quote above -- imitation of the heavenly prototype.  That is something behind the whole essence of liturgical worship.  It mirrors not the culture of the day (as contemporary worship forms and music do) but attempts to prefigure, glimpse, and direct the worshiper to the heavenly realm which our earthly temple prefigures. If you want some good Lutheran reading on this, get yourself Art Just's great book Heaven on Earth:  The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service (CPH):

... in worship Christ is summoning us home to be with Him when He invites us to sit and listen to His Word with our ears or our eyes and then come forward and receive His flesh with our mouths. Our eyes are opened to His bodily presence where He offers us the best seat at the table and the finest food.  We have come home to be with God in the Father's house, a foretaste of our final homecoming at the Lamb's banquet in His kingdom that has no end.  Worship is our home, our own unique culture inhabited by Christ Himself, we we know by heart its language and its rhythms for we have immersed ourselves in its life because it is His life...  p. 245

Again, from Orthodox Christian Robert Arakaki:

This is a participation of the heavenly worship described in Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8.  For the Orthodox Church this point of the Divine Liturgy is not so much an imitation as a participation in the heavenly worship.


If the Apostle Paul were to walk into an Orthodox liturgy, he would immediately recognize where he was — in a Christian church.  The key give away would be the Eucharist.  This is because the Eucharist was central to Christian worship.  In the days following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost the early Christians met in homes and celebrated "the breaking of bread" (the Eucharist).  Paul received his missionary calling during the celebration of the liturgy (Acts 13:2 NKJV).  He made the celebration of the Eucharist a key part of his message to the church in Corinth (I Corinthians 11:23 ff.).

If Paul were to walk into a traditional Protestant service with the hymn singing, the reading of Scripture and the lengthy sermon he might think he was in a religious service much like the Jewish synagogue.  He may not have much trouble accepting it as a kind of Christian worship service, although he might question their understanding of the Eucharist.  However, if the Apostle Paul were to walk into a mega church with its praise bands and elaborate worship routine, he would likely think he was at some Greek play and seriously doubt he was at a Christian worship service.  If the Apostle Paul were to walk into a Pentecostal service he would probably think he had walked into a pagan mystery cult that had no resemblance at all to Christian worship.

You just cannot miss the difference -- whether you can explain the theology of it or simply relate the radically different experience.  Good stuff in the ongoing debate about what Sunday morning should look like...

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FW: Now This Looks Interesting – The First Confessional Lutheran Hymnal in America

Next Spring…


Feed: Cyberbrethren Lutheran Blog Feed
Posted on: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:43 AM
Author: Paul T. McCain
Subject: Now This Looks Interesting – The First Confessional Lutheran Hymnal in America



Coming….Spring 2013. Here is a sampling of what people are saying about it:

This book paves a path back to the roots of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod which was blocked until now for all those who are not able to read and understand German. But this book is more than just a historical remembrance of what has been long time ago. It also shows that Lutherans of our days sing for a good part the old hymns which have been sung by the forefathers of the 19th century, yes even by the Lutheran Church of the centuries before. Finally this publication is of great value because it enables readers to rediscover hymns which are – for different reasons – not in use anymore. They are now able to join in words and melodies which may sound unfamiliar in the first moment but make accessible experiences and testimonies of Christian faith which may be underemphasized in our days.
—Prof. Dr. Christoph Barnbrock
Professor of Practical Theology, Lutherische Theologische Hochschule Oberursel (Germany)

Walther's hymnal, originally published in 1847, shaped the theology, graced the liturgy, and fostered the spirituality of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod almost from its beginnings, but did so in the German language. Until now English-speaking Missouri Lutherans have been unable to appreciate the significance of this collection of hymns, which, when it first appeared, was a pioneering anthology that sought to undo layers of editorial re-writing and truncation and give the texts in the language and length their authors gave to them. Matthew Carver has opened the closed door and provided English translations for all the hymns in Walther's hymnal, and many are translated for the first time.
—Robin A. Leaver
Yale Institute of Sacred

Music Matthew Carver has performed an extraordinary service to the English-speaking spiritual descendants of C.F.W. Walther, the first LCMS president. Through the compilation of existing translations and his original translations of the remaining hymns, Carver has made it possible for us to experience one of the most significant resources that shaped the piety of those first generations of Saxon Lutherans. Walther's Hymnal will serve not only as a rich devotional resource for our time but also as an impetus for future hymnwriters as they add to our rich heritage.
—Dr. Paul Grime
Concordia Theological Seminary

This resource is a wonderful packet of "Heirloom Seeds" for all who wish to learn more about the spirit and song of the Lutheran confessional revival of the nineteenth century. Those who study and sing the hymns in this collection will be treated to an experience of living theological and liturgical history which give a glimpse into the faith expressions of those who passed a lively confession to us. This will be a welcome addition to the library of all who appreciate the Lutheran chorale, and for composers who are searching for "new" texts to inspire musical settings for use in the church, school and home.
—Rev. Prof. Dennis Marzolf, (MDiv, MM)
Music Department Chair Bethany Lutheran College Mankato, MN.

"Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith." The literary productivity of C. F. W. Walther is absolutely astounding. Of all the Missouri Synod presidents, I suspect only Franz Pieper (1899–1911) came anywhere close to Walther. Excluding Pieper, our venerable first president's output exceeds all the rest combined. That Walther turned his precious time and laser-like attention to the production of a hymnal at the very outset of the Missouri Synod's life, demonstrates that orthodox Lutheranism has orthodox worship in its very DNA. Thanks to Matthew Carver, we now have Walther's hymnal, which guided the life of the Synod through its German-speaking period—six decades blessed with exponential growth. And much more than that, the core German hymnody that Walther thought a Lutheran hymnal ought contain has been preserved largely intact to this very day in Lutheran Service Book. That the Synod should have maintained Walther's deep convictions regarding freedom in matters of worship, while so broadly adopting similar practice through hymnals, is testimony to his Lutheran genius.
—Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

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FW: Reports coming in on the Mass for Philadelphia


A resource soon to be reviewed by LHP QBR…


Feed: Kile Smith
Posted on: Sunday, September 23, 2012 6:33 PM
Author: Kile Smith
Subject: Reports coming in on the Mass for Philadelphia



Churches are starting to introduce the Mass for Philadelphia into their services, and I'm starting to hear back that all's well. "Really fine" and "very well received today" were among the reports received—all positive, by the way!

Some are working it in over a couple of weeks, and some began with the already-prepared choir in "plainclothes" in the nave, to help along. This is a great idea, and one Bach used in Leipzig with some of the schoolboys who'd come early to learn his reworked chorales. Even though this Mass is written specifically for congregational singing, and is easy to learn, anything new will give pause.

(I was going to add, "especially in church," but it's true everywhere.)

The proof of the director is in the preparation, and I'm indebted to the wonderful ones who have purchased and prepared this for their congregations. In the churning, week-after-week world of church music, you want your pieces to be bullet-proof as well as beautiful, and so I couldn't have received a better compliment than this one, from a director in New England, "It was all good"!

More information about the Mass, composed for the Philadelphia 2012 Conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians, is here. Any questions about any of it, please send me an email here, and thanks!

Filed under: Choral music, church music, liturgical music, new music Tagged: Association of Anglican Musicians, J.S. Bach, Mass for Philadelphia

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Received for Review


von Shenk, Berthold. The Presence: An Approach to the Holy Communion. Dehli, NY: American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, 2010. (Previously published by New York: Ernst Kaufmann, Inc., 1945, 1946.) 173 Pages. Paper. $12.50. (LHP)

Braaten, Carl. E. Essential Lutheranism: Theological Perspectives on Christian Faith and Doctrine. Dehli, NY: American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, 2012. 205 Pages. Paper. $17.00. (LHP) 

Jenson, Robert W. On the Inspiration of Scripture. Dehli, NY: American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, 2012. 67 Pages. Paper. $TBA. (LHP)  

Engelbrecht, Edward A., General Editor. Foreword by Paul L. Maier. The Apocrypha: The Lutheran Edition with Notes. St. Louis: Concordia, 2012. 544 Pages. Cloth. $39.99. (Discounts available.) (LHP)

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Friday, September 21, 2012

FW: Theological Education



Feed: Weedon's Blog
Posted on: Friday, September 21, 2012 7:32 AM
Author: (William Weedon)
Subject: Theological Education


An observation that my good friend Heath Curtis has made lately more than once needs to be underscored: our theological education had huge gaps, and if you are looking to fill those gaps, there is hardly a better person to be reading than Johann Gerhard (and above all his Loci that CPH is now publishing).

There is literally almost NO controversy that we think of as "modern," no crisis in practice, no challenge from the polemics of others, that he has not already visited, prayerfully thought through, listened to the Sacred Scriptures, the Church Fathers, and canon law on, and provided a genuinely Lutheran answer to. Seriously. He continually blows me away.

Pastors and theologians: put some more Gerhard in your diet. You will be utterly amazed. Just a page or two a day! It's the education in God's Word, Church History, and practical application that you've been looking for.

And I'd add that one thing I LOVE about Gerhard is that his rich dogmatics do not come unglued from a fervent commitment to prayer and to clear, practical preaching. Pious, yes, without "pietism." Profound insight, with no sense of theological showmanship. You just can't do much better than reading him and let him bring you into the depths of Scripture!

Special thanks to Bishop Heiser's Repristination Press and to our own Concordia Publishing House for making so many of his works accessible to this generation!  May it continue the renewal among us English speakers that began with the bringing of the great works of Chemnitz into our language a generation or two ago.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

FW: Advice for Arrogant Pastors




Feed: Gottesdienst Online
Posted on: Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:50 AM
Author: Petersen
Subject: Advice for Arrogant Pastors


I probably love Lifehacker too much, but I recommend daily reading. There is tons of useful stuff on there regarding productivity.

Here this little piece Lifehacker: Sabatoging Effectiveness with Intelligence could do a lot to help confessional pastors who are frustrated with their winkels or congregations. To benefit, you'll have to accept the fact that you think too highly of yourself and are a jerk, but it is time for that anyway. You think too highly of yourself. Admit it. You think you are a smart pastor, smarter than average, with a better insight into true Lutheranism. You do. If you didn't, you wouldn't be reading this blog.

We all think too highly of ourselves. Our piety has rightly taught us to be ashamed of that. It is good that we don't speak this way about ourselves even if we often feel or think these things. But our stupid pride has lots of ways of getting us. Because we won't say these things out loud, we might not even allow ourselves to admit we think them. Then we believe our own humility act and it becomes a point of pride.

As long as you deceive yourself about your own arrogance, this article will never help you. Trust me on this: it applies. Here is some very practical advice for how to get along with brothers in the Office who don't seem as smart as you or as confessional as you. And it also works for voters' and elders' meetings. If you follow this advice you will not only be better liked, but you will get more done and you will discover that these dolts in your circuit or the confused elders who think like an Armineans, aresmarter than you thought. You will get more done and you will learn things. And maybe you won't get thrown out of the Ministry either.

Now if I could just follow this advice myself :).

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Received for Review


Keating, Ray. Warrior Monk (A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel) Revised Edition. Manorville, NY: Keating Reports, 2010. 442 Pages. Paper. $17.99. (N) 

Keating, Ray. Root of All Evil? (A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel). Manorville, NY: Keating Reports, 2012. 305 Pages. Paper. $16.99. (N)  


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Saturday, September 15, 2012

FW: Daily Greek and Hebrew devotional


LHP recommends…


From: Logos Bible Software []
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2012 3:59 AM
Subject: Daily Greek and Hebrew devotional


NewsWire by Logos Bible Software



Treasures Old and New: Daily Readings from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions

Retail Price: $24.99
Pre-Pub Price: $18.74

More Info

Buy Now

Logos Social

Meditate on Scripture while reviewing biblical Greek and Hebrew with this unique daily devotional. Treasures Old and New provides a Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament passage for each day of the year, along with useful vocabulary and grammar notes. These readings, selected for doctrinal importance and relation to the Christian calendar, also include brief passages from the Lutheran Confessions in English. With this book, you'll grow in the Lord and build your original languages skills at the same time.

. . . this book is a welcome resource for anyone wishing to maintain a hard-won facility in the biblical languages. It could even be a way back into the languages for those who have allowed their skills to deteriorate. In addition, on many days a useful meditation on Scripture and the Confessions can be had—all on one page. Northwestern Publishing House is to be thanked for bringing this project to the market. Hopefully, it will encourage the marvelous habit of reading and meditating on the Scriptures in their original languages among those in the church whom God has blessed with the knowledge and skill to read them as they were written.
Lutheran Education Journal

Treasures Old and New is a new-found treasure. . . . John C. Jeske has done yeoman's work in producing a truly evangelical Lutheran version of Heinrich Bitzer's Light on the Path and its successors. It uses some easier and more important Hebrew texts. In addition to the daily format of both New Testament Greek and Old Testament Hebrew, a third daily 'reading' from the Lutheran Confessions was added to Jeske's manuscript. Thanks be to God!
Liturgy, Hymnody, and Pulpit

Key Features

·    Provides a daily review of the biblical languages

·    Includes vocabulary and grammar notes on each passage

·    Allows you to meditate on Scripture in its original languages

Benefits of the Logos Edition

In the Logos edition, Treasures Old and New is easily searchable. Scripture passages appear on mouseover, and all cross-references link to the other titles in your digital library, making this resource powerful and easy to access. With Logos' advanced features, you can perform comprehensive searches by topic or Scripture reference—finding, for example, every mention of "church" or "Psalm 119:105."

Pre-order yours today!

Retail Price: $24.99
Pre-Pub Price: $18.74

More Info   Buy Now

Please visit our website for all the details:

Or call 800-875-6467 to order.




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