School of Music
Master of Arts in Music and Worship (MA)
Jerry L. Newman
traditional, contemporary, consumerism, song, attitudes, worship
History of Christianity | Music
Bula, Ian D., "Then Sings the Church a New Song" (2022). Masters Theses. 899.
The collective life of the Ancient Israelites was defined by a tumultuous journey through the desert as the primary setting where God continuously sought a relationship with them. Their liberation from Egyptian bondage was the central element that resulted from God’s self- revelation and action toward His people. Their response to Him in worship reflects the nature instilled in all humankind to respond in many ways to divine action. One of these ways is through the use of music. Music has accompanied the worship of God’s people since the time of the Patriarchs. The Exodus was the experience that sprung many new songs authored by Hebrew leaders like Moses as they led the Israelite nation to the promised land. Their worship practices initiated a long-lasting heritage of tradition. Today the Christian Church responds in worship to God after the Christ event transformed the relationship between God and humanity. Many other events throughout church history have warranted the creation of new songs in each era. The worship practices of Ancient Israel remain a comprehensive source of study that informs the myriad of traditions and rituals seen in the church today However, the unifying character of music and praise of the Israelites is disconnected from the current attitudes unwilling to reconcile compartmentalized expressions of worship. Contemporarily composed music does not cease to be a source of discontent and contentious debate among church members. Several areas in history are considered to help explain this disconnect. The shared active experiences of Church staff members also serve to highlight the often-misguided attitudes of the American church.