Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church Music Today

Author: Paul S. Jones   ISBN:10: 0875526179 ISBN-13: 9780875526171

This review, excerpted from, is used
by permission of the author, Pastor Ron Gleason, Ph.D.,
Grace Presbyterian Church, Yorba Linda, CA.

The book is divided into four Parts (“Corporate Worship,” “Hymnody and Psalmody,” “Issues,” and “Composers and Composition”) containing thirty-one thought-provoking essays, a conclusion, and two appendices. The most striking aspect of the book as I read it was the irenic manner in which Jones conveyed truth to the reader.

In a day and age when conflicts surrounding worship style abound, Jones presents us with a calm, steady voice that puts matters in clear perspective. He also expresses a truly refreshing vision for home, church, and seminary with regard to music. Much of what passes for worship music today is little more than what I call Dr. Pepper music: 10-2-4. Two chords with four “bridges” sung ten times.

In a very balanced manner Jones lays out the evidence and reason for the modern Church to return to biblical truth found in the traditional hymns and Psalms. This does not mean, however, that he is opposed to all contemporary music. Quite the opposite is the case, but he does call upon us to be more circumspect in judging the suitability of contemporary hymnody.

My recommendation is that you get a copy of this book as quickly as you can, read it, devour it, and observe the tremendous benefit this book can be for your local congregation. To those who have bought into the contemporary church music scene I would invite you to take the time to read this book and listen to the arguments in favor of a return to hymnody and psalmody before you dismiss it out of hand. To my mind, the books offer a realistic remedy to the so-called “worship wars” if a person is willing to listen. This is a book that has one clear goal throughout: the glory of God. It is definitely worth your while to make this book a part of your library.