Back to Back Issues Page
Wordwise Insight, Issue #074
October 14, 2010

WORDWISE INSIGHT is the free monthly newsletter of


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Character Matters! An important discussion on whether it matters whether a preacher or gospel singer is carnal--or even unsaved

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

ANOTHER ARTICLE: The article "Sacred Music" relates to the Bible Insights topic. It concerns the preparation of the Levitical priests for music ministry.

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? See below for how to send it to us.


Are you finding Wordwise helpful? And do you have your own website? We would be delighted if you would provide a link on your site to ours. This will enable your friends to find us too! Check the page on the Wordwise website called "Link to Us," and follow the simple instructions. Click on Link to Us.

? ? ?

LIKE TO ASK A QUESTION? On a Bible topic or passage of Scripture? Or one about a hymn or gospel song? Click on Questions from You.



The Messenger is NOT Unimportant

In my Wordwise Hymns blog, I have a topical article entitled The "Total Message" of a Song. In it, I explain how various elements work together to contribute to (or detract from) the message a music group or soloist in a church service delivers. I encourage you to read the article, as background for the following.

One day, I received a lengthy blog post challenging the validity of points made in this article. I certainly appreciated the time taken to comment on what I’d written. But it seemed to me that the writer (or writers, identified as “Moses” and “Molly”) sometimes misunderstood what I was saying, and that the basic argument was flawed. I’ll be quoting from their post, as I respond to them. (For brevity’s sake, I’ll refer to the writers as “MM.”)

MM: He [meaning me] argues that the words of the song alone are not enough. All good music must also have a fitting style (which he views mostly as hymns), a God-honoring presentation (not man focused), a good moral character for the performer (he attacks the Christmas pop CDs that have secular artists singing Christmas hymns), and a social context (which is basically an argument that Christian music must be different than secular music).

Several points there.

1) Are the words ever enough? Yes, in certain quite limited circumstances. “The word of God is living and powerful” (Heb. 4:12). And sometimes sinners are convicted and converted by the Holy Spirit, through reading the Word of God, without any direct human agency. That is why the Gideons organization puts Bibles in hotel rooms and hospitals. God can, and does, work through His powerful Word.

However, when a human messenger is introduced, whether he is preaching or singing the message of Scripture, that immediately introduces other...

To see the full article on this important subject, click on Charcter Matters.


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

In the spring I developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

A Special Feature
There is something unique about this blog that I don't believe has ever been done before. It contains what we could call a Hymn Almanac. If you want to know what happened in the history of hymn writing on any particular day, just click on the blog and you'll see!

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.


It is simply absurd to downplay the importance of a variety of influential factors concerning the messengers of God, given the amount of Scripture devoted to this subject. Here is an article that shows how relevant proper preparation and other things were in the music ministry of the Levitical priests.

Sacred Music

Back to Back Issues Page