T. David Gordon on “Youth” and Their Music . . . Oh, and Luther, Too.

“When Luther thought of the younger people, his advice was both positive and negative. Positively, they should be taught to sing adult hymns; negatively, they should be weaned away from their own music:

The music is arranged in four parts. I desire this particularly in the interest of the young people, who should and must receive an education in music as well as in the other arts if we are to wean them away from carnal and lascivious songs and interest them in what is good and wholesome. Only thus will they learn, as they should, to love and appreciate what is intrinsically good.

Luther, then, did nearly the opposite of what we do: We give the young people their own music, and require the rest of the church to conform to their music. Luther weaned them from their music and trained them to appreciate adult music.”

– T. David Gordon, “Youth Ministry?”

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One Response to T. David Gordon on “Youth” and Their Music . . . Oh, and Luther, Too.

  1. And, oh, I’ve got to to include Gordon’s footnote!

    “I do not insist that we follow Luther on every point. However, I do suggest that we not dismiss him briskly. After all, unless you have translated the entire Bible from its original languages into your own language and written commentaries on many books of the Bible, you probably do not know the Bible better than he did. Unless you have written a catechism that the church has employed for nearly five centuries, you probably do not know theology better than he. And unless you have written thirty-six hymns (lyrics and music) that have lasted for five hundred years, you probably do not know music better than Luther did. And if you haven’t done all three, you may not be as well-rounded as he on the matter. So don’t assume from the outset that you are his peer on this matter; you probably are not; I know I am not.”

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