Relativism is the general malaise of our time. It has influenced the world to the extent that an increasing percentage of our best-educated populace is willing to hold that there are no absolutes. The evangelical church has been influenced by the relativism of our age as well. While the church has fought against relativism in the area of morals, we have neglected the same fight in the area of aesthetics: we have come to accept the modernist position that beauty is purely a matter of personal preference. The result is a failure to fully understand what it means to be human, and a poverty in our souls.
Without recourse to past thinkers and old books, we might forget that there ever was a time that Christians held to objective standards of beauty.
I thought it would be prudent to return to the matter of Christian worship with a focus upon music. Why? Because what some thought to be a passing fad, it has become painfully obvious that things have continued to worsen in the visible church in myriad ways and especially its so-called 'worship'. There have been myriad arguments offered throughout the years in an effort to expose man-made worship and convince those who defend it that a return to biblical worship is most necessary. Most of those arguments have fallen upon deaf ears because those who have rejected biblical worship and the Regulative Principle, say in essence, that the only 'principle' that matters is your own personal taste, what works for you, what makes you feel uplifted, etc. In short, like most other egregious practices in the modern church, relativism lies at the root. A couple of the more humorous quips one often hears are, "There are no absolutes", which of course is an absolute statement. And the other is, "The only thing that is absolute is relativity", which again is a blatant contradiction on its face.
So, Mr. Hodges has given us an article which deals directly with one of the characteristics of music, which can also be applied to a host of other things, namely BEAUTY. And he argues, convincingly I believe, that beauty is NOT in the eye of the beholder, but rather beauty can and should be looked at objectively vs. subjectively, i.e., beauty once rightly defined objectively can be seen as something which is absolute and not relative with no definitive meaning. I would like to believe that there are many who read the Article of the Month submissions will find a pleasant note in what Mason Hodges put to pen. And perhaps those who find the article a bit dissonant, they will consider the actual argument and by God's grace and the Spirit's influence, discard the world's philosophy and return to the beauty of God's worship as set forth in Scripture.
You can go directly to this month's article by clicking here: Beauty Revisited
You can also find this article in the Calvinism and the Reformed Faith
section of The Highway and in the "Ecclesiology" sub-section under "Music".
In His service and grace,