76. To Sing or Not To Sing?

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Should some Christian worship songs and hymns not be song in corporate, public worship?  Are some songs good or at least OK songs, for personal worship in your car driving to work, but not for congregational singing?

Jonathan Pratt says, “Yes!”  He has compiled and edited a list of criteria for discernment in hymn selection.  If you have never asked yourself, “What types of songs are sung in your church’s services and gatherings and why?” this episode of Reconnect is a must listen for you.  If you are a pastor or worship leader in charge of selecting your congregation’s music and you can’t explain why each and every song was picked for the service, and if you do have the answers, but your answers don’t contain theological reasons, you should definitely listen to this episode!

Jonathan Pratt lays out six categories of criteria for song selection in congregational singing while Tyler Dawson and David Pratt critique or confirm Jonathan’s list.  Andy Wrasman for the most part just moderates and asks questions for this episode.

“Criteria for Discernment in Hymn Selection” as compiled and edited by Jonathan Pratt


Biblically Grounded
Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel
Theology of the Cross


Doctrinal Precision
Poetic Integrity
Corporate Nature of the Text


Music Serving the Text
Proper Union of Text and Tune
Musical Integrity of Tune and Setting
Churchly Character of the Tune


Church Year and Lectionary Appropriate
Sacramental Focus
Supportive of Daily Devotional Life
Ability of Text and Tune to Withstand Repeated Usage


Catechetical Use
Cultivating Faith and Piety
Provides Comfort to the Believer


Historic Catholicity
Ethnic Catholicity

Show Links

“Criteria for Discernment in Hymn Selection” Compiled and Edited by Jonathan Pratt

To Whom It May Concern – Tyler Dawson’s Website and Podcast

Episode 55: David Pratt on Apologetics

Episode 30: Who is Serving in your Service?

Episode 28: Jesus is my Girlfriend Songs

Table Talk Radio

Published by

Andy Wrasman

I live in Lilburn, GA, with my wife and two young kids. I am a pastor at Oak Road Lutheran Church. I've written a book called, Contradict - They Can't All Be True. Be sure to visit my other website: https://www.contradictmovement.org.

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