Does Worship Style Matter?

When the style of our music is always upbeat, loud, and ascending in enthusiasm, we miss the range of biblical teaching about God, ourselves, worship, and the Christian life. To be sure, the Bible in general and the Psalms in particular include zealous praise and thanksgiving. But an over-realized eschatology has caused much of contemporary worship to get stuck in the “victory” and “excitement” mode that down-plays the reality of ongoing sin, unbelief, and disappointment, as well as the attributes of God that are most disturbing to us. This cannot help but produce weak and immature Christians who cannot stand in times of trial and testing.

Michael Horton, A Better Way: Recovering the Drama of Christ-Centerd Worship Baker Books 2002, p. 134

Good hymns are an immense blessing to the Church of Christ. I believe the last day alone will show the world the real amount of good they have done. They suit all, both rich and poor. There is an elevating, stirring, soothing, spiritualizing, effect about a thoroughly good hymn, which nothing else can produce. It sticks in men’s memories when texts are forgotten. It trains men for heaven, where praise is one of the principal occupations. Preaching and praying shall one day cease for ever; but praise shall never die. The makers of good ballads are said to sway national opinion. The writers of good hymns, in like manner, are those who leave the deepest marks on the face of the Church.

~ J.C. Ryle