Music Through the Eyes of Faith by Dr. Harold Best is an excellent book giving attention to a philosophy of music and the role of music in worship. Best is the former Dean of the Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College and a frequent lecturer on the topics of music and worship. Music Through the Eyes of Faith leads the reader through a discussion of aesthetics, excellence, quality, Christian popular music and music in worship. It is a thought provoking book written by a musician who has spent many years teaching music at the college level and leading worship in the local church.
What is the role of music in worship? Best warns church musicians about how we view and use music in worship:
“There is a profound difference between great music activating our spirit and our truly being in the Spirit. Works can quite legitimately and easily initiate the former, but only faith can imitate the latter. It is in this sense that Christian musicians must be particularly cautious. They can create the impression that God is more present when music is being made that when it is not; that worship is more possible with music than without it, and that God might possibly depend on its presence before appearing. Faith, in its proper scriptural definition, does away with these errors without doing away with music. It puts music in its proper place, along with every other act and offering: giver before gift and worship containing, not being contained by, acts of worship.” (p. 153)
Christian musicians need to read this book and prepare to think deeply about the role of music in worship.
Music Through the Eyes of Faith, Harold Best, (Harper Collins, 1993, ISBN0-06-060862-5)