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In The Christian and Rock Music: A Study of Biblical Principles of Music, seven scholars of six different nationalities take a calm, balanced, and biblical look at the use of popular music for worship and evangelism. With one exception, all the contributors are trained musicians with academic degrees, passionately involved in enriching the worship experience of their congregations through their music.
The book has two major objectives. The first is to help people understand the true nature of the various styles of rock music and the problems arising from transforming rock music into a medium for Christian worship and evangelism. The second objective is to define those biblical principles that should guide Christians in making good musical choices. The aim of this book is not to dismiss all contemporary music as rock, because there are contemporary songs with music and words that are suitable for divine worship. Rather, the aim is to clarify how the music, words, and the manner of singing should conform to the biblical principles of worship music. Contrary to prevailing misconceptions, The Christian and Rock Music shows that the Bible clearly differentiates between the secular music used for social entertainment and the sacred music worthy of the worship of God. There are ample biblical and historical evidences indicating that music and instruments associated with social entertainment were not allowed in worship services in the Temple, synagogue, or early church. The reason is that such music would have tempted believers to turn their place of worship into a place of entertainment, as is happening in some churches today. The authors of this book believe that the same principle applies to the church today.
The Bible teaches that church music is to be God-centered, not self-centered. The notion of praising the Lord for entertainment or amusement is foreign to the Bible. Percussion instruments which stimulate people physically through a loud and relentless beat are as inappropriate for church music today as they were for the worship service in Bible times. At a time when the distinction between sacred and secular music is blurred, and many are promoting modified versions of secular rock music for church use, it is important to remember the biblical call to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (1 Chron. 16:20).
The Christian and Rock Music is a timely book for today. It clearly delineates the issues and provides biblical answers to the problems that have caused so many Christians to stumble. For concerned Christians, this book may well be a musical survival kit in our compromising society.
Samuele Bacchiocchi's background is rather unique. He was born and brought up in Rome, Italy, a stone-throw from the Vatican wall. For his college education, he went to England where he earned a bachelor's degree in theology at Newbold College. From England he came to America for his graduate studies and earned a bachelor's and master's degrees at Andrews University Theological Seminary. Upon completing his training in 1964, he and his wife, Anna, went to Ethiopia where he served as a Bible and history teacher for five years.
In 1969 he returned to his native city of Rome to study at the prestigious Pontifical Gregorian University, where he was the first non-Catholic to be admitted in more than 450 years of its history. At the Gregorian, he spent the next five years working toward a doctoratus in church history. He was awarded a gold medal by Pope Paul VI for attaining the academic distinction of summa cum laude for his coursework and dissertation "From Sabbath to Sunday."
After completing his doctorate in 1974, he was invited to teach at Andrews University, a Seventh-day Adventist institution located in Berrien Springs, Michigan. For the past 23 years, he has served at Andrews University as professor of theology and church history. To be able to pursue more fully his ministry of research into vital Biblical truths, for the past 26 years he has only taught from January to May of each year. From June to December, he dedicates himself fully to research timely biblical truths. The result of this ministry has been the publication of 15 volumes that have helped thousands of people around the world to better understand and experience biblical truths.