This is my last post on instrumental music for a while — a long while unless God changes my mind. Tomorrow, I start a series on worship, but not as a proxy for the a cappella debate. Rather, the point in that series is to build a proper theology of worship from the ground up, not to win a debate on instrumental music and such like, but to deal with the broader issues regarding the assembly that affect nearly all denominations.
Just a couple of points, and then it’s time for me to move on.
First, I’m convinced that the debate and discussion have been well worth the time and effort. Thanks to all — on all sides — for participating. If nothing else, we’ve been able to show that it’s possible to disagree and yet continue to trade ideas and raise questions with respect and, I believe, love. That’s not often been true in doctrinal debate, and so I count that a great accomplishment. We’ve not always measured up fully to the mark — myself included — but on the whole, the tone of the discussion has been excellent.
On those rare occasions when tempers flared, long before I could get to my computer to ask someone to calm down and perhaps apologize, apologies had already been offered and accepted. The readers have set a marvelous example for Christian discourse.
Second, yes, it’s true that those who’ve been debating in the comments are rarely inclined to admit defeat, but the fact is that we’ve all had occasion to admit to being corrected on this point or that by the other side. Again: kudos to the readers!
And I know from private emails, that some readers have found the debate very helpful. Only a very small percentage of readers engage in the discussion, but trust me, the discussion gets read by many — and some are convinced.
Third, I need to express my heartfelt appreciation for all who’ve participated in the discussion — on both sides. The blog wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if only my opinion were being expressed. The readers enjoy hearing from other sides and enjoy seeing the sides engage each other — especially when done so in such respectful tones.
Speaking for myself, I find I learn far, far more when I’m challenged. Knowing that someone like HistoryGuy or aBasnar is reading forces me to do my homework — because my claims will be tested by men who really know their scriptures and history. It’s those who disagree with me who have the most to teach me. And because I’ve been disagreed with a lot, I’ve learned a lot. Sometimes from my critics and sometimes by being forced to dig deeper to answer my critics. And both are good.
So, again, thanks to all. You are welcome to continue the discussion, but I need to get busy writing some most posts on other topics.