Description of author: John Makujina, having a PhD in Old Testament from Westminster Theological Seminary, is Visiting Lecturer in Old Testament at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minneapolis.
Comments: The stated purpose of this book is to answer the latest arguments of Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) proponents (p. 13). He addresses the issues of worldliness (chapters 1-3), the morality of music (chapters 4-5), physiological and psychological effects of rock music (chapter 6), and music in church history (chapter 7). The book is worth buying for the conclusion alone (chapter 8) and Appendix C (Expression in Music). Makujina displays not only an exhaustive understanding of the debate over CCM , he also exhibits clear and thorough exegesis of the Scriptures, and an impressive comprehension of music theory and of theology. The book is thoroughly researched and copiously footnoted, and he is very even-handed in his interaction with the proponents of CCM. His conclusion is unambiguous and impressively supported: If my assessment of the moral ethos of the rock style is correct – and I believe it is – then I have no alternative but to charge its Christian patrons and propagators with the sin of worldliness. In an earlier chapter worldliness was described as ‘patterns of thinking, modes of behavior, attitudes, philosophies, outlooks, grids of evaluation, affections, gratifications, priorities, and value systems that are sinful and a manifestation of the world’s perverted understanding of what is true, good, and brings lasting happiness.’ Since these elements are undoubtedly present in rock music (if not characteristic of it) to one degree or another, the only appeal it can have to Christians is to their carnal Adamic nature (p. 279). This is the most intelligent and thorough treatment of Christian rock music I have read to date and I highly recommend it.