by Dave Miller
Reviewed by Nathan Battey
In 2006 the North Richland Hills Church of Christ near Ft. Worth, TX introduced instrumental music into their worship services by hosting a contemporary Saturday evening service. In an effort to get his brethren to reconsider their position Dave Miller wrote this book and sent copies of it all across the nation. I implore my readers to download a copy of this work below and study the issue carefully. Dave Miller does an outstanding job answering all of the questions modern innovators are raising in favor of bringing instrumental music into the Lord's church. If the reader considers the the Biblical answers to these modern arguments carefully, he will learn many truths that will aid him in defending against this and other forms of digression. May we take pause to consider this vital subject in light of the truth of God's Word.
I present the preface below to wet your appetite and hopefully cause you to investigate further.
The church that claims to be the largest church of Christ in America now conducts a 5:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon worship service that incorporates both the Lord’s Supper and instrumental music (Ross, 2007). In preparation for this historically significant departure from past practice, Rick Atchley delivered three sermons (all titled “The Both/And Church”) in December 2006 from the Richland Hills pulpit in an effort to explain the rationale behind the change (2006). This book constitutes a critical review of the contentions contained in those sermons that purport to justify the use of instrumental music in Christian worship. The reader is encouraged to secure Rick’s sermons and give them a fair and equal hearing in conjunction with the critique that follows (see Atchley, 2006). [NOTE: Due to Rick’s reliance on the NIV, that version is used repeatedly in this critique.]
No human on Earth today has the power to look into the heart of his fellowman and ascertain the man’s true motives. We are called upon by God to think the best, believe the best, and hope the best about each other (1 Corinthians 13:7). I absolutely refuse to question Rick’s motives, or charge him with deliberate misrepresentation of the facts. I desire to attribute to him the same sincerity that I would like him to ascribe to me. I have no desire to “nit pick” Rick’s sermons. My sole desire is to ascertain God’s truth on matters that will affect our eternal destiny. This is serious business. And the matter of how to worship God has eternal consequences—souls are at stake.
Since God admonishes every accountable person to be a sincere seeker of truth (Proverbs 23:23; John 7:17), genuine Christians should have no hesitation in examining contrary viewpoints. My prayer is that those who have accepted the claims and conclusions that Rick has offered will be willing to give the contrary viewpoint an honest hearing. With humility I offer the following critique of Rick’s claims