From the beginning of the New Testament experience, the believer’s response to Jesus Christ has included song. Most of the New Testament songs or hymns have found their way into the enduring liturgy of the church, including the Magnificat, the Benedictus, the Gloria, and the Nunc Dimittis. New Testament music in worship included psalmody, hymns composed in the church, and spiritual songs—alleluias and songs of jubilation or ecstatic nature. Further, many of the elements characteristic of later liturgical practice are rooted in New Testament actions and elements of worship.
But while we smile at some of our preferences, our religious preferences are often quite a different matter. For some reason, our own particular religious traditions and experiences tend to color our ideas of what God’s preferences are and aren’t. Nowhere is this more true than in the area of worship styles. How quickly our preferences become biases. And how easily our biases become walls that keep us from the larger body of Christ and from fuller expressions of worship.
Although the New Testament says little about music making, it is clear that the worship life of the early church was characterized by the use of psalms and other forms of song.