Ken Rich


Creator of the Indie Gospel network and one of its contributing artists.



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In Defense of Contemporary Christian Music

This book soundly refutes and debunks the critics of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). Every major argument from philosophy, theology and science is addressed.

In brief, these and many other points are forcefully brought out:

  • The critics base their thinking on Greek philosophy and an unbiblical gnostic metaphysic which poisons their whole approach to Biblical exegesis.

  • The hierarchy of instruments dictated by western art music is found nowhere in scripture.

  • The premise, of the appeal to physical motion generated by rhythm being evil, is gnostic heresy and contradicts the word of God.

  • The balance of western art music is nowhere near the balance ( melos ) of the Near Eastern music of the Bible. Yet modern forms are considered evil (negative ethos) for this very reason – they do not have the same balance (melody, harmony, rhythm) as western art forms (common practice period) – the touchstone of the critics.

  • The science (so called) used as scare tactics by the critics is thoroughly debunked. Anapestic beats, earworms and mind control are all examined and put in their proper context.

The champions of the critics such as Garlock and Woetzel, Samuele Bacchiocchi - The Christian and Rock Music and many others, have their specific arguments addressed.

This is a well researched and documented book which draws upon many sources. There are dozens of quotes from theologians, musicologists, philosophers, and authors.

Here is an excerpt, from the beginning of the book, which outlines how I was drawn into this thorny debate (the worship wars).

In Defense of Contemporary Christian Music! by Ken Rich


The Controversy

I recently had a friend and fellow Christian musician tell me he will not use drums in his music. His music Ministry was just getting started when he was hamstrung by listening to Brian S. Neumann (author of From Rock 'n' Roll to Rock of Ages ). As a consequence, he will never reach the people he could have for the Lord.

This is tragic because his lyrics are Biblical and his voice and talents could have given him mass appeal. He is one of the best performers and songwriters I have ever heard and could have had a huge influence outside of Christian circles. Perhaps even putting Biblical messages on mainstream charts.

He left the secular music scene some time ago and quietly wrote enough Christian songs for 5 or 6 albums. I helped him set-up a home studio and the tracks he was working on impressed me more than I can adequately describe. I believed that he would become one of the most influential artists to hit the Christian music scene in decades.

Now his music will never become popular and few, if any, souls will be won. Thanks to Neumann, Walter Veith and similar influences, he does a watered down version of his former style. It is bereft of passion, with no rhythm section, and a just a few worthy instruments.

Instead of reaching out to the masses with a Gospel message riding on the popular folk music he can do so well, he is reduced to sacred music . He has eliminated the possibility that the holier than thou will be offended by his work, but will anyone but the most conservative Christians listen to it? In effect, he has been limited to preaching to the choir , instead of reaching out to the lost. I fail to see how that wins souls.

I have met people, read books and heard presentations espousing the idea that drums and certain other instruments should not be used in Christian music. Some people feel that a 4/4 time signature is of the devil. Can a musical instrument like a drum or a musical form like a certain rhythm be evil in and of itself? What if the beat reputedly originated in Africa where Voodoo was prevalent?

Some people feel that notes played on a violin are heavenly, but if you play the same notes on an electric guitar they are evil. For some, the guitar is acceptable as long as it's not amplified. By that logic, preachers who amplify their voices must also be evil. In fact, their microphones and PA systems are identical in function to those used by secular rock musicians.

I can understand placing limitations on the use of extreme styles on both ends of the spectrum. Hard core, head thrashing , screaming, rock styles, are inappropriate for communal worship.

By the same token, dull, boring, traditional and classical styles, are abhorred by numerous modern day Church goers. Many people would rather not come to Church if they are forced to suffer through them, especially the younger generation. Despite the protests of the youth, many of the older generation equate somber to reverent and staunchly defend their traditional hymns.

There are people who believe that any appeal to physical movement, by rhythm, is intrinsically evil (Gnostic heresy). Those who support dance are quick to point to their numerous proof texts, to refute them. Some see the lack of evidence of instrumental accompaniment in the New Testament as a reason to conclude that only singing should be allowed. All of these groups have proof texts, logical arguments and historical evidence to back up their claims, so who is right? (continued...)

Support the Indie Gospel network and purchase the book as a PDF download 63 pages, 483 KB - 


In Defense of Contemporary Christian Music!

In Defense of Contemporary Christian Music! 26-3-2016.pdf, 412KB
This book soundly refutes and debunks the critics of Contemporary Christian Music...


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