Archive for October, 2015

The Role of Organizational Behavior in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Changes Made

October 28, 2015

Introduction

The case study chosen for the report is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that discharged huge volumes of oil in the Gulf of Mexico resulting in economical and environmental damage as different stakeholders including fishermen, wildlife, tourism businessmen and the oil industry were affected. The spill resulted in negative reputation experienced by BP as the spill was attributed to negative behavior among some of the employees at BP. This paper will be an annotated bibliography and will cover different aspects including corporate social responsibility, disclosure, risk management and employee behavior in organizations. Through this, there will be a better understanding on how organizational behavior led to the oil spill and the organizational changes that have been made at BP and other companies to prevent recurrence of such a spill.

Bibliography

Kurtz, R.S. (2013). Oil spill causation and the Deepwater Horizon spill. The Review of Policy

Research, 30(4), pp. 366-380.

This article by Kurtz asks the question of who was to blame for the spill. In addition, Kurtz also asks if such a catastrophic spill can happen anywhere in the future. Through analysis, Kurtz asserts that the Deepwater Horizon spill affected due to avoidable factors and shortcomings which have been seen in other spills. Among the shortcomings include policy imperfections, weak regulatory regime, organizational deviance and deficiencies in inter-organizational structure. It can be seen that employees at BP were operating without laying much emphasis to safety and security. Some of the decisions which are considered inappropriate, risky or ethically questionable were considered as viable within the organization. Due to the weak regulatory environment, some of the decisions were not challenged by law enforcers (Kurtz, 2013).

Skogdalen, J.E., Utne, I.B. & Vinnem, J.E. (2011). Developing safety indicators for preventing

offshore oil and gas deepwater drilling blowouts. Safety Science, 49(9), pp. 1187-1199.

This article by Skogdalen, Utne & Vinnem (2011) seeks to answer the question of whether the oil spill was a result of systematic failure in the deepwater drilling industry. In this article, the authors assert that there were different levels of failure that resulted in the oil spill. The levels include: work and technological system, the staff level, the management level, the company level, the regulators and association level and the government level. It can be seen that most of the levels do include the behavior exhibited by BP and how the company did not consider the issue of safety during the process. The authors recommend that more research should be done to determine indicators that can be used to ensure safety to prevent occurrence of such spills in future.

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Environmental Management for Sustainable Development

October 28, 2015

Introduction

Environmental issues have become one of the emotive topics in the whole world. There is increased environmental degradation across the globe and a lot of international conferences are being held to discuss the issue, but what is shocking is that no significant change is being realized. This is partly because the world fears taking the responsibility for their actions and there have been increased blame game, especially among the developed countries, which are the most polluters, due to selfish interest. One such country that has experienced increased environmental degradation is the United Kingdom, especially London city. According to London Climate Change Partnership (LCCP) (2002), the main cause of environmental pollution in London is its transport system, which is the main source of greenhouse emission in the city and its environs.

The report focuses on the environmental friendly and sustainable transport systems in London. Issues to be covered in this work include the impact of current transport systems on the environment of London and its people, how to reduce the impact of environmental pollution, and how to implement renewable energy systems in the new transport systems. In addition, the work will cover new transport systems which are environmentally friendly. This report, therefore, aims at providing enough information, which will help in in replacing the current transport systems with the new environmentally friendly transport systems in London.

Impact of Current Transport Systems on Environment

The world’s number one polluter is a transport system since it is the major consumer of the petroleum products in the world. One of the way the system pollutes the environment is through greenhouse emissions of gases, which leads to global warming. Some of the gases emitted by the locomotives are nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide gases, which reacts with air, causing excess carbon dioxide in the air which leads to global warming. Nitrogen oxide gas also reacts with moisture in the air leading to acid rains which are very corrosive (Bows et al, 2006). The current transport system in London has led to a lot of negative impacts on the environment like increased temperatures, acid rains, rise in sea levels, floods and storms, which affects the lives of people living in London and the whole economy of the United kingdom.

One of the adverse impact of the current transport system in London is global warming (“LCC”, 2002). Global warming is caused by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the environment. Research has shown that road transport is the main contributor of global warming due to the emission of excess of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere. Some of the results of global warming include a rise in sea level and increased storm, which the country is experiencing now (“LBC”, 2003).

Another impact of transport system in the environment is noise pollution. This majorly come from big trucks, airplanes and trains. Most of these trains and aircraft stations are located near London city which negatively affect the lives of local people. Even though people may not be aware, noise pollution comes with health problems. People living and working in areas prone to noise have been noticed to be developing similar diseases (Akerman and Hojer, 2006). Research shows that noise pollution cause diseases like sleep disturbance, psychological problems and cardiovascular diseases. The high number of large vehicles, trains and airplanes in London affects the health of the people. This will end up affecting the economy as a whole. Therefore, the current transport systems in London affect the health of people living within and around the city.

London is also experiencing increased air pollution. Research from environmentalists show that the contributor to air pollution is road transport. Road transport locomotives harmful gases in the air like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, fine dust and soot, benzene and hydrocarbon gases which come with a lot of effects on the lives of many living in London and UK’s economy as a whole. It is estimated that about 12000-24000 people due of air pollution in the UK. One of the disease that has claimed the lives of many people in London due to air pollution is asthma. This disease is caused by nitrogen oxides and ozone gas, which come from locomotives. This also has a bearing on the economic performance since, according to the National Asthma Campaign, the government of the UK spends about £1 billion every year on asthma patients. Very many people are also being admitted in hospitals and government of UK estimates that between 14000-24000 people are being admitted in hospitals due to air pollution. The current transport systems cost the government and people of the UK their lives and money due to air pollution associated with it.

Another issue that is related to the transportation system is land take. It has been observed that transport systems tale a large chunk of land in in London. Road transport alone takes about of the total land available i9n the UK, which is about 2004km2, according to the Department of Transport. Heavy vehicles take about 150km2 of the total land. This show that the land available for other human activities has reduced. City occupants are therefore forced to concentrate on a small piece of land within the city, which compromises the space available for housing and other human activities leading to environmental degradation.

Prevention of the Impacts of Transport system Environmental Degradation

Governments all across the globe are doing all that they can reduce the impacts transport systems in environmental degradation. Determination to reduce the impacts should not only be aimed at reducing the impact, but they should be sustainable as well. Some of the steps that the London government should take to reduce the impacts include improving infrastructure, use of alternative fuels, use of public transport, use of electric vehicles, use of bicycles, and purchase of carbon offsets.

One of the areas that the government should concentrate on is the improvement of the existing infrastructure. Appropriate infrastructural development will be able to improve the capacity of other transport networks leading to efficiency and conservation of the environment. In order to ensure that the development is sustainable, the developers should do a proper impact assessment to ascertain that the infrastructural development is sustainable in the long run. The investment should focus on better railways, water transport, and public transport.

The main transport system polluter is road transport and therefore the government of London should concentrate on the construction of efficient and modern railway lines to replace road transport. Railway transport is more environmentally friendly compared to road transport and at the same time it will be able to connect other parts of the city adequately. In order to ensure that railway transport is sustainable, electric train should be used since they do not pollute the environment and at the same time they are faster.

Petroleum products contribute to a larger percentage of polluters. Therefore, finding alternative fuels will help in reducing the level of pollution caused by transport systems. Currently, there are a variety of fuels in the market that are environmentally friendly and the government should come up policies to ensure that the public uses those fuels in transport. Such environmentally friendly fuels include E-85, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and compressed natural gas. These fuels contain low content of carbon and, therefore, do not pollute the environment like the normal fuels.

One way of reducing congestion in the city is the reduction of the vehicles accessing the city. The majority of people in London prefer using their private vehicles when moving from one place to another. In the London city alone, there are about 26 million trips made a day by people when they are doing their business in the city. This figure shows that the city is congested with both human and traffic jams. However, government and city planners should come up with the strategy of making public transport attractive to the people. This can be achieved by making public transport attractive to the public. First, public transport should be accessible and a proper and efficient service made for the public. For instance, the mode of payment and inquiry should be through mobile phone in order to reduce congestion in the public transport parks. This strategy will reduce the impact of transport systems on the environment.

Government and local authorities should promote initiatives that enhance the use of a vehicle as a means of transport. This will reduce the impact of transport systems on the environment since vehicles do not use any fuel and therefore there will be reduction carbon dioxide emission in the environment. However, to achieve this, the government should develop and expand infrastructures which enable cyclist to easily move from one place to another. A separate paths and tunnels should be developed for cyclists to motivate them to use their vehicles when moving from one place to another.

Finally, the public should be made to transact their business online. With the current technology, there is no need for one to move to the city to do the shopping or transact a business that can easily be done online. This will reduce the number of people moving to the city, which will reduce the number of private vehicles accessing the city. A good infrastructure should be put in place to allow this online transaction to reduce the negative impacts of the transport system on the environment. This will result to another effect on health since bicycles a form of exercise and therefore cyclists will maintain physical fitness. This will reduce health problems leading to productive labor force.

Implementation of Renewable Energy Systems in the New Transport system

A new transport system is important to reduce environmental degradation that the country is witnessing today. However, this is only possible if a new set of renewable energy is put in place to reduce the use petroleum products in the current transportation system. Some of the renewable energy that should be considered are solar energy, wind energy, electric energy and biofuel energy (Banister and Hickman, 2006). Will ensure that London is free from the transport system environmental pollution,   which will ensure that residents of the city are healthy and London economy is thriving.

The use of electricity in transport system has gained momentum and is viewed as one of the ways to keep the environment clean and also to save on fuel consumption since the volume of fuel is also reducing (Willowa and Connel, 2003). Therefore, the best way to save the economy and to save the environment is through the use of electricity in transport system. Some of the advantages associated with the electricity powered locomotives are that it leads to less pollution since there is no exhaust leading to less environmental pollution. Another advantage that it comes with is that the world London will not be depended on the oil prices to improve its economy. In addition, electricity provides a perfect way to harvest both solar and wind energy, which can further be used in other means of transport.

Currently, there are fully developed electric train and electric vehicles which can be used in the new transportation system. What need to be done by the concerned authorities is to put systems in place which makes it possible for people to use electric trains and vehicles. Since electric vehicle uses battery, many charging centers should be developed, which are easily accessible. This can also be enhanced through the use of the modern technology by developing a swap station where the batteries are charged using the modern technology. This will encourage more people to use the electric transport system in order to save the environment. Apart from reduction in environmental degradation, it will also lead to economic stability in London since it will not rely so much on oil, which always determine the market forces (“International Energy Agency”, 2006). The same should apply to other means of transport like a train.

Another new means of transport that is highly sustainable is the use of bicycle since it only requires the use of human energy which is renewable. However, this means of transport have been shunned by the majority since it is associated with lower class people (Cairns et al., 2004). But all is not lost since more people are now embracing the bicycle as their means of transport. What the government need to do is to put systems and structures in place to motivate and facilitate this healthy and clean means of transport.

First, exclusive lanes should be set aside for bicycles only to enable smooth movement of cyclists. At the same time, bicycle locking facilities should be set aside in a safe place where cyclists can leave their bicycles when engaging in other activities within the city. Finally, since one is more likely to sweat when biking, showers should be placed in the designated places in the city at workplaces to enable cyclists to freshen up. The use of the bicycle will be sustainable if all these facilities and infrastructure are put in place.

Recommendations    

The current transport system contributes to environmental degradation that London and its people are experiencing today. The main source of energy used in the current transportation system oil, which is expensive and at the same time pollutes the environment. Despite heavy reliance on oil in the transportation system, there are cheaper and environmentally friendly alternatives, which are sustainable and will significantly reduce the level of environmental degradation. These alternatives are recommended below:

  • Creation of an online platform. The new technology allows people to transact a lot of businesses online. Therefore, an online platform should be created to prevent people from driving to the city to access services, which do not need one to travel since they are available online.
  • Make bicycle the most viable alternative to the current transportation system. It does not need to use any fuel and it makes the society physically fit. What needs to be done is only to put facilities and infrastructures in place to motivate and facilitate the use of bicycles.

Conclusion

It is clear that the current transportation system leads to environmental degradation. This has led to increased global warming, which comes with other environmental disasters like rise in sea level and increased storm in the city. Environmental degradation affects all the sectors of the economy, especially health sector. However, there are solution to environmental degradation that is caused by the current transport systems in London. What needs to be done to save the situation is the use of safe and healthy renewable energies like bio fuel and electricity. Therefore, in order to solve these environmental degradation associated with the current transportation system, ne transport systems must be put in place.

LEGAL ASPECT OF OIL AND GAS

October 28, 2015

Legal aspect of oil and gas

The oil and gas venture are subjected to a few sorts of dangers that undermine their operations and benefit. The dangers confronted by the oil and gas organizations can be isolated into upstream dangers, midstream dangers, and downstream dangers (Rogers & Ethridge, 2013). In the upstream, the oil and gas organizations are continually confronted with political dangers and instability as political environment change with time. Much of the time, the national governments get to be protectionist and this represents an incredible test for the oil and gas industry (Lajili & Zéghal, 2005). Because of steady changes in the political administration of the host nations, the oil and gas administrators as a rule end up in new situations with abnormal laws being established to unwelcoming political pioneers. In the upstream, the oil and gas administrators are always confronted with wellbeing, security, and ecological dangers that wreck their operations (Minassian & Jergeas, 2003). The oil and gas businesses are likewise confronted with money related dangers if there should be an occurrence of threatening financial environment with the high cost of operations. In the later past, there have been uplifted environmental change concerns with a dubious vitality arrangement that make the eventual fate of their operations obscure. In the midstream, the dangers is not as high as in the upstream on the grounds that it basically includes transportation, handling, and stockpiling of oil and gas items. In the midstream, oil and gas operations are subjected to wellbeing and dangers that are identified with transportation, transforming, and stockpiling of the oil and gas saves (Chen et al, 2014). In the downstream, the dangers in oil and gas operations are additionally lessened like the case in the midstream. The unpredictability in the oil costs is one of the most serious dangers that oil and gas organizations confronts in the downstream since it has the capability of directing the benefit levels acknowledged by such wander.

The substances confronting the oil and gas industry have drastically changed in the later past since the business has gotten to be more unsafe than some time recently. The oil and gas industry is exceedingly subjected to the dangers because of multi-jurisdictional operations that happen in the unstable worldwide economy (Aslaksen & Vigerust, 2007). Furthermore, the joint endeavor extends, the extent of the agreement has like wisely confused the business exchanges in the oil and gas industry (Stenis & Hogland, 2011). Aside from the ecological dangers and the human capital, the legitimate aftermath identified with the obligation in undertaking the oil and gas operations has enormously debilitated the whole business. Also, the oil and gas industry have experience expanded taxation rate, geopolitical instability, over regulation, and protectionist propensities of a few states (Schroeder & Jackson, 2007). In the setting of oil and gas industry, dangers are those circumstances that uncover the operations of the oil and gas into surprising peril. In this respect, there is a high capability of the financial specialists in the oil and gas industry losing the worth for their venture. In a few examples, the dangers that emerge in the process of the oil and gas investigation has the capability of bringing on damage and even death toll (Hinkelmann & Swidler, 2004).

The greater the dangers, the higher the likelihood that the operations of the oil and gas speculators are subjected to danger, harm, damage, risk, or the loss of the whole venture. The increased obligation related wellbeing, security, and ecological consistence represent a noteworthy danger to oil and gas organizations. In this respect, the dangers identified with wellbeing, security, and natural consistence ought to be decently disseminated among the partners so that the danger does not rest with the foreman alone (Cordner, 2011). A plan realized, such that the partner’s impart the benefits are they are to impart the dangers as was on account of British Colombia and Alberta-BC in Canada. Aside from ecological dangers, the lawful dangers have increased in the oil and gas industry, taking after a progression of rates that have brought about expensive prosecution. In this respect, there has been an in number accentuation on the holder administrator imparting danger to builders, suppliers, and field administration organizations to minimize the impact of such dangers on one single element. To illuminate such dangers, assertions must advance around the agreement forms over the entire endeavor to seal all the conceivable lawful escape clauses that may demonstrate excessive at last. Moreover, the contractual understandings must have the capacity to adjust to always show signs of changing business and monetary environment so they are coupled with the everyday substances of the business environment (Tayyebi, Chenani, & Kashkooli, 2014).

There are two sorts of repayments mostly the basic and the common reimbursements whereby, the indemnitor consents to assume liability of the indemnitee where misfortune is knowledgeable about straightforward circumstances. This chiefly happens on account of basic repayment. On the other hand, as an afterthought of common repayment, all the gatherings are fiscally in charge of what happens to one another. The scope of repayment is relied on upon the transactions made by included gatherings. Characteristics are cooked for by common repayment with great arrangements being put aside. This is on account of; guideline is paid by the option contractual statements, which keeps away from carelessness and illogical practice in the oil and gas industry. Expenses on gas and oil industry are being catered for through dodging of protection layers with high premiums whereby, this happens in the rearrangements of contractual arrangements (Pies, Beckmann & Hielscher, 2010). In common reimbursement, one gathering is willing to spare the other at risk time, regardless of the fact that it implies through the utilization of the other party assets regardless of the flaw event (Minassian & Jergeas, 2003). Straightforward repayments besides can be said to be one-sided after that one and only gathering is in charge of assuming responsibility of alternate needs while common reimbursements are respective with all gatherings needing to assume responsibility of the needs and disappointments of each other. Wards are decently situated aside before the laws are executed to guarantee that they are decently joined to evade hazard events in the both businesses (Mubin & Mannan, 2013).

The danger undertaking between the gatherings included in the endeavor, demonstrate to have a major issue with the gas and oil industry. At the point when common reimbursement is shown in a given organization, the organization is not in need of a protective cover as the repayment deals with all matters event to the organization in general (Pongsiri, 2004). A ton of protection spread prompts covers layers of protection and higher protection premium prompting ascent in expense and low degrees of profitability. Aside from expense decrease shared reimbursements support in shortening the time of contractual arrangements and with the help of organization of agreement profited to the organization. There was the re-owning of foundations and relationship as an aftereffect of the improvement of reimbursement statements in the oil and gas industry prompting the advancement model of the agreement. Muhindo, Zhou & Mzuza, (2014) contend that repayment tries to abstain from wording issues in the understanding and the implementation of the oil and gas organization laws. Issues with the wording of the agreement can conceivably bring about a case and misfortunes to the gatherings in the oil and gas contracts. At the point when managing the upholding of provisos, any that is in clash with the oil and the gas organization is left aside. Through guaranteeing tedium is kept away from, danger has been accounted for to decrease in the gas and oil industry, mostly between the foreman and the administrator.

Repayment primarily concentrates on general society concerns basically in the creating nations (Tayyebi, Chenani & Kashkooli, 2014). At the point when a man is harmed in a position of work, he should be repaid with prompt impact through the utilization of the right channels. The formal position is not left aside when pay is an issue to the builders (Muralidhar, 2010). The rejection of risk for significant harms is profoundly considered by repayment. The execution of the right venture level contract administration arrangement can likewise viably be utilized to drive development and to dodge the issues that accompany an agreement (Enyinda, Briggs, Obuah & Mbah, 2011). An agreement administration arrangement will guarantee that an organization enhances their effectiveness, expand their benefit, improve their administration, reinforce their key sway and to diminish the general change (Cordner, 2011). Moreover, an agreement administration arrangement will guarantee that the oil and gas organization conveys on their dedication and save their greatest notoriety that would empower them to get more contracts.

Propelled contract administration considers quick designation for contract learning applicable to one another over the endeavor to help spread the conceivable danger. Contract administration arrangement likewise guarantees that agreement age properly by minimizing presentation to rebelliousness hazard with controls around filing and airs (Pongsiri, 2004). Consistency and exactness are likewise energized by shortening arrangement cycles with the point of minimizing lawful dangers (Chen et al, 2014). The accessibility of data innovation abilities in the gas and oil commercial enterprises helps the organization to check the danger that may confront the administration. The way data is overseen is changed by the capacities of Information Communication and Technology for better circulation in the organization. There are five abilities used to energize the utilization of vitality experiences into the two organizations for their benefit proportions (Muralidhar, 2010). These abilities are comprehensive of the venture wide administration that is connected with data and insight of the organization to guarantee that it is decently utilized and consolidated adequately (Sarkar & Sarkar, 2013). Taking after the enhanced weight and rivalry, these two organizations have ad libbed a strategy for operations that energize the support of the current environment, wellbeing and security of all laborers in the associations (Pongsiri, 2004). IT is equipped for dealing with the unstructured and organized data that is helpful in arranging and the support of every last one of the wells where oil is extricated from.

The utilization of big business, data security to all information frameworks and the organization process in the learning of the individuals show in the both organizations will support to ensure data security for the accomplishment of the two organizations (Lajili, & Zéghal, 2005). Because of data security, following could be possible from business to individual innovations, in this way, the administration is in a superior position of relating to the kind of individuals its working with. The most ideal method for moderating danger will be by considering of creating methodologies that an organization and the host nation utilizes as a part of the blend with innovation that will be useful to backing its operations. Innovation is helpful in business examination, the use of combination and in operation of the substance administration, prompting danger lessening toward the end (Muralidhar, 2010). The improvement of business methodology is best in the recognizable proof of the association’s work process in making of great endorsements towards the association that will have lessened its hazard rate. The organizations should take a gander at the ranges of high weakness and concentrate on changes that will empower them to advance. The administrative weight should be enhanced to have the capacity to search for the obliged arrangements of making g the organization’s progress by staying away from dangers (Lajili & Zéghal, 2005).

The danger administration arrangement in the oil and gas industry is not extremely compelling since it has not figured out how to face out the significant dangers confronted by oil and gas organizations. Then again, the strategy in the oil and gas industry has attempted to streamline the lawful obstacles that have negative results to the oil and gas operations (Cordner, 2011). The arrangement in the oil and gas industry has a tendency to experience the ill effects of ecological approach that has a tendency to advance environmentally friendly power vitality arrangements and shirking of nursery gasses. According to Hinkelmann & Swidler (2004), in the course of recent decades, there have been a great deal of objection and concentrate on the ecological corruption and this has a negative effect on the arrangements coordinated at enhancing the states of the oil and gas industry.

The danger administration in the middle of the IOC and the host nation has changed in the later past since the host states have incorporated an adjustment provision to keep drawing in remote speculation into the oil and gas industry (Chen et al, 2014). Since there is an in number relationship between the dependability and value of ventures, the adjustment condition fortifies the lawful relationship between the outside financial specialists and the host states. Consequently, this lessens the danger includes and expands the level of interest in the oil and gas industry of the host express that has passed such a statement. The host nation is in this manner anticipated that would watch the legitimate components that are detailed in organization with the IOC to lessen the dangers in the oil and gas industry (Mark & Dorfman, 2012). Repayment conditions are one of the statements that are gone for lessening the dangers in the oil and gas industry.

There are two sorts of reimbursements essentially the straightforward and the shared repayments whereby, the indemnitor consents to assume liability of the indemnitee where misfortune is knowledgeable about basic circumstances (Muralidhar, 2010). Nonetheless, as an afterthought of common repayment, all the gatherings are fiscally in charge of what happens to one another. The scope of repayment is relied on upon the arrangements made by included gatherings. Eccentricities are cooked for by shared reimbursement with great arrangements being put aside. Expenses on gas and oil industry are being provided food for through evading of protection layers with high premiums whereby, this happens in the disentanglement of contractual transactions. In shared repayment, one gathering is willing to spare the other in a threat time, regardless of the possibility that it implies through the utilization of the other party assets regardless of the deficiency event. Straightforward repayments so far as that is concerned can be said to be one-sided after that stand out gathering is in charge of assuming responsibility of alternate needs while common reimbursements is respective with all gatherings needing to assume responsibility of the needs and disappointments of each other (Mubin & Mannan, 2013). In this way, the repayment conditions have been compelling in lessening the dangers in the oil and gas part.

In summary, the vitality business is extremely muddled because of the degree and the way of the exercises that are multi-jurisdictional. Dealing with the dangers in oil and gas assertions can be as unsafe as taking care of the operations through and through. At the point when not legitimately took care of, the danger included in the oil and gas operations are enormous to the point that they come about into huge money related and reputational misfortunes, which can even result toward the end of the organizations included. Compelling understanding in the oil and gas industry is end-to-end, coordinated, and sufficiently adaptable to handle the issues that may emerge sometime during undertaking execution. An agreement administration guarantees that the life cycle of the undertaking is proactively dealt with the point of guaranteeing that the diversions of every last one of the partners are met. All the business players likewise need to be included in the plan and arranging of the oil and gas assertions to guarantee that all are fulfilled by the methodology and to lessen the shots of future suit.

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Enhancing Employee Job Satisfaction and Motivation

October 28, 2015

Introduction

Nearly all workers at Plastico Packing have a low job satisfaction and are not adequately motivated to work at the firm. This is evident from the high employee turnover, inconsistent production quality, and complaints from the workers. The major reasons for the lack of adequate motivation include; inability to work as a team, lack of interpersonal skills and lack of a good employee benefits scheme. Generally, employees who are intrinsically motivated have a tendency to produce higher output and develop professionalism in the workplace. The Problems at Plastico Packaging can hence be eradicated by designing a plan to intrinsically motivate the workers. Therefore, to enhance job satisfaction and consequently enhance employee motivation, it is recommended that the jobs be redesigned, and an intrinsic rewards scheme be established at the company. The following is the recommended plan for resolving the problems at Plastico Packaging.

Job Redesign Plan

The jobs at Plastico Packaging should be planned in a way that enhances teamwork and provide equal opportunities for all genders. As currently is, the reporting system is not aligned to enhance efficiency. It is impossible to point express responsibility for the poor quality or even good work to the people who are directly responsible for such output. To eliminate this, the plan should enhance procedural justice and interaction justice by ensuring process consistency and respect for dignity and transparency within the system. The jobs should be strictly based on the production process with teams manning each production stage and a supervisor attached to every stage or depending on the need. For instance, a team of machine operators, inspectors/ packers, utility workers and a machine technician should be in charge of bag making. All this workers should be directly responsible to one supervisor who would in turn be responsible for the output from the team. In case the output from the team is below the averages acceptable, the responsible supervisor should be held accountable for the team. Further, rewards should be set to the team if the output by the team is above the acceptable averages. The promotion within the line of operation would also be based on inherent qualities and experiences rather than other aspects such as gender.

Intrinsic Motivation Techniques

Offering equal opportunities for advancement

One of the greatest shortcomings of the work environment for the employees at the company is in regards to opportunities for advancement. This is evident from the high employee turnover that also increased as one goes above the hierarchy. This implies that the opportunities for advancement also diminish along the hierarchy. To ensure that the employee perceive a long-term engagement to the company, Plastico Packaging should provide equal opportunities for all employees to climb the ladder. This would motivate the employees to contribute more to the company because they acquire a vested interest in its growth (Ashdown, 2014).

Mentoring and Education

Plastico Packaging should regularly enhance its employee’s capacity through regularly mentoring and training. The lack of adequate mentoring is evident from the fact that its takes at least six months to train a bag making supervisor to an operator. Mentoring and training should be done on a regular basis to ensure that employees are adequately equipped and can transition into other jobs with ease. In addition, the company should offer regular feedback on performance and reward the exceptional workers (Ashdown, 2014).

References

Top of Form

Ashdown, L. (2014). Performance management.

Bottom of Form

 

Plastco Packaging Case Study

October 28, 2015

Plastco packaging, a medium sized plastic bag manufacturing company is having difficulties in satisfying its employees. Its job design is lacking im many aspects. The poor job design is leading to high turnover of junior staff and the inability to retain skilled workers due to low job satisfaction and unhappiness with their work and their compensation. High turnovers are an indication of dissatisfied employees and unhealthy or unsafe work condition. In addition, the poor job design is leading to excessive waste in raw materials that ultimately leads to time loss and inconsistency in product quality. Customers are complaining of their inconsistency and there is an added threat in the form of a new competitor who is cheaper and quite consistent. There are other secondary problems arising from this root problem of job dissatisfaction.

It is clear that there are various constraints that are hindering interpersonal relationship between coworkers and that organizational commitment is exceedingly low. There is also minimal accountability between workers who always blame others when confronted by their supervisors. This is a tendency that results to loss of profit, production inconsistency, low motivation and less teamwork. The supervisors and the management have to formulate a plan that will solve these problems in order to prevent future losses. One of the core solutions is redesigning the job structure.

In order to redesign the job structure there is a need for a thorough job analysis that will avail essential information before the making of any organizational decision. This analysis has to indicate the number of job in the organization and their nature determining the worthiness of each position and the appropriate class. Job analysis facilitates accurate selection and recruitment practices in an organization. It also sets standards for various performance appraisals allowing for proper classification of positions. It will also help in the establishment of an appropriate compensation system based on the different job values ensuring that the compensations are done in accordance to skill levels. This is a sure way of motivating employees.

The most significant solution should be based on restructuring Plastco’s compensation system through the incorporation of an appropriate reward system. Employees are always appreciative when employers make efforts to make their jobs challenging and motivational. This is deemed as a chance for an employee to prove their worth and also as an opportunity to develop and improve their skills. Plastco can incorporate a system such as pay-for-performance that will motivate desired employee behavior and in turn attract and retain achievement-oriented personnel. This kind of reward systems assist in the retaining of excellent performers while weeding out poor performers enhancing the organizations productivity, job satisfaction and productivity.

There is also a need for training of employees on how to foster a peaceful or harmonious work environment and imperativeness of teamwork. Through the specification of jobs and appropriate ranking it is possible that some worker may feel like they are better than others are. Therefore, there is an urgent need for employees to be trained on teamwork. Even though some job descriptions seem independent from others there is a need for teamwork across all levels in a bid to enhance the flow of work and encourage accountability. A reward system tends to people working solely if not well organized. There is need to incorporate a balance between independence and teamwork ensuring that every employee knows the organizational goals and is determined to work with others to achieve the goals.

E Business vs. Retail

October 28, 2015

Since the invention of trade, one of the most dominant forms of business is retail. Retail is a type of business that involves the sale of goods and services to the last consumer. Laudon and Traver (3) stated that a majority of the most successful corporations in the world today started from a retail idea. Today, retail businesses occur in two major forms. These include physical or traditional retail and online retail. Physical retail is where a proprietor sets up premises and then sells products and services to the consumers from there (3). On the other hand, online retail is a form of business in which a proprietor sets up an online webpage from which consumers can order the listed products and services. It has been documented that the online business, as opposed to the traditional retail, is more desirable due to its various superior characteristics ranging from flexibility to adaptation. Therefore, it is highly recommended that entrepreneurs shift their focus to online retail trade.

In the contemporary world of business, technology seems to be the major driver. A host of businesses have increasingly adopted a range of technologies in order to facilitate their business processes and to ultimately achieve significant success. For instance, it is common for entities to implement the Enterprise Resource Planning, which is a business management software that provides an entity with the ability to collect, store, manage, and even interpret data from a range of business processes. Given the size and scope of traditional retail trades, it is often very difficult to implement these technologies. Ward (5) recognized that implementing a technology such as ERP necessitates extensive and expensive resources, and this is especially due to the broadness of the system. Such an amount of resources might be a challenge to a traditional retail trade. As such, the level of profitability and the savings made by a traditional retail trade is not sufficient enough to meet the demand of technologies (5). The case is different with online retail entities. These businesses are founded on internet, which is an integrative technology by itself. These proprietors are often placed in a good position to explore a range of other technologies which are internet-based such as applications and to implement them successfully at ease and without using significant resources (1). Most of these businessmen are technology savvy meaning that they have adequate knowledge on various supportive technologies and understand how they can adopt them without incurring much. In this regard, it is clear that online retail businesses are more likely to reap the benefits presented by technology as compared to their traditional retail counterparts.

There are various factors that affect the workforce. One of the most essential factors is the changes in demographics. The term demographic change is used to refer to the shifts in the structure of the population. An example of a demographic change that is related to the workforce is aging (2). Usually, employers prefer recruiting employees from a certain age cohort. However, as time goes, these employees age and their productivity go down significantly. With the traditional retailers, hiring employees is one of the inevitable processes. As such, a proprietor has to recruit a number of people such as salesmen and cashiers in order to facilitate success of the business. Given the huge cost involved in selecting, training and maintaining talents, the traditional retail traders opt to remain with the same workforce for some time. According to Kumar and Ruan (2), an effective recruitment of human resource requires heavy investments. For instance, a business has to ensure extensive advertisement in order to reach a pool of applicants, has to pay for the recruitment and selection process, and has to incur a given cost in training these first-time employees. Again, a traditional retail trader may not be able to meet these costs. Therefore, they prefer to remain with the same workforce. Unfortunately, the workforce age means that the energy towards work is limited and this translates into lowered success for the business. An online retail business is often not confronted with this issue. With such a business, it is not mandatory for a proprietor to employ people. Rather, he or she can manage the business by their selves (2). For instance, the proprietor does not need to employ people in order to update the website. The need for employing people comes when considering distribution. While this is the case, rather than employing people to facilitate this process, a proprietor can contract distribution agencies. In the light of this, it is evident that an online retail business is confronted by changes in the demographics of the workforce.

Besides, changes in demographics affect the marketplace, and these consequences also extend to the traditional retailers. A good account of such a demographic shift is a change in tastes and preferences of consumers. The demand of a given retail product or service might change abruptly. For instance, there might be a great demand for umbrellas due to the prevalence of severe weather conditions. In this case, a traditional retailer dealing with such products might gain significantly (4). However, supposing that the weather conditions get back to normal without any warning, the demand for umbrellas will fall abruptly meaning that the traditional retailer will take more time to transition to other products. This is especially so considering that he or she has to rearrange the stocks in order to focus on other products. Such a challenge hardly confronts online retailers (4). Where they are faced with a similar situation, they only need to remove the umbrella listings and update the website replacing them with new products. This process could even take just several minutes as opposed to traditional retailers where this kind of adjustment might take several months.

In conclusion, it is clear that online retailing is more desirable than the traditional retail businesses. Overall, the nature of flexibility and adaptation with the online retailers when faced or confronted by a range of market dynamics is more appropriate than the case of traditional retailers. For instance, a traditional retailer, as opposed to an online retailer, is more affected by changes in demographics that affect the marketplace and the workforce. The traditional retailers are likely to be faced with the issue of waging workforce, which lowers the productivity of the business. As opposed to this, the online retailer does not have to employ workers and cannot thus experience the problem of aging workforce. Similarly, the time taken to transition into other products supposing a change in preference is experienced all of a sudden is more for a traditional retailer than that for the online retailer. Therefore, it is highly recommended that entrepreneurs shift their focus to online retail trade.

 

References

  1. Gupta A, Su BC, Walter Z. Risk profile and consumer shopping behavior in electronic and traditional channels. Decision Support Systems. 2004; 38(3): 347-367.
  2. Kumar N, Ruan R. On manufacturers complementing the traditional retail channel with a direct online channel. Quantitative Marketing and Economics. 2006; 4(3): 289-323.
  3. Laudon KC, Traver CG. E-commerce. London, UK: Pearson/Addison Wesley; 2007.
  4. Szymanski DM, Hise RT. E-satisfaction: an initial examination. Journal of retailing. 2000; 76(3): 309-322.
  5. Ward MR. Will online shopping compete more with traditional retailing or catalog shopping?. Netnomics. 2001; 3(2): 103-117.

Statistics: Reference Chapter 1-9: http://ryanrapini.com/media/statistics/Statistics_for_Engineers.pdf

October 26, 2015

Question 10.

Consider the following experiment; simultaneously toss a fair coin and independently roll a fair die

  1. Write out the 12 outcomes that comprise the sample space for this experiment.

The toss of the coin = (Head, tail)

Throw of the die = {1,2,3,4,5,6}

Combination of the two events ={(1 Head), (1Tail),…, (6Head), (6 Tail).

The probability of tossing a coin and getting a head or a tail would be equal that is =1/2

P(AB) = P(A)P(B) = ½ X1/2 =1/4

From the sample space of twelve, it can be deduced that 3 of the twelve likely events comprise AB, and that; P(AB) = P(A) + P(B) – P(AB) =3/4. That is nine of twelve equally likely events makes AB

  1. Let X be a random variable that takes the value of 1 if the coin shows heads and the value of 0 if the coin shows tails. Let Y be the random variable that takes the value of the up face of the tossed die. And let Z = X+Y. construct the probability mass function for Z

For independent variables

PXY X1=-1 X2 = 0 X3 = 1 PY(yj)
Y1=-1 1/12 1/6 1/4 1/2
Y2=0 1/18 1/9 1/6 1/3
Y3=1 1/36 1/18 1/12 1/6
PX(Xk) 1/6 1/3 1/2

For joint probability function

P) X1=1 X2 = 0 P
Y1=-1 1/12+1/4+1/36+1/12=4/9 1/6+1/18=2/9 2/3
Y2=0 1/18+1/6=2/9 1/9 1/3
P(Xk) 2/3 1/3
  1. Find the mean of Z
  1. Find the variance for Z

Question 1

The number of customers entering a certain restaurant in any given day is approximately normally distributed with a mean of 40 and a standard deviation of 10. Find the probability that during a given day;

  1. At least 40 customers arrive P(X>=40) = 0.5
  2. No more than 45 customers arrive P(X=<45)

P(X

P(X 0.6915

Question 7.

  1. Calculation of the pooled estimate of the standard deviation
  1. Use the turkeys multiple comparison procedure to compare the mean rates of penetration for the three drill bits. Identify the means that differ. Use α=0.01.

This represents a 99% level of confidence.

For a two sided system the degree of freedom can be calculated from

0.99/2=0.495

Cathedrals of Christian Nubia

October 26, 2015

Introduction

Churches in Old-fashioned Nubia have attracted several archaeological and architectural interest for many years. However, it was until 1960s that much research was undertaken on these Christian sites. Many of these buildings were extraordinary structures with masonry piers, stone columns and brick vaults. One of the most outstanding among these works includes the episcopal cathedrals within Faras, Qasr Ibrim and the Old Dongola as well as the cathedral located at Gebel Adda. The inside these churches were usually decorated with wall paintings that were brightly colored hence achieving artistic expression of the highest order. Among the well-preserved paintings in these cathedrals include the ones discovered at Faras which were reasonably incredible. It is indicated that the buildings became abandoned after they got filled with sand in glory days of Nubian Christianity. This paper aims to comprehensively depict the architecture and art of the Nubia cathedrals in a detailed manner.


Cathedrals of Christian Nubia

The repeated efforts of international campaign of UNESCO and Polish archaeologists have led to the revealing of Nubian cultural and Art artifacts originating from the Christian period (Mid 6th -14th centuries).[1] This team worked under the direction of Kazimierz Michalowski within the ancient city of Faras next to the present-day Egyptian-Sudanese border. Ruins of well-preserved of 8th-century of the cathedral church were discovered. This discovery of Cathedral ancient architecture has been hailed as the miracle of Faras whereby the walls are decorated with magnificent mural paintings comprising of religious themes. More than one hundred and twenty paintings are preserved and the Warsaw National Museum consists of 67 collections of this paintings.[2] This collection of art and architecture is accompanied by several findings from Faras and together they form one of the largest and prized archaeological artifacts collection that have ever been acquired by the Polish Museum.

The significance of the archaological discoveries within the Nubian territory during the first half of the 60s and the unique interest among the mass media in the project has led to the development of a new discipline in science known as Nubiology.[3] This is a clear differentiation from the Egytological studies since the have a considerable assistance from the Nubian studies that were found in 1872.[4] From the Nubian, the most outstanding discovery includes the wall paintings in the Cathedral located in Faras by the Polish mission who were headed by Michafowski.[5] These paintings and records are concerns with the Pachoras bischopric and since then have become the most intriguing materials, they literally put Nubia Christian within the map of the Byzantine oikumene. Today, Nubia is a permanent element of work that is carried in different research studies in relation to Byzantine and early Christians investigations. However, some hindering factor of studies related to Nubia architecture and arts includes lack of a methodology in publications. The excavations during 60s were usually published as preliminary reports including from the Sudan in Kush, Egypt and other periodicals institutions that were undertaking research such as BIFAO, JEA and JARCE.[6] Currently, there is lack of conclusive reports in relation to the excavations in sites like Faras, Qasr Ibrim and Gebel Adda that consist of a major hindrance.

Based on the Cathedrals of Christian Nubia, burial customs and homogenous pottery, they developed military and civil architectures. Their buildings were based on stones (granite and limestone and baked bricks and mud-bricks.[7] The religious architecture becomes one of the most unique features in the Nobadian art. Contrary to the suggestions of Michabwski, many ancient researchers indicate that there were no religious before the state of Nobadia underwent Christianization. Presumably, the earlier churches were erected within the centers of Qasr and Faras. In the 6th century, Faras saw different construction of several churches with homogeneous exterior forms and nearly indistinguishable interior designs. These churches include Northern and Southern churches within Faras, Serre East churches, River church located in Adindan and others.[8] All the churches comprise of the bottom region of the walls constructed from broken stones while bricks are utilized on the upper regions. They employ a basilican model of an elongated dimensions and wider nave that is separated by triumphal arch from the presbytery. The altar with the apse is connected with side rooms. At the western end, there are tripartite housing staircases that lead to the gallery.[9] The vaults of the nave use massive pillars for support. There exists two entrances that lead to the church from the south and the north and both are located within the western end. Furthermore, columned basilicas were also erected.

The first cathedrals were built at Faras, the old church at Qasr Ibrim and Qasr el Wizz church. The foundations of the cathedral at Pachoras comprise of narthexes that lead to the church with a nave broader than the aisles.[10] The altar with the apse was parted by using triumphal arch from the rest of the other church. Sacristies were accessed through the side aisles, an entrance to the basilica was on the main axis on the western wall based on the northern and southern walls of the narthex. These cathedral were constructed using dressed blocks of sandstone similar to Qasr Ibrim church. It is evident that the basilican churches were the most dominant form in the early period of Nobadia.[11]

The architectural elements originate mostly from Qasr Ibrim and Faras and they include capitals, columns, door jambs and lintels and also friezes that were made of sandstone hence depicting the skills of the stonecutters. For decoration, a combination of new Christian and local traditions are demonstrated.[12] These architectural decorations exhibit numerous similarities in form, style and composition with decoration originating in Thebaid, more especially from workshops at Philae, Asna and Luxor.

In Dongola, the buildings of this period are significant since the depict the Nubian architecture designs and symbolize the Nubians`s Kingdom. They include the Commermorative Building-Cruciform and Throne Hall. The Throne hall is argued to have survived for a long time but it was converted into a caravanseray and a Mosque and underwent further changes especially due the damages of 13th century.[13] However, original appearances on the storey and ground-floor were preserved. The structure was rectangular with the eastern façade having a projecting apse. Infrequency in Nubai constructed on a rock distinction to the east of the fortress. In the western wall, a main entrance existence that led up to the monumental staircase giving an access to the first-floor as well as a terrace on complex`s roof. A square room was located in the first-floor measuring 7.20 metres and the middle of the eastern wall comprised of a shallow niche.[14] Four granite pillars supported the wooden ceiling and some preserved beams permitted the rebuilding of a four-sided coffered ceiling. Three-layered paintings were located on the walls that were then covered by plain plaster while the structure was used as a mosque. A frieze crowning fragment of the walls is what have been well-maintained of the original wall. A corridor surrounded the main room and was open on the south and north to the outside and on the east it was linked to the apse hence people argue that this section might have been used as a chapel. Within the west, corner rooms similar to vestibule-waiting rooms and a staircase was also present that led to the higher terrace to the roof.

Several paintings of 14th and 13th century emerging from different churches are preserved in large cities such as Gebel Adda and Faras.[15] The quality of these paintings varies considerably and it is hard to be precise about the Nubia styles. However, late and early designs especially in the age of inflexible attention to detail and decorativeness seem similar. Furthermore, there is little freedom in regard to the paintings since they seem schematic and imitative.[16] Nonetheless, they depict local Nubian as well as the tradition and tastes of the secular community. This explains why there is a popularity of outstanding church officials on portraits. Undoubtedly, Faras remains the most significant center for Nubian paintings with all masterpieces from cathedral dated painting to late periods that demonstrate an outstanding artistic quality when compared to other paintings preserved within Abd el Gadir or Kulubnarti. While most of the paintings have a local character or Nubian, it is possible to come across as surprising as Christ`s head from fragmentarily well-kept constitutes.[17] These paintings are fully of color and freshness and provide a proof of high-spiritedness of the Nubain workshops of paintings. The themes depicted in this art is similar to those fixed in the Nubia`s iconography. Other arts represent saints on horsebacks and exceedingly artificial Christ`s representations in glory using four apocalyptical beings. Based on the cathedral paintings, it could seem that decoration of the church occurred in a short time. For instance, the eparch was painted over an existing representation hence one can argue that at least the church underwent two stages of decoration.[18] These two stages are likely to correspond to two building phases of the cathedral.

Paintings of the classical period have been preserved within Paulos Cathedral within Parachoras. However, paintings with similar stylistics features were also found in Naga ee Shaima, Southern Slopes of Faras church and Wadi es Sebua churches.[19] Faras cathedral paintings stand out from the rest. They depict Faras cathedral murals which is a portrait of Bishop Kyros conserved within the Khartoum National Museum. This is an exceptional portrait among others that display church dignitaries found in the cathedral. The portrait depicts the bishop standing with almost white robes that contrast with swarthy skin of the hands and face hence making him a monumental figure. Colors including tones of brown and green bring out a book held on the left hand. Other paintings from the cathedral most probably date to episcopacy of Kyros (the procession of Nubian on a cross, Queen Representation on the crown, deacon representation and St. John Chrysostomos).[20] The Faras paintings devoted space for representing St. John Chrysostomos hence some influence of Syro-Palestinian can be detected in it. A change in style can be noted at Faras during the second half of ninth century. This corresponds to chronological appearances of Dongola`s new buildings that are sculpted on Byzantine designs. The queen portrait`s has non-Nubian characteristics hence gaining a special meaning. Even though foreign marriage are not depicted in the Nubian Kingdom, it is suggested that during this time and the historic conditions, the woman within the painting on cathedral in Faras was Georgios`s wife who was the Nubian prince and he had traveled in 835 to Baghdad.

The archaeological remnants of the Nubian churches suggest that there existed organized secular authority and religion as separate but interacting entities needing protection of one another.[21] Under their integral umbrella, the society of the middle Nile created commercial activities to a big extent and became one of the most urbanized regions in the northern part in the earlier periods. Excavations have indicated that early Christians period demonstrated an amazing continuity from the X-Group with several house remaining in use and other industrial activities such as wood-working and weaving continuing on large scales.[22] The transformation of Meroitic temples into churches and the construction of a cathedral as well as the monastery process of Christianization in the classical age have lasted for a long period. These cities seemed to have become religious hence pilgrimage centres whereby most of the housing facilities were being cleared to offer large plaza in order to accommodate large numbers of visitors.[23]


Conclusion

One of the most important discoveries in Faras from the Christian period includes the rock chapel and city`s cathedral originating from the Nubian Christian period. This cathedral comprise of wall adorned with paintings that are biblical narratives in sophisticated details and also portraits of famous leaders and citizens. These Byzantine-Coptic style paintings are done in tempera on dried plaster. The paintings depict Nubian Christian art including well-known scenes of the bibles and several portraits related to bishops and monarchs of Faras. In general, the earliest Nubia churches were built based on Egypt`s Christian basilicas with 3 to 5 aisles. Presumably, due to technical reasons, the western return aisle was abandoned. In the Nubia, the nave underwent further shortening and colonnades located on both sides reduced to two pillars (Oblong).

The figures below depicts different paintings in Nubian Cathedral

Figure 1: Basilica of Qasr Ibrim

[24]

Figure 2: Faras fresco of cathedral

[25]

Figure 3: Faras Frieze with birds from First Cathedral 

[26]

Figure 4: Archangel Mud Plaster Tempera

[27]

Figure 5: Virgin Mary with a child

[28]

Figure 6: Bishop Petros with St. Peter

[29]

Figure 7: Bishop Marianos, Virgin Mary and Christ

[30]


Bibliography

Bokova, Irina. Artifacts of Christian Nubia Revealed. October 3, 2014. http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-09012014/article/artifacts-of-christian-nubia-revealed (accessed March 12, 2015).

Breidlid, Anders, Avelino Androga Said, Astrid Kristine Breidlid, Anne Farren, and Yosa H. Wawa. 2014. A concise history of South Sudan. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain Publishers.

Clammer, Paul. 2009. Sudan. Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides.

Godlewski, Wlodzimierz. Christian Nubia – After The Nubian Campaign. 2014. http://www.sudan-embassy.co.uk/index.php/component/content/article?id=38:christian-nubia-after-the-nubian-campaign (accessed March 12, 2015).

Grossmann, Peter. Christian Nubia and its churches. 2011. http://www.numibia.net/nubia/christian.htm (accessed March 12, 2015).

Ibbotson, Sophie, Max Lovell-Hoare, and Paul Clammer. 2012. Sudan. Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides.

James, Liz. 2010. A Companion to Byzantium. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. http://www.123library.org/book_details/?id=28658.

Parry, Kenneth. 2010. The Blackwell companion to Eastern Christianity. Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell.

Syta, Olga, Karol Rozum, Marta Choińska, Dobrochna Zielińska, Grażyna Zofia Żukowska, Agnieszka Kijowska, and Barbara Wagner. “Analytical procedure for characterization of medieval wall-paintings by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and Raman spectroscopy.” Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy 101 (2014): 140-148.

[1] Ibbotson, Sophie, Max Lovell-Hoare, and Paul Clammer. 2012. Sudan. Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides.

[2] Clammer, Paul. 2009. Sudan. Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides.

[3] Godlewski, Wlodzimierz. Christian Nubia – After The Nubian Campaign. 2014. http://www.sudan-embassy.co.uk/index.php/component/content/article?id=38:christian-nubia-after-the-nubian-campaign

[4] Parry, Kenneth. 2010. The Blackwell companion to Eastern Christianity. Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell.

[5] Godlewski, Wlodzimierz. Christian Nubia – After The Nubian Campaign. 2014. http://www.sudan-embassy.co.uk/index.php/component/content/article?id=38:christian-nubia-after-the-nubian-campaign

[6] Breidlid, Anders, Avelino Androga Said, Astrid Kristine Breidlid, Anne Farren, and Yosa H. Wawa. 2014. A concise history of South Sudan. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain Publishers.

[7] James, Liz. 2010. A Companion to Byzantium. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. http://www.123library.org/book_details/?id=28658.

[8] Ibbotson, Sophie, Max Lovell-Hoare, and Paul Clammer. 2012. Sudan. Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides.

[9] Clammer, Paul. 2009. Sudan. Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides.

[10] Godlewski, Wlodzimierz. Christian Nubia – After The Nubian Campaign. 2014. http://www.sudan-embassy.co.uk/index.php/component/content/article?id=38:christian-nubia-after-the-nubian-campaign

[11] Ibbotson, Sophie, Max Lovell-Hoare, and Paul Clammer. 2012. Sudan. Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides.

[12] Parry, Kenneth. 2010. The Blackwell companion to Eastern Christianity. Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell.

[13] Breidlid, Anders, Avelino Androga Said, Astrid Kristine Breidlid, Anne Farren, and Yosa H. Wawa. 2014. A concise history of South Sudan. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain Publishers.

[14] James, Liz. 2010. A Companion to Byzantium. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. http://www.123library.org/book_details/?id=28658.

[15] James, Liz. 2010. A Companion to Byzantium. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. http://www.123library.org/book_details/?id=28658.

[16] Godlewski, Wlodzimierz. Christian Nubia – After The Nubian Campaign. 2014. http://www.sudan-embassy.co.uk/index.php/component/content/article?id=38:christian-nubia-after-the-nubian-campaign

[17] Breidlid, Anders, Avelino Androga Said, Astrid Kristine Breidlid, Anne Farren, and Yosa H. Wawa. 2014. A concise history of South Sudan. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain Publishers.

[18] Clammer, Paul. 2009. Sudan. Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides.

[19] Breidlid, Anders, Avelino Androga Said, Astrid Kristine Breidlid, Anne Farren, and Yosa H. Wawa. 2014. A concise history of South Sudan. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain Publishers.

[20] James, Liz. 2010. A Companion to Byzantium. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. http://www.123library.org/book_details/?id=28658.

[21] Godlewski, Wlodzimierz. Christian Nubia – After The Nubian Campaign. 2014. http://www.sudan-embassy.co.uk/index.php/component/content/article?id=38:christian-nubia-after-the-nubian-campaign

[22] Ibbotson, Sophie, Max Lovell-Hoare, and Paul Clammer. 2012. Sudan. Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides.

[23] Parry, Kenneth. 2010. The Blackwell companion to Eastern Christianity. Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell.

[24] Grossmann, Peter. Christian Nubia and its churches. 2011. http://www.numibia.net/nubia/christian.htm

[25] Bokova, Irina. Artifacts of Christian Nubia Revealed. October 3, 2014. http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-09012014/article/artifacts-of-christian-nubia-revealed

[26] Bokova, Irina. Artifacts of Christian Nubia Revealed. October 3, 2014. http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-09012014/article/artifacts-of-christian-nubia-revealed

[27] Bokova, Irina. Artifacts of Christian Nubia Revealed. October 3, 2014. http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-09012014/article/artifacts-of-christian-nubia-revealed

[28] Syta, Olga, Karol Rozum, Marta Choińska, Dobrochna Zielińska, Grażyna Zofia Żukowska, Agnieszka Kijowska, and Barbara Wagner. “Analytical procedure for characterization of medieval wall-paintings by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and Raman spectroscopy.” Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy 101 (2014): 140-148.

[29] Bokova, Irina. Artifacts of Christian Nubia Revealed. October 3, 2014. http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-09012014/article/artifacts-of-christian-nubia-revealed

[30] Syta, Olga, Karol Rozum, Marta Choińska, Dobrochna Zielińska, Grażyna Zofia Żukowska, Agnieszka Kijowska, and Barbara Wagner. “Analytical procedure for characterization of medieval wall-paintings by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and Raman spectroscopy.” Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy 101 (2014): 140-148.

Theoretical Problems of Ethics

October 26, 2015

Abstract

There are several theoretical problems of ethics but I have only discussed three of them that I deem to be very important. Their origin, objectives for solution and even how they shape my personal ethics are discussed in this paper.

Introduction

A system that incorporates principles that are deemed moral by a given group of people is perceived to be ethics. This group of people has their lives and decision making process controlled by that kind of a system. Ethics can therefore be defined as the moral philosophy of a given group of individuals and general what they consider of benefit to their society. Cultures, religions and even philosophies form the basis of ethics of a given society (Fromm, 2013).

The first theoretical problem of ethics that is going to be discussed in this paper is the concept moral judgment. This ethical problem is derived from naturalism theory. Individuals normally have their own assertions of opinions or knowledge that we perceive to be moral when they pass judgment with respect to given scenarios but in real sense their moral judgments are controlled by their emotional feelings at that particular moment. My personal ethics were derived from this context to some extent. When I was still a little child, I was taught to react to certain things from certain contexts (Forsyth, 2013). For instance, I was taught to show sympathy to the less unfortunate in the society and therefore I should always help them if I have the capability to do so. In as much as I was taught to believe that it is right to give to them, I think it is wrong to give to them and instead they should be encouraged to work towards uplifting their status. This can be solved by application of logical reasoning before making judgments (Fromm, 2013).

The second theoretical problem that is discussed in this paper is characteristics that are deemed to be wrong-making and right-making. This kind of problem is pegged to contracts or agreements that are socially motivated. What actually defined the good or evil act? Is a question that proves difficult to answer (Hinman, 2012). When I was still growing up, I was made to understand that certain acts are either good or evil; some characteristics are either right or wrong. This has shaped my personal ethics so much that there are things I consider evil but to some individuals they are good (Hinman, 2012). It can be solved by considering each and every individual’s perception on certain issues. Society should encourage its members to understand that what can be wrong to them can be right to others.

The last problem of ethics is the function of motives in ethics. This problem is derived from authoritative voices. The consequences of a given act will either attract one to doing something or not (Hinman, 2012). My personal ethics is developed in such a way that I should not do something that will negatively affect someone else. It can be solved by encouraging individuals to avoid ill motives against others. The next objective to solving this problem is to ensure that each and every individual consider the plight others before satisfying their respective motives (Donaldson, 2008).

Conclusion

Ethical problems described that above are very important in shaping ones perception on certain ethical issues and make us understand ethics better. These problems are encountered in day-to-day lives of individuals and should therefore be well understood.

References

Donaldson, L. (2008). Ethics problems and problems with ethics: Toward a pro-management theory. Journal of Business Ethics, 78(3), 299-311.

Forsyth, D. R. (2013). Judging the morality of business practices: The influence of personal moral philosophies. In Citation Classics from the Journal of Business Ethics (pp. 265-277). Springer Netherlands

Fromm, E. (2013). Man for himself: An inquiry into the psychology of ethics. Routledge.

Hinman, L. (2012). Ethics: A pluralistic approach to moral theory. Cengage Learning.

Contemporary Vs Traditional Worship: Theological Concept

October 26, 2015

Abstract

Our Baptist church required a revolution in its worship approach and I, therefore, decided to form a worship team that would conduct blended worship services based on the New Testament’s teachings on use of hymns, songs and psalms. The main problem consisted of the mass exodus from the church to other protestant and evangelical churches. The traditional way of worship seemed to be driving many in the congregation away to churches that embraced an integral form of worship free of stringent procedures rules and regulations. In this chapter, the author will find the biblical basis and historical evidence for blended worship. The author will verify which form of worship is biblical through the Old and New Testament, and classify the features of each type of worship from the Early Church to the Reformed Church, showing how these features can apply to today’s worship. Furthermore, the author will argue why blended worship is needed in today’s Baptist Church through examining the history of worship in Richmond VA.

 

Attestation

I understand the nature of plagiarism, and I am aware of the University’s policy on this.

I certify that this dissertation reports original work by me during my University project:

Signature                                          Date

Acknowledgements

I thank the Almighty God for the strength and vision to complete this work. I acknowledge the church leaders and members of the Jerusalem Baptist Church for the undivided support that they offered.

Table of Contents

Abstract………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

Attestation…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3

Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………………………………. 5

1    Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

2    Biblical, Historical, Theology and Ethical Foundation……………………………………. 7

2.1    Biblical Foundations…………………………………………………………………………… 7

2.2    Old Testament…………………………………………………………………………………. 10

2.3    New Testament………………………………………………………………………………… 11

2.4    Historic Tradition in the Baptist Church……………………………………………….. 13

2.5    Summary of Theological Considerations……………………………………………… 14

2.5.1  Are they true? -……………………………………………………………………………. 15

2.5.2  Are our songs God-focused? –………………………………………………………. 15

2.5.3  Are they clear?-…………………………………………………………………………… 15

2.5.4  Are they unselfish? –……………………………………………………………………. 15

2.5.5  Singing and Playing Horizontally……………………………………………………. 15

3    Contemporary Worship in the Baptist Church…………………………………………….. 18

References………………………………………………………………………………………………… 19

 

1         Introduction

Perhaps the hottest issue the Christian church in America faces today is the issue of
church music and worship styles. Many churches have split over the issue, and other churches
continue to deal with the scars and bloodshed of the battle. Some Christians consider the older
church music to be sacred, while they consider the newer music close to the level of blasphemy.
Conversely, other Christians view the older music to be outdated, dry, and dead, while
approaching newer music as if it is the Word of God itself. With such a sensitive issue, there are
many arguments raised from both sides of the issue. Many of these arguments are based on
preference issues, and are not informed arguments from the very outset. As a result, there is a
need for informed answers to these arguments, so that genuine unity in the faith might be
established.

Contemporary music a wide variety of music to choose from that it is impossible to identify a single theme or philosophy that undergirds the vast array of music. There are both good and bad examples of Christian music on the market today. The Christian worshiper can only speculate as to which of these songs will survive the test of time and one day become a classic in the Christian faith.

2         Biblical, Historical, Theology and Ethical Foundation

2.1         Biblical Foundations

In order to understand the dynamics of Christian music, a brief study of the history of
church music will be quite helpful. Throughout church history, there has been an array of church
music available, much like there is today. This variety needs to be narrowed for the present study. Therefore, a cursory overview of the philosophies behind church music from the reformation to present will be the basic theme of the study. Additional trimming will occur, as only those songs, writers, and philosophies that have stood the test of time will be used. Kenneth W. Osbeck is perhaps the leading figure in hymnology today, thus much of the information regarding specific hymns and writers is adapted from his work. As an understanding of the history of church music is gained, the impact of the music on the expansion of the church will be included as a corollary to the study (Karris, 1998).
Before embarking on a survey of Christian music through recent centuries, a
theological basis for worship music should be developed to inform the understanding of history.
Throughout the Old Testament, music was an important part of the worship of God (1 Chron 23:-
27) (Hicks, 2010)[1].

Since the early Christians continued to worship in the temple and in synagogues, there is no reason to believe the historical musical heritage was abandoned in the early church. In fact, many hymn fragments can be identified in the New Testament text, suggesting that the early church relied on hymns and songs to help communicate the message of the Gospel, as well as to disciple believers in their faith. As the Christian movement moved west through the Roman world, influences from other cultures increased. While the theological tenets would need to remain, the methodology would shift in accordance with local societies (Pascuzzi, 2005).

Pascuzzi suggests three essential purposes for Christian worship: first, to glorify
God; second, to inspire, uplift, and transform the worshiper; and third, to draw visitors closer to
an encounter with Jesus Christ. Pascuzzi sets these three purposes up in order of importance. He
makes clear that the primary purpose in worship is not to entertain the worshiper, but to glorify
God both through a sense of awe and a sense of joy (2005).

The second purpose for worship is to uplift believers. Russell describes this purpose as a result of glorifying God, and not a goal in itself. The four results the worshiper can expect from
genuine worship are: a sense of God’s presence, a conviction of sinfulness, a reminder of God’s
grace, and an inspiration to serve[2].

Finally, as a by-product to genuine worship, the believer is built up and encouraged,
therefore unbelievers are attracted and ultimately brought to Christ (Hicks, 2010). Luke writes that the early Christians were “praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to
their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47) (Craddock & Boring, 2010).

Joe Stacker contends that too much of worship has become a spectator sport and must
be returned to the people of God. Stacker explains that since the act of worship is such a
meaningful time, each believer should be actively involved. In the same book, Wesley Forbis
exclaims that whatever worship form is used, it “must help people see God.”

Tommy Walker of Christian Assembly Foursquare Church in Los Angeles comments
that the “seeker sensitive movement” lends itself to the spectator model, whereas genuine worship speaks in the culture’s language but reveals a “genuine, wholehearted relationship with God.”
Ultimately, as Robert Webber explains, contemporary music should “express a cultural
sensitivity to modern needs, without rejecting the best of our heritage.” As a result, an
understanding of the heritage of Protestant Christian music is in order (Karris, 1998).

To begin a study of the history of church music in the Protestant era, the motivations of
the father of the Reformation ought to be understood. Martin Luther’s desire was not to create a
new church that would be separate from the established Catholic church. Instead, his desire was
to be a catalyst for reformation within the Catholic tradition. Luther’s motivation for reformation
was limited by the explicit tenets of Scripture. If there was a practice within the Catholic church
that was in direct violation of Scripture, Luther sought to reform the practice. If a practice was
not clearly rejected by Scripture, Luther did not consider it necessary to abandon the practice.
One area of religious practice that Luther sought to reform was the use of the vernacular language within Christian worship.

Luther considered music to be one of God’s greatest gifts to men, and therefore sought to write hymns in the vernacular language in order to use them in Christian worship. Without a doubt, the one song written by Martin Luther that has stood the test of time more than any other is, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” Although the actual circumstances that inspired the writing of the hymn are unknown, the song became the great rallying cry of the Reformation, moving the believers to stand strong in the face of persecution, that God would win the victory by seeing His name carried forth, for His Word will endure forever[3].

“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” is a song birthed out of the circumstances of
persecution. The theological truths that are poetically rendered in the text are a great
encouragement to the people who sang it first, driving them to persevere in the circumstances, that they could see the Reformation through to victory. The first Protestant believers cherished
the hymn and passed it on to their children as a reminder of the warfare that took place to return
the priesthood to the believer. As a result, the hymn has stood the test of time and continues to
be a reminder today of the battles fought so many years ago[4].

Jumping nearly two hundred years later, the next prominent hymn writer to be
introduced is Isaac Watts. Isaac Watts was brilliant as a young boy, learning five languages by the age of twelve. Watts was troubled by the dry psalm singing in the English churches, which set him on course to produce over 600 hymns. His disdain for the existing church music drove him to comment, “The singing of God’s praise is the part of worship most closely related to heaven; but its performance among us is the worst on earth.”

The impact of the hymns of Watts on the English churches rivals that of the
contemporary music today. The battle waged between traditional church music and the sacred
music of the day often split churches(Bickel & Jantz, 2004). Despite the unharmonious beginnings, many of Watts’
hymns survive to inspire Christians today because they contain a sound theological basis overlaid with a lasting musical setting. The impact of his music may be greater than ever imagined. One of the greatest missionary hymns of all time, “Jesus Shall Reign,” was written by Watts in 1719, approximately 60 years before the modern missionary movement began with William Carey.

A sibling pair of ministers overlapped the influence of Isaac Watts. John and Charles
Wesley impacted both England and America during the mid-1700s. John Wesley was a profound
theologian, but Charles was the better-known hymn writer. The brothers were raised in a strict Anglican form of worship. John responded to a limited view of worship by stating that worship
“must engage our whole person.”

Charles broke from the traditional Anglican form of worship. Despite his formal
training and his missionary service in the colony of Georgia, Charles lacked peace and joy in his
heart and life. After returning to London, Charles met with a group of Moravians. While meeting
with this group, Charles realized that salvation is through faith alone. This experience brought a
spiritual enthusiasm in Charles that reflected in every facet of his ministry.

In all, Charles would write approximately 6,500 hymns. The motivation for his hymn writing was to communicate the many facets of the Christian life to church people in a
theologically sound fashion. As Osbeck explains, Charles accomplished this by writing hymn texts and “fitting them to any popular tune that suited the meter and message of the lines.” In reality, several of Wesley’s hymns were mariners tunes or even bar tunes with new lyrics, which led many lost sinners to sing along and be exposed to the Gospel during evangelistic meetings.

John Newton followed under the influence of John and Charles, also introducing “simple heart-felt hymns” into the services in lieu of the usual psalms. Newton’s most notable
contribution to church music is the short, yet powerful, text of “Amazing Grace.”
Following John Newton, the hymn writers contemporary to D.L. Moody are of
significant note. Philip Bliss is perhaps the best-known of these writers. George Stebbins, a
noted gospel writer, said of Bliss: “There has been no writer of verse since his time who has shown such a grasp of the fundamental truths of the gospel, or such a gift for putting them into
poetic and singable form.”

As with Bliss, most of the notable hymns of this time come out of the evangelistic
meetings led by D.L. Moody, Major Daniel W. Whittle, Ira Sankey, and others. Beyond Bliss,
other authors include Lydia Baxter, known for her song, “Take The Name of Jesus With You,”
and Horatio Spafford, author of “It Is Well With My Soul,” an emotional hymn written in
response to the tragic death of his four daughters.

No history of church music is complete without the contributions of Fanny Crosby.
Crosby composed the texts to at least 8,000 gospel songs. Although blind, Crosby was one of the
most prolific hymn writers of all time. Crosby was a master at developing theological poetic verse to fit existing musical themes. A vast majority of Crosby’s texts are an expression of subjective testimony or Christian experience[5].

Moving into the twentieth century, there seems to be a void of church songs with
lasting significance (Benson, 1956). Many issues may contribute to this void. First, with the introduction of
liberal and neo-orthodox theology, the church itself has begun to question the authority of the
Word of God for the first time in history. Without the authority of the Bible to drive the writers,
undoubtedly the authority in hymn writers’ texts have suffered.

Second, perhaps society’s shift toward an entertainment focus has so infiltrated the church that those who would write great music to the glory of God have instead sought to exalt
themselves with sacred music. Perhaps the increased speed at which society is changing has
resulted in an abandonment of great ideas and hymns quicker than they should have been. Still
another suggestion may be that Christians became selfish, losing sight of the evangelistic aspects
of worship, and began to focus only on their own individual benefits. Whatever the reason, the
prolific hymn writers of the early and mid-twentieth century have been few, and their influence has been minimal (Hicks, 2010)[6].

There have been a few sparks in the darkness. Several writers have written one or two
songs that have survived the test of time. Perhaps the most well-known name in Christian music
in the twentieth century is George Beverly Shea. Shea has been the primary soloist with Billy
Graham since 1947. The two continue to lead evangelistic crusades together, even as Shea is into
his nineties. Shea’s music often has an emotional flavor, inspired by comments from people he
encounters. One example of this is: “The Wonder of It All.”

Because of the increasing staleness of contemporary music, young Christians were
restless to find a new identity with Christ (Craddock & Boring, 2010). In the drug-infested sixties, the Jesus Movement began, and would eventually birth a reawakening of genuine worship. Throughout the seventies,
hints of new worship music began to take shape from artists such as the Gaithers, Andre Crouch,
and many others. This new music seemed to have a common thread: the texts were shorter and
the music simple. These songs would eventually ring in the Praise and Worship movement in the eighties and nineties.

In the eighties, a few hymns in similar style to these in the seventies would continue to
appear. Some would manage to become instant classics that would stand the test of time. Jack
Hayford’s “Majesty” was embraced by traditional church and contemporary church alike, even
being printed in many hymn books. While these short contemporary hymns continued to appear, a new type of music was beginning to develop (Benson, 1956).

Keith Green only walked this world as a Christian for seven years, but in
that short time, he revolutionized the way Americans worship. Many consider Green to be the
father of the contemporary Praise and Worship Movement. No one made a clearer call to return
to a genuine heart of worship than Keith Green. Just a few days before his death, Green wrote an
article entitled Why you should Go to the Mission Field. In this article, he makes the case that
genuine worship requires that people be actively involved in world evangelization.

Following Keith Green, many other voices sounded the call to return to genuine
worship. These leaders, like Green, were not quick to let go of the heritage in Christian music.
Green often included contemporary renderings of old hymns on his albums. The contrast came
with the writing of new songs. The new songs were intimate testimonies to the Savior of simple,
childlike faith–a sharp contrast to the majestic traditional hymns. Much of the music of Keith Green has stood the test of time, as it is as fresh in the minds of many believers today as it was twenty years ago. Perhaps this phenomenon is due to the vision of Keith Green. Now, almost twenty years after his death, the Christian community is beginning to grasp the difficult message that Keith Green delivered.

This reality is perhaps culminated in Matt Redman’s song, “The Heart of Worship,” published in 1999. This song is a paraphrase of the Old Testament Prophets’ calls to genuine worship such as Amos (5:21-6:7), Joel (2:12-17), and Hosea (6:6). One other key leader in the development of the Praise and Worship movement was Rich Mullins. Mullins carried the movement through the late eighties and into the nineties until he died in a tragic automobile accident in 1997[7].

Many of the arguments against the Praise and Worship movement are related to musical
quality or theological depth. When these contemporary songs are set up against the three criteria
suggested by Bob Russell, most of the songs adequately fit within a definition of worship. In fact, with the tight connection to Scripture that many of these songs contain, they become theologically superior to some of the traditional hymns.

When the history of writing is compared between the traditional hymns and the hymns
that have stood the test of time, the writing philosophies are extremely similar. As a result, any
arguments against the contemporary songs is also an argument against many of the old hymns.
Does the contemporary music glorify God? Although the musical style preference may
appear to some to fall short in this area, the lyric quality meets this requirement. Does the
contemporary music draw the worshipers to a point where they are lifted up and edified? Again, this is limited only by the musical preference of the worshiper. If the worshiper chooses to work
within the given musical style, and to reflect upon the message of the song, there is no limitation
within most contemporary songs (Hicks, 2010)[8].

Does contemporary music draw unbelievers into a relationship with God? This third
criteria, although seldom pointed out, is the one area where much of contemporary worship may
fall short. However, this result is not the fault of the musical writers, but of the worshipers who
use the music, and the pastors and teachers who are supposed to train the worshipers (Hengel, 1985). The fact is,
very few people are brought into a relationship with Jesus distinctly through watching believers
worship. This phenomenon is not exclusive to contemporary worship styles, but is nearly
universal in the Church today, from traditional to seeker-sensitive (Hurtado, 2005).

As Thom Rainer’s research has indicated, very few churches are genuinely evangelistic.
Those that are evangelistic are not of one particular musical preference, but are nearly equally
divided between traditional, blended, and contemporary. Therefore, the issue in regards to
church music is not related to musical preference, but in reflecting a genuine heart of worship,
turned toward the will of God.

In conclusion, only songs that have met all three of the criteria suggested by Bob
Russell to some degree or another have truly stood the test of time in Christian worship.
Therefore, as new songs are written and introduced to the church, worship leaders must choose
wisely, in order to guarantee the continuance of a great heritage of worship music in the Christian church (Karris, 1998). Without genuine worship, the church will become little more than a lifeless social club.

2.2         Old Testament

From beginning to end, the Bible is full of music and song. The first musician, Jubal, makes his appearance as early as Genesis 4:21 ) where we are told that “he was the father of all who play the harp and flute” (v.21). As we flip through the pages, we find many who follow in Jubal’s musical footsteps. Moses sang a song of praise after the Exodus; Deborah sang after the victory over Sisera; King David played the harp, and wrote many of the Psalms; Jesus sang a hymn with his disciples at the last supper; Paul and Silas sang a hymn of praise to God in jail; and the book of Revelation tells us that there is plenty of singing in heaven as the heavenly choir joins in praise to God[9].

The Bible makes it clear that we are not to wait until heaven; it contains frequent exhortations to us to sing. For example: “Come let us sing for joy to the Lord” (Ps. 95:1) “Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things” (Ps. 98:1) “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19)
The question we are addressing in this chapter is, the “Why?” Why does the Bible encourage us to sing and make music to the Lord? Later in the chapter, we will address the question: we are to sing to praise God and to encourage one another (Craddock & Boring, 2010).

First and foremost, I will consider an answer that is often given today, but which has no basis in Scripture. “Entering God’s Presence.” Music has a powerful influence in our societies and lives. There is an exponential increase of the music that is produced today. So we can easily see how much music has play in people’s lives with all the radio stations, media and productions happening these days. The world has it’s sound, but God has His own sound. Just as all kinds of negative influences are released on the mind through the combination of words and music so music influenced by the Holy Spirit can have a much more powerful effect on the minds and hearts of people. What we really need is more music that is anointed by the Holy Spirit (Bickel & Jantz, 2004)[10].

The light that proceeds from the glory of God’s Presence is much greater than the darkness that is released into the airwaves. We have all at one time or another heard the example of how just a little light casts out the darkness. You can light the smallest of candles in a room and it drives the darkness away. How precious is that little light! Genesis 1:3 “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good.”

It is also very interesting how sound and light go together. From the beginning God said(sound) “Let there be light!” and it was so. So light was created with a sound, the very sound of heaven – the sound created by His voice. How amazing is that?! And how perverse it is that sound should create darkness in people. But that is exactly the case. Darkness is continually being released upon multitudes that listen to music inspired by demonic sources. How much more then do we need the sound and light of God in our music (Craddock & Boring, 2010).

1 Samuel 16:23 “And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.” We see how the power of God was released even through the music of David the Psalmist. The Bible says that when he played his music that distressing demonic spirits would leave Saul. It was just instrumental music. It just goes to show that it is the influence of God’s Presence that makes the difference. You can even have all the right words but if the spirit behind it is wrong then it changes everything (Hicks, 2010). This story of David is a wonderful Old Testament example of the power of music anointed by God.

With the Holy Spirit now indwelling us, we can experience just how powerful God’s glory be flowing through our music today. I would venture to say that it is much, much more powerful. The same anointing that was upon Jesus is given to us by the Holy Spirit. In I John we are told that we have an anointing from the Holy One that teaches all things. That same anointing bring light, revelation and understanding to us. His word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Here again we see the connection between light and sound. When we speak God’s Word it is light. It has innate power. And through the power of the Holy Spirit it is even more magnified in our lives.

2.3         New Testament

Biblical worship has some emphasis on the use of music. The two mentions of music in the New Testament epistles focus as much on edifying the saints as on singing unto the Lord (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). In fact, biblical worship emphasizes that God is worshipped through everything done in the church rather than merely through one particular type of worship offered to Him via a praise time (1 Pet. 4:11). In direct contradiction to this, contemporary worship focuses almost exclusively on one type of worship to God, that being the worship that is associated with contemporary music (Pascuzzi, 2005).

Biblical church worship is submitted to the apostolic commandments, which require that everything be done decently and in order, that there be no confusion, that women cannot lead, etc. (1 Cor. 11:2; 14:37). This means that all of the unscriptural things commonly associated with contemporary worship, particularly in charismatic circles, are rejected (Karris, 1998).

Biblical church worship emphasizes the understanding rather than the emotions (1 Cor. 14:15). The emphasis is not on “feeling God” but on understanding and knowing God through the truth of His Word. We see this reflected in the traditional hymns. The old hymn writers aimed to edify the understanding rather than to create an emotional high (Pascuzzi, 2005)[11].

Biblical church worship emphasizes the unity of the faith rather than the ecumenical concept of unity in diversity that is so common in contemporary Christian worship (Rom. 15:6; Matt. 15:9; John 4:24). There can be no true worship unless there is complete commitment to sound Bible doctrine. The hodgepodge of doctrine present in the typical ecumenical setting does not glorify God and is not acceptable to Him, regardless of the zeal and enthusiasm exhibited during the worship sessions (Hengel, 1985).

Biblical church worship requires moral purity and separation from the world (Rom. 12:1-2; Phil. 1:11), in contrast to the contemporary worship which typically ignores separation and which builds bridges to the world through the use of the world’s music, dress, etc (Old, 2002). Typical contemporary worship also ignores the necessity of moral purity and is very careless about how Christians live (Hurtado, 2005). It is enough that they enter into the “worship times” with great enthusiasm. If they divorce their spouses and commit adultery and are crooked in their business practices and dress like harlots and watch filthy television programs and Hollywood movies, that is overlooked. Among churches that incorporate contemporary worship styles, there is little or no preaching against the world in any plain and practical sense and little or no church discipline exercised. There are exceptions, but this is the rule.

Biblical church worship is constantly vigilant of spiritual dangers (1 Pet. 5:8; 2 Cor. 11:1-4). At least 11 times the Apostles warn Christians to be “sober.” Pastors are to be sober (Titus 1:8); aged men are to be sober (Titus 2:2); the women are to be sober (Titus 2:4); young men are to be sober (Titus 2:6); the wives of pastors and deacons are to be sober (1 Tim. 3:11). 1 Thessalonians 5:6 and 1 Pet. 5:8 explain what it means to be sober; it means to be spiritually alert and watchful and vigilant (Craddock & Boring, 2010)[12].

To the contrary, though, contemporary worship teaches people to open up unreservedly to spiritual influences without any sense of danger or fear of deception. They instruct the people to “let go and let God,” to “be open and vulnerable,” to “open oneself to the Spirit,” to “invite the Holy Spirit to come and do his thing,” to “be ready for the unusual.” The Apostles and early churches did not practice anything like this. When the Corinthians began to dabble in similar things and were allowing confusion and disorder to reign in their midst, the Apostle rebuked them and corrected their error.

In many Churches and Christian gatherings it is not unusual for God’s Word to be short-changed. Music gives people the elusive “liver quiver” while the Bible is more mundane. Pulpits have shrunk and even disappeared while bands and lighting have grown. But faith does not come from music, dynamic experiences, or supposed encounters with God. Faith is birthed through the proclamation of God’s Word (Rom 10:17) (Craddock & Boring, 2010).

If we associate God’s presence with a particular experience or emotion, what happens when we no longer feel it? We search for churches whose praise band, orchestra, or pipe organ produce in us the feelings we are chasing. But the reality of God in our lives depends on the mediation of Christ not on subjective experiences[13].

When music is seen as a means to encounter God, worship leaders and musicians are vested with a priestly role. They become the ones who bring us into the presence of God rather than Jesus Christ who alone has already fulfilled that role. Understandably, when a worship leader or band doesn’t help me experience God they have failed and must be replaced. On the other hand, when we believe that they have successfully moved us into God’s presence they will attain in our minds a status that is far too high for their own good.

If we identify a feeling as an encounter with God, and only a particular kind of music produces that feeling, then we will insist that same music be played regularly in our church or gatherings. As long as everyone else shares our taste then there is no problem. But if others depend upon a different kind of music to produce the feeling that is important to them then division is cultivated. In addition, because we routinely classify particular feelings as encounters with God our demands for what produce those feelings become very rigid. This is why so many churches succumb to offering multiple styles of worship services. By doing so, they unwittingly sanction division and self-centeredness among the people of God.

We should sing to praise God – Praise should be one of the characteristic activities of the Christian. The apostle Peter tells us: “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9). We have been called to belong to God for the purpose of declaring his praises.

Praise is natural – C.S. Lewis wrote: “All enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless (sometimes if) shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. The world rings with praise – lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside” The Christian’s praise of God should be just as natural. We should be so excited about who God is and what he has done for us that we want to tell others.

When we praise God, we are engaged in the activity which is most authentically human, for we are doing that for which we were created. We are made in God’s image to reflect his majesty. God’s goal in calling us to belong to him as Christians is that we might be “for the praise of his glory” A friend of mine has said: “A song of praise is like a mirror we hold up to God, reflecting his glory back to himself”

2.4         Historic Tradition in the Baptist Church

If it is natural to praise, it is also natural to sing. James writes: “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise” (Jas. 5:13). Singing is one of the ways in which we express our emotions. I said earlier that we should not equate emotions with the presence of God. I might get ‘the liver shiver’ when my side scores a goal at a football match or I listen to some beautiful music at a concert, but I do not say, “I’ve met with God”. We should not assume that we have encountered God just because we get emotional. It might simply have been the skill of the musicians or the beauty of the songs that moved us. But please do not conclude from that that we should be wary of all emotion[14].

We should be emotional about our faith. Those of us who come from the United Kingdom can be more British than biblical. We tend to be scared of showing any emotion. We can sing of the most wonderful truths with an expression on our faces that would be appropriate in a morgue. But why do we think God tells us to sing? Surely it is because singing enables us to express our emotions. It is not the means by which we enter the presence of God, but it is one of the ways in which we can express our joy at the wonderful truth that we are already there in Christ (Hurtado, 2005).

Sometimes songs will help us to express the emotion that we already feel. On other occasions, they will begin to trigger emotions, as the music helps us to feel something of the wonder of the truths we are singing about. The words “ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven” might not move us especially when we see them written on a page; but they can come alive as we sing them and reflect on all that they describe.

God-focused Songs

The fact that we sing to praise God should mean that our songs are focused on him, not us (Craddock & Boring, 2010). There is certainly a place for telling him how we feel about him. There are plenty of examples of that in the Psalms. Some of them are intensely personal. Psalm 18, begins: “I love you, o Lord, my strength”, or Psalm 89: “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever”. But the Psalms of praise are never simply subjective declarations of the Psalmists’ feelings. The objective reasons for those feelings are always given, namely the greatness of God. For example: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer” (Ps. 18:2) or “Your love stands firm, you established your faithfulness in heaven itself” (Ps. 89:2)[15].

Too many of our contemporary songs place an excessive emphasis on us, how we feel about God and what we will do for him, and not enough emphasis on him. We can only express our love for him if we are first reminded of his love for us. That is where our focus must be: “We love because he first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19).

God-focused Singing

The fact that we are addressing God as we sing should mean that we do so with reverence. That certainly does not rule out joy and fun. Those who object to children’s songs with actions, for example, are surely going too far. But we should remember that, as someone has put it, “We approach the almighty God, not the all-matey God”. He is our loving Father but he is also our awesome, holy creator. We should approach him with both love and “reverent fear”. We can be intimate, but not casual; confident, but not presumptuous. Those of us who lead the singing at Christian meetings should be careful with the words we use and the manner we adopt (Pascuzzi, 2005)[16].

Reverence should also mean that we will pay attention to the words we sing. It is so easy to switch into auto-pilot without letting the lyrics engage with our minds at all. God deserves better than that. John Wesley wrote is his ‘Rules for Methodist Singers’ “Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in very word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more that yourself or any other creature. In order to do this, attend strictly to the sense of what you sing and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually” (Craddock & Boring, 2010).

Musicians should seek to play, not to impress others, but to bring glory to God. Everything we do can be an expression of praise. We can use all sorts of instruments for the purpose. Psalm 150 alone speaks of the trumpet, lute, harp, timbrel, strings, pipe, and loud clashing cymbals. I take it that was a fairly representative sample of the instruments that were available at the time. Any kind of instrument can be used as a means of praising God (Hurtado, 2005).

“Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:18-19). Paul is not urging us to receive a one-off experience when he instructs us to “be filled with the Spirit”. The verb he uses is in the present continuous. A better translation is: “keep on being filled with the Spirit”. He follows that command with a string of participles, which are lost in our English translations, which spell out what it means in practice.The original reads like this: “Keep on being filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs; singing and making music in your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ” (vv.18-21). It is striking that three of those five participles are to do with singing (Karris, 1998).

Speaking does not mean that we are only to read the words; it includes singing. We tend to assume that our songs are addressed only to God, but Paul tells us that we are also to sing to ‘one another’. We saw in the previous chapter that Christians in the New Testament met together primarily to encourage one another, and we are to do that even as we sing.

In Colossians Paul writes: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16). Our singing should be one form of our ministry of God’s word to each other. We all need to be built up in our faith (Hurtado, 2005). That happens through sermons, Bible studies, conversations and also as we sing. Our songs should be one of the ways by which we are taught the truths of the Bible (Bickel & Jantz, 2004)[17].

So, when we sing, we are not simply a collection of individuals praising our God; we are a community addressing one another. There are many examples of that in the Psalms. Psalm 95, for example, is not so much a song of praise to God as an exhortation to his people: “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation (v.1). It then strengthens that appeal by reminding us of reasons why he is worthy of our praise: “For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him” (vv.3-4)[18].

The rehearsal of great truths about God simultaneously brings praise to him and encouragement to us. Most songs therefore have two audiences: heavenly and earthly. We should keep both the vertical and horizontal dimensions in mind as we choose songs and as we sing them (Craddock & Boring, 2010).

2.5         Summary of Theological Considerations

If we want to ensure that, our songs are edifying to others we should consider four questions about them:

2.5.1        Are they true? –

It is tempting simply to select the songs which are the most popular. But what do they teach? Are they faithful to Scripture? Is it really true that I can trade in my sorrows and sicknesses for the joy of the Lord, as one song I have been invited to sing suggests? And will God give us all the ground we claim? We should not leave song-writing to those who are gifted musically but who may not have much grasp of theology. The best of the classic hymns, like Charles Wesley’s “And can it be”, are full of profound theology. There is an urgent need for more contemporary songs which follow in that tradition. They need not be long. One truth clearly stated can be enough. The Bible itself should provide many of our lyrics. The Psalms are a rich resource which are not used nearly enough (Old, 2002)[19].

2.5.2        Are our songs God-focused? –

Our songs need to be focused on God, not simply so that we can praise him, but also so that we can be encouraged. If the majority of our songs are focused on ourselves, our feelings and expressions of devotion to God, we will have little to sustain us for the rest of the week. How have I been edified by singing: “I will dance, I will sing, to be mad for my King; nothing, Lord is hindering the passion in my soul. And I’ll become even more undignified that this; some would say it’s foolishness, but I’ll become even more undignified than this. There is a place for the subjective, but it should always be a response to the great objective truths about God. Feelings come and go, but the truth never changes. It is the truth about God that drives my desire to keep worshipping him with all my life, even when that is hard (Karris, 1998).

2.5.3        Are they clear?-

Songs may be true and God-focused, but they will still not build anyone up unless they are also clear. We slip into jargon so easily: “On the wings of eagles, we ride upon the breeze of your Spirit’s lifting, our minds are being freed from the things that have torn us, and taken life away, once more soaring higher, freedom breaking in again”. Of course, we should be able to use imagery and metaphor in our songs. Clarity does not demand dull expression. But the imagery should be such that it conveys the truth of which it speaks, rather than leaving us scratching our heads.

2.5.4        Are they unselfish?

Our songs should encourage us to sing to one another. If they are all in the first person singular they will allow us to think only about ourselves and God. We could do that on our own. Our direction should also be directed to others around us. It is gloriously true that as I “behold the man upon a cross” I see “my sin upon his shoulders.” That personal element has an important place in Christian songs (Craddock & Boring, 2010). But it is also good to be reminded in the same song that God’s love is for all God’s people: “How deep the Father’s love for us”. Unselfishness should also influence our song selection in the sense that we should be thinking about what will most edify others, rather than what we ourselves most want to sing. Love should be the controlling influence in our decisions about what we decide to include in our meetings (Benson, 1956). It is a good sign if the older people in a fellowship are often saying: “Let’s have more modern songs for the youngsters” and if the younger ones are saying: “Let’s have more hymns for the older folk.”

2.5.5        Singing and Playing Horizontally

If we grasp that one of the reasons why we sing is to build up others, we will make sure that we have them in mind. We will be aware of the horizontal dimension and not just the vertical. I should not sing, “This is our God, the servant King, he calls us now to follow him” with my eyes closed. I should be singing to you. And, whatever the words, I should sing up. No one is encouraged by a dirge.

Those who play should also have others in mind. Some musicians are more concerned about their performance than serving others. We have all heard of choirs who have resigned because they have been restricted to one anthem a fortnight, or pianists leaving churches because they are no longer allowed to choose the songs (Benson, 1956).

It can be very hard for musicians. They often have to play music that they do not like or that is not very challenging for them. Other songs might give them a chance to show off their talents better, but that is not the object of the exercise. One of the world’s most gifted organists was a member of our congregation until recently. You would not have known it. That is not because he did not play well, but rather because he resisted the temptation to perform.

We have seen that some have too high a view of music and see it as a means by which we encounter God. The Bible does not teach that. But it does give singing an important role. We are to sing to praise God and to encourage one another. Martin Luther once wrote: “(After) the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world”.

Since Jesus said that true worshippers would worship God in spirit, it is imperative that we understand what that means (Craddock & Boring, 2010). But before we talk about what it does mean, let’s consider several things that it does not mean. It does not mean worship that is necessarily “spirited” (i.e. enthusiastic, excited, and so on.) I say that because the “mood” of worship will be dependent upon the attitude of the heart. At times the heart will be joyous and excited as was the case when Miriam and the women of Israel worshipped God following their deliverance from the Egyptian army (Ex. 15:20-21). At other times the heart may be sorrowful and subdued as surely must have been the case when David worshipped God following the death of his infant son (2 Sam. 12:19-20). In these two examples of worship, the “mood” was very different, but the worship was acceptable in both cases (Benson, 1956).

It does not mean worship that is “spiritual” (i.e. better-felt-than told). Nowhere does the Bible depict worship as some kind of mysterious, esoteric, intangible experience that one cannot understand or explain to other people. It does not mean worship that is miraculously Spirit-inspired. Although the term “spirit” (pneuma) is used in this way in the New Testament (1 Cor. 14:15), Jesus was not using the term like this in His conversation with the Samaritan woman. I know that because all true worshippers must worship in spirit (Jn. 4:24), but even in the first century, when miraculous gifts were available to the church, not all Christians were Spirit-inspired (1 Cor. 12:29-30); therefore, worship in spirit is not some kind of miraculously Spirit-inspired worship (Pascuzzi, 2005).

I believe that worshipping in spirit refers to worship that emanates from the spirit of man. Paul said: “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son….” (Rom. 1:9). Because God is Spirit (Jn. 4:24), the true worshipper will worship God with that part of himself that is made in the image of God — his spirit. In other words, worship must spring forth from the inner man, and this inner man, the spirit, includes the intellect (1 Cor. 2:11), the emotions (Mk. 8:12; Acts 17:16) and the will (Mt. 26:41).

True worship then is worship from the inside out (Benson, 1956). In reaction to dull, routine, lifeless, boring worship services, many who yearn for a more meaningful, gratifying religious experience, are crying out that we need more emotion, more feeling in our worship to God. I do not necessarily disagree with that assessment, but there is a real danger in trying to produce with external techniques that which must emanate from the heart. Robert Turner was correct when he said: “Often our efforts to “improve” the worship are only efforts to regulate the form, and have little or nothing to do with improving the hearts out of which true worship must come. Some react to the “cold formality” of worship by proposing bizarre emotion-stirring props[20].

What does it mean to worship in truth? – Jesus also said that the true worshipper will worship God in truth. There can be no doubt, that this means that acceptable worship will be circumscribed by the precepts of God’s word (Hurtado, 2005). When Jesus prayed to the Father on the night of His betrayal, He said: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). Since the very beginning of time God has revealed His will concerning the kind of worship that He will accept from His creation, and He has repeatedly judged those who failed to worship Him according to His word. Therefore, the only way that we can acceptably worship God today is to worship Him according to His word. That means that we must worship the right object — God, not men (Acts 10:26), not idols (1 Jn. 5:21), not demons (1 Cor. 10:19-22), not angels (Rev. 22:8-9), not Satan. Jesus said: “You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Mt. 4:10) (Hurtado, 2005)[21].

That means that we must worship in the right form. Jesus condemned the worship of the scribes and Pharisees as vain, because they taught the precepts of men as though they were the doctrine of God (Mt. 15:7-9). Paul described the worship of some at Colossae as “will-worship,” because they were basing it upon the philosophies and traditions of men (Col. 2:8-10, 16-23). When we come to truly understand what it really means to worship God with our spirits in truth, above everything else God will be pleased, and that is the most important thing, but our lives will also be transformed. May God help the Baptist Church all to be the true worshippers who will worship in spirit and in truth.

3         Contemporary Worship in the Baptist Church

Contemporary Christian music – is it honoring to God? Should it be used in church services?” – The question of contemporary Christian music (CCM) and whether it is God-honoring and appropriate for worship services is one that has been debated for decades. Oddly enough, what should be a source of loveliness and peace—the sweet strains of music—very often produces among Christians hostile disagreements over selections in worship music. In fact, it has become a leading cause of congregational infighting and even church splits! To our shame, there are believers who sulk and fume from their pews if their particular brand of musical taste is not satisfied. Studies in churches are showing that music ministers are among the most stressed people in Christian ministry (Old, 2002)[22].

Musical tastes are as varied as church members themselves. There are those who love the old hymns while others much prefer contemporary Christian music. Some music ministers have attempted to appease everyone by blending the old with the new. Other churches offer two separate worship services each Sunday—one being traditional and the other a contemporary service. Still, there are churches that tenaciously cling to old-fashioned tradition. A local pastor is fond of bragging, “You won’t hear any contemporary Christian music in our church! We remain true to the old hymns!” What he fails to realize is that even the old hymns were “contemporary” when they were first written. In contrast, there are churches in which the music is played at an ear-splitting volume resembling that of an armored vehicle crossing a minefield[23].

There are those who argue the old hymns are a tangible link to our past. This is certainly true, for these hymns have surely withstood the test of time. Many of the old hymns, too, are rich in Christian doctrine. The lyrics of Charles Wesley or Martin Luther, as examples, give magnificent instruction in sound Christian theology. But there are also some wonderful Christian artists glorifying the name of Christ Jesus with their talents right now. Far too often, we allow our own personal taste in music to become the standard for what music is glorifying to God. Instead, we should allow, even promote, Christian freedom and grace in musical preferences. Our primary concern should be for well-being and harmony in the body of Christ, and sometimes that means subordinating personal preferences to the greater good.

People are always asking if drums or keyboards or, yes, if electric guitars belong in the church. All musical instruments are, in themselves, neither good nor bad. So the question is this: Does a piece of music edify believers while bringing honor and glory to Christ Jesus? If so, then what difference does it make if a piano or a guitar provides the accompaniment? Perhaps Ephesians 5:19 is the answer to this issue in that it promotes worshipping the Lord and encouraging other believers in three different “styles” of music: “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.”

References

Karris, Robert J. OFM. A Symphony of New Testament Hymns. Collegeville: Liturgical Press,     Annotated edition, 1996
Hurtado, Larry W. Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Grand Rapids:    Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005
Hengel, Mark. Studies in the Gospel of Mark. Minneapolis: Fortress Printing, 1985
Benson, Louis F. The Hymnody of the Christian Church. Louisville: John Knox Press, 1956
Old, Hughes Oliphant. Worship, Revised and Expanded Edition: Reformed According to            Scripture. Louisville: John Knox Press, 2002
Craddock, Fred B. & Boring, Eugene. The New Interpreter’s Bible New Testament Survey.         Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006
Hicks, John Mark. 1 &2 Chronicles (The College Press NIV Commentary. Old Testament             Series). Joplin: The College Press Publishing. 2010
Bickel, Bruce & Jantz, Stan. Philippians/Colossians: Experiencing the Joy of Knowing Christ.       Eugene: Harvest House Publishers, 2004
Pascuzzi, Maria A. CSJ. First & Second Corinthians: Volume 7 (New Collegville Bible     Commentary: New Testament. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2005.

[1] Karris, Robert J. OFM. A Symphony of New Testament Hymns. Collegeville: Liturgical Press,       Annotated edition, 1996
[2] Hurtado, Larry W. Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Grand Rapids:      Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005
[3] Karris, Robert J. OFM. A Symphony of New Testament Hymns. Collegeville: Liturgical Press,       Annotated edition, 1996
[4] Craddock, Fred B. & Boring, Eugene. The New Interpreter’s Bible New Testament Survey.             Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006
[5] Hurtado, Larry W. Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Grand Rapids:      Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005
[6] Karris, Robert J. OFM. A Symphony of New Testament Hymns. Collegeville: Liturgical Press,       Annotated edition, 1996
[7] Hicks, John Mark. 1 &2 Chronicles (The College Press NIV Commentary. Old Testament              Series). Joplin: The College Press Publishing. 2010
[8] Karris, Robert J. OFM. A Symphony of New Testament Hymns. Collegeville: Liturgical Press,       Annotated edition, 1996
[9] Hurtado, Larry W. Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Grand Rapids:      Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005
[10] Karris, Robert J. OFM. A Symphony of New Testament Hymns. Collegeville: Liturgical Press,      Annotated edition, 1996
[11] Hicks, John Mark. 1 &2 Chronicles (The College Press NIV Commentary. Old Testament             Series). Joplin: The College Press Publishing. 2010
[12] Karris, Robert J. OFM. A Symphony of New Testament Hymns. Collegeville: Liturgical Press,      Annotated edition, 1996
[13] Hurtado, Larry W. Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Grand Rapids:    Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005
[14] Hengel, Mark. Studies in the Gospel of Mark. Minneapolis: Fortress Printing, 1985
[15] Hengel, Mark. Studies in the Gospel of Mark. Minneapolis: Fortress Printing, 1985
[16] Karris, Robert J. OFM. A Symphony of New Testament Hymns. Collegeville: Liturgical Press,      Annotated edition, 1996
[17] Hurtado, Larry W. Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Grand Rapids:    Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005
[18] Karris, Robert J. OFM. A Symphony of New Testament Hymns. Collegeville: Liturgical Press,      Annotated edition, 1996
[19] Hengel, Mark. Studies in the Gospel of Mark. Minneapolis: Fortress Printing, 1985
[20] Hurtado, Larry W. Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Grand Rapids:    Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005
[21] Craddock, Fred B. & Boring, Eugene. The New Interpreter’s Bible New Testament Survey.           Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006
[22] Hengel, Mark. Studies in the Gospel of Mark. Minneapolis: Fortress Printing, 1985
[23] Hurtado, Larry W. Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Grand Rapids:    Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005