|dc.description.abstract||This dissertation examines the impact of Harold Best’s Music through the Eyes of Faith (1993) and Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts (2003) on seven representative worship authors and educators. Through interviews and close examination of their writings, lectures, and philosophies, the impact of Best’s primary arguments is traced. His main positions are (1) that human creativity is rooted in the doctrines of common grace and the creation of humankind in the imago Dei, (2) that worship (which is either biblical or idolatrous) is an inherent activity of all humans, and (3) that music is amoral, a premise upon which he builds his advocacy of musical pluralism in worship and in the Christian life.
Following the introduction to the research problem in chapter 1, chapter 2 presents an overview of the leading philosophies of music from both secular and Christian thinkers between 1940 and c. 1990 as a backdrop against which to view Best’s own philosophy of music, worship, and the arts. A survey of the evangelical worship landscape is offered in chapter 3, highlighting major changes in worship philosophy and praxis in the 1940s on through the 1990s. Chapter 4 contains a professional biography of Best, noting specific experiences that influenced the development and articulation of his thought, with reference to Nyack College, Wheaton College, the National Association of Schools of Music, colleagues, and his work as a composer.
An exposition and critique of Best’s books is offered in chapter 5. Through interviews and close examination of their writings, chapter 6 traces the impact of Best’s books on seven representative worship authors and educators: Bob Kauflin, Barry Liesch, David Music, Michael Card, Mike Cosper, D. Clark Measels, and Joseph Crider. Chapter 7 concludes the dissertation summarizing the main areas of Best’s impact.||en_US