II. The Presuppositions Mr. Woetzel Evidences in His Article

Now, having placed my presuppositions squarely on the table, it is time to take a look at the presuppositions Mr. Woetzel has in writing his article. (Once more, I would encourage you to read his article carefully before continuing on here.) He does not come out at the beginning or really state any of them, but these are gleaned from a careful reading of his paper. I do not want to make any value judgments about them, but merely collect and summarize them, so we know where he is coming from. Beneath each supposition I will either present a direct quote or a summary from the article.

I do believe that Mr. Woetzel and I would agree on the presupposition that God’s Word is paramount, though our application of that principle will differ a bit.

A. Worship is primarily a vertical relationship with God and our music will reflect upon how we worship.

The believer’s music is to be an in-house, vertical activity. … Sacred music is for the saints and unto the Lord.

 

B. Music in and of itself is moral, regardless of what the musician does with it.

Whenever music is played or performed, something is being taught.

Quoting Deryck Cook from The Language of Music, “Of course, rhythm and form play a large part in moral expression.”

Can an amoral medium have moral impact?

There are many more quotes that could be used to examples for this presupposition, but to list them here would make me have to basically reproduce the entire article.

 

C. Everything can be categorized in black-and-white categories.

The aforementioned presupposition dictates that this presupposition exists. In many Christian circles, especially those who tend to be a bit more legalistic, this unspoken presupposition arises, as everything is carefully ordered according to what the leaders believe to be moral or immoral.

 

D. There can only be two possible, polar opposite answers to this problem

We can't have it both ways! Music is either neutral and has no bearing on values or it is moral and, as do other moral agents, impacts character and values. Therefore, it is inconsistent and illogical to say music is amoral, and yet has influence upon values.

 

E. If the source is negative, it will contaminate the result beyond redemption.

How did that which was art-oriented, contemplative, uplifting, wholesome, and orderly get replaced with the pop sound from the lounge, dance floor, honky-tonk, and other places where the world congregates to feed the flesh?

 

F. Change is bad.

This is again one that I cannot supply a direct quote for, but when reading the article it becomes clear that Mr. Woetzel likes things the way they were before Don Wyrtzen argued that we should try to reach people using contemporary music.

• • •

These are the presuppositions that I have found within the text. Knowing these helps understand where Mr. Woetzel is coming from and helps us to understand how to approach what he is saying to us.