The History of Praise and Worship Music with Dr. Lester Ruth
October 27, 2022
Most people are aware of Praise and Worship music, but most are unaware of its history. Dr. Lester Ruth walks through the two major streams that led to the phenomenon that we know as praise and worship. Check out his book co-authored with Lim Swee Hong at this link:
Youtube - https://youtu.be/Xj1inqjJlM4
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Welcome to the more. To this story, Podcast. I hope this title caught your interest. Many of you are involved in worship situations you leave worship your pastors. Maybe you're involved with music. And so that brought your attention to this podcast. And so i'm excited to share with you, and I think you'll find this really interesting, and I hope it will drive you to go and find Dr. Lester Ruth's book, and he'll tell you about his Co. Author as well when we get him on. And But first I just want to make sure you know that this podcast is sponsored
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Andy Miller III: by Wesley Biblical Seminary, where we are training trusted leaders for faithful churches, and we do that through a variety of programs for people who are looking for academic degrees. Bachelors, masters, doctorate degrees, and also several lay initiatives. I just want to highlight one of those for you right now, and that is our Wesley Institute, which has two tracks. It's a nine month program that meets weekly, and then the Bible track of that program goes to every book of the Bible that is taught by similar investors for people who are in lay leadership position.
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Andy Miller III: And then we have a new theology track that just started, so you can still get in on that, and you can go to Wbs Edu to find out more about that program.
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Lester Ruth: Secondly, you just want to make sure you all know that we have a few things available to you. Coming from my website. A new tool that's available is called five Steps to deeper teaching and preaching. It walks people through the inductive Bible study method with the aim of helping them. Think about how they can preach in a creative way to connect with their congregation. So this is a forty five minute video teaching I have, and in addition to an eight-page document that's available for free for people who sign up
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Andy Miller III: for my web for my email list at Andy Miller the third. That's Andy Miller Iii. Dot com And finally, we're thankful to Wpo Development, who has helped make this podcast happen. Their Ceo Keith Waters has has this great line. He says, if you don't know where you're going, any path will get you there, and he comes along and helps people with strategic planning mission, planning studies and capital campaigns. He's done that for more than two hundred and fifty organizations around the country. So we'd love for you to check them out. They've been great supporters of this podcast, so you can
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Andy Miller III: find you. You can just Google Wpo Development, or you can find the link in the show notes. So today I am excited to invite into the podcast Dr. Lester Ruth, who serves as a research professor for Christian worship at Duke Divinity School. Lester. Welcome to the podcast!
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Lester Ruth: Thank you very much, Andy. It's good to be with you,
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Andy Miller III: you and I were in the same town for seven years together, and we never had a conversation till we just talked just for this call. So you you taught Asbury Seminary while I was a student there, and I'm really thankful for opportunity to get to engage you on your new book. But we started talking before this interview. I I thought we'd never get to the interview, because I was interested in your research into American Methodism as well. So tell us just a little bit about your work before we get to your other academic work and research
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Andy Miller III: before we get down to the praise and worship topic.
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Lester Ruth: Well, sure, simple way of putting it is to say that I was first of all a pastor who had an interest in merch of history.
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Lester Ruth: Okay? And then I became a worship historian who's maintained pastoral sensibilities. There you go. So. Ah, most of my work. My early work was in the early church first four centuries, or in early American Methodism.
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Lester Ruth: And then, more recently, the last ten to twelve years, I've shifted over to the last half-century to answer almost an autobiographical question for me, which is, Where did temporary worship come from, and what shaped it? And how did we get to where we are today?
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Andy Miller III: Right? And I like that you brought the autobiographical piece of this at the beginning of your book, and please forgive me for not, and mentioning your co-author. The The book is a history of contemporary praise of worship, music, understanding the ideas that reshape the Protestant Church and it's written by you and your co-author limbs zui hong am I saying that right,
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Lester Ruth: Lynn, sweetheart? So yes. So in good Chinese fashion. Lim is his family name? Okay, Okay. So he goes by swing Hong, and he's a Methodist from Singapore, lifelong Methodist, and is a music professor in one of the colleges at the University of Toronto.
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Andy Miller III: Okay, interesting.
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Lester Ruth: So you begin this book and it's your store, One of your stories at a start that highlights at a moment fifteen years ago, so I guess it's sixteen years ago now, because the book came out last December um of a student coming up to you, and this maybe triggered something in your mind about the way people might misunderstand um worship, so tell that story. So at the time I was teaching a worship history class in Asbury Seminary and Classmated Royal
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Lester Ruth: There it is, you remember royal Auditorium. I had my own classes in there when I was up as very student in the early eighties, and we were doing a case study approach, and I forgot which
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Lester Ruth: particular case from worship history we're looking at. But I had a student come up after class.
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Lester Ruth: You can almost see the light bulb above his head, and he and he just told me, he said, Dr. Reading, since I finally think I understand what you're talking about
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Lester Ruth: talking about this worship ancient worship, history. And I said, Well, what tell me what he says. You're telling me that the pastor is a kind of worship leader,
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Lester Ruth: and I think that's when I realized that there was a whole generation of Christians for whom the term worship leader was almost exclusively a musical term.
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Lester Ruth: Yeah. Relationship term
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Lester Ruth: that they had very limited liturgical expectations from their pastors or preachers. Actually. And I wish i'd realized that from the Get-go, because I could have
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Lester Ruth: send that on the first day of class. That's what it helped him understand a lot of this historical material, but that's the
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Lester Ruth: uh. That was just one of several hooks that got into me over the years about this topic to try to help the
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Lester Ruth: to help people understand that worship broadly has a history.
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Lester Ruth: But
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Lester Ruth: this worship, too, has its own history.
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Andy Miller III: I don't want to jump ahead too much, but when when do you think that pivot happened? When was it? I mean it might have been. You know, the whole history of your book, I understand, like you're going to describe that. But did you notice that in teaching was this while after you started teaching that you noticed this change happen
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Lester Ruth: like What a strange! Oh, i'm sorry like a student student saying that thinking that worship bleeding was equated with music leadership.
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Lester Ruth: Well, let's say um!
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Lester Ruth: It was a young student. He would have been in his mid twenty, so not totally exceptional.
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Lester Ruth: Um, So he's been, for, you know. Let's say mid eighties. Sure.
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Lester Ruth: Yeah. By the time he was a preteen teenager kind of becoming aware of things
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Lester Ruth: that switch had already taken place. Okay,
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Lester Ruth: and in fact, the term worship leader is arising as a technical term in the late seventies and becomes a really mainstream sort of term by the mid eighties, the late one thousand nine hundred and eighty. So
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Lester Ruth: yeah, So let's assume this was two thousand and five get rotten. I don't remember exactly.
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Lester Ruth: This student was born one thousand nine hundred and eighty, hey? Sounds like Andy Miller to you That's what it sounds like.
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Lester Ruth: Yeah, Well, I I I want you, Amy. I'm
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Lester Ruth: um no, no, um, you know. He would never have known a world
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Lester Ruth: a worship world where he
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Lester Ruth: would have gone on Sunday morning, and the first voice and the first one. The
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Lester Ruth: facing salt was not the pastors right,
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Lester Ruth: but was a musician standing center stage.
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Lester Ruth: Interesting?
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Lester Ruth: Yeah, That that
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Lester Ruth: it's incredible to think about. But that's a change that really from
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Lester Ruth: one thousand nine hundred and sixtys to one thousand nine hundred and eightys really just
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Lester Ruth: Oh,
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Lester Ruth: like a tsunami, it just swept over everything interesting.
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Lester Ruth: And i'm i'm older than that. See so and plus i'm
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Lester Ruth: academically trained as a worship historian. So you know we I always thought the pastor was the primary worship leader,
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Lester Ruth: the interest now it's. Maybe it's because of the grump in Ah, the Salvation Army. So I have this military image that guides what we do. It wasn't a term that I was familiar with um at all, and then I ended up. But but I equipped. I would have been like that student. I would have. I would have thought of it
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Andy Miller III: as somebody, and probably even restricted it to you have to play guitar or piano
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Lester Ruth: like even that very specific, like the worship leader, is one of those two people. So even though I wasn't in a contemporary church that would have described that. So So yeah, that was I. So I think a lot of our my listeners. That's the context that they're coming into, so I think it'll be helpful for us if we're going to look at the history of praise and worship. It's not like saying Well, Matt red, then trained so and so, and taught him
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Andy Miller III: to play guitar. And then he went and trained zone. So we're talking about a bigger picture. So get us into this idea of what we're thinking when we how we can then understand what the contemporary prize worship movement was.
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Lester Ruth: Okay. The image we use in the book is of two parallel rivers.
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Andy Miller III: Yes,
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Lester Ruth: because what Dr. Lem and I discovered as we were working on the topic
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Lester Ruth: was that
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Lester Ruth: there wasn't any single source or explanation for the whole phenomenon
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Lester Ruth: by that. If you look at Pentecostals Evangelicals and mainline folks right? You've picked up some form of band-based
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Lester Ruth: pop music and formal form of worship. There's not a single source.
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Lester Ruth: Okay, but they're kind of two broad developments. We call them rivers. Okay. And the critical time is really the late one thousand nine hundred and fortys, right after World War Ii.
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Lester Ruth: Um! And one of the head waters is thoroughly ped of Costal.
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Lester Ruth: Excuse me,
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Lester Ruth: and the other one is thoroughly evangelical. Okay, Para Church. It's a youth organization for Christ. The motivations are different. There are theologizes different. Even the outward expression is different,
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Lester Ruth: but
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Lester Ruth: both of those head waters of both of those rivers let loose in the late one thousand nine hundred and fortys, one thousand nine hundred and fiftys continues to grow and swell,
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Lester Ruth: and by the one thousand nine hundred and eightys it's sweeping up lots of people, and then in the one thousand nine hundred and Ninetys. We say that these two rivers actually kind of converge.
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Lester Ruth: And so, if you for the listeners, if you, if you have grown up in a world you
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Lester Ruth: where you've only known, C Cli
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Lester Ruth: um. You only know the post confluence work interesting. This is so helpful. So tell me a little bit more about this. The the first river that you describe the Pentagon. I know you have a different name for it the Pentecostal River. But it had a different emphasis.
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Lester Ruth: Yeah, our our our simple names for them are the Gift River and the Gap River. Okay, Gift and Gap.
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Lester Ruth: Now that you, the gap is connected to the idea that there's a gap between the Church and the world. And so we need to fulfill that gap where the Gift river is. The emphasizing spiritual gifts, the gift of God. Interesting. Okay,
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Lester Ruth: that God has revealed some important scriptural truths,
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Lester Ruth: and that if you will reshape your practices to fifty scriptural truths. God will renew your worship and renew your church and bring revival. Gotcha. Wow! So what happened in one thousand nine hundred and forty, six or when
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Lester Ruth: yeah, forty, six is where um the Gift River? It has a really clear origins. It's. Ah, it's one pentecostal creature, Raj Laselle is his name. He's actually a retired businessman from the Toronto area, and he's out near east of Vancouver, British Columbia.
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Lester Ruth: Okay, Um. Leading one of the first meetings he's ever led and it's going terrible. I mean, this is pentiful, and there's no move of God. And so if you're pentecostal and you're leading meetings, and there's no move of God.
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Lester Ruth: Something's wrong. It's your problem.
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Lester Ruth: So he sets aside a whole day. He goes to the church, and he begins to fast and pray. And there's a Psalm verse that comes to mind, Psalm twenty, two, three,
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Lester Ruth: which in the King James version i'm not going to remember this precisely, but it says essentially, Thou art the Holy One who inhabit the praises of Israel.
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Lester Ruth: Hmm. And what that does for Lizell is it connects in his mind
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Lester Ruth: the praising of God
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Lester Ruth: and the manifesting of God's presence. Okay,
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Lester Ruth: he spends the rest of the day walking around the church,
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Lester Ruth: praising every literally everywhere he goes in the bathroom,
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Lester Ruth: and there. The funniest part is he describes staying at the piano for the longest time, because the pianist seems sort of cold and dead.
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Lester Ruth: That ninth meeting a little revival breaks out midway through the first verse of the first hymn.
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Lester Ruth: Why that solidifies in his mind that
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Lester Ruth: praising God is the key to experiencing the manifest presence of God that might have stayed kind of an esoteric
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Lester Ruth: theology of a single Pentecostal pastor. Except
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Lester Ruth: couple of years later he gets connected with a major revival that breaks out in one thousand nine hundred and forty eight in Saskatchewan. Okay, and that revival, and everyone who gets involved in that becomes the platform For the dissemination
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Lester Ruth: of this.
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Lester Ruth: You praise God. You will experience God's presence, the all the the gift, theology. And so they're all convinced that this is God's restoration
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Lester Ruth: of a long-forgotten Biblical truth
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Lester Ruth: that we just need to be obedient to And it's It's that Biblical idea that's really the headwaters for that branch of development.
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Andy Miller III: So what would, if what would the worshipping context have been like for him before he started this? Would it have been just revivalistic with spiritual gifts and that type of thing.
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Lester Ruth: Yeah, somewhat. Um, I think. Really intense. Baptist: Okay,
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Lester Ruth: Um.
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Lester Ruth: And you know,
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Lester Ruth: I would almost think I know it kind of been that different? What they were developing and what they were developing were long extended periods of praising God. Okay,
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Lester Ruth: spoken, and song that might last an hour or longer so was this. Was it connected to music like I mean There was musical aspect to it. But did it have a liturgical emphasis?
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Lester Ruth: It wasn't immediately connected to music.
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Lester Ruth: Okay. So Lazelle's emphasis and the first generation emphasize praising any way that you can.
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Lester Ruth: Okay, So it could be praising and your own spoken vernacular language. It could be praising in tongues. It could be singing in tons, or it could be singing songs of praise in your vernacular.
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Lester Ruth: Okay, it didn't matter, and they mixed all of those together in these hour, long or longer periods.
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Lester Ruth: So you say. Now, if I jump ahead too fast, let me know you move on to like that. This gets deepened after one thousand nine hundred and sixty five in this stream.
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Lester Ruth: What What is it that happens in that period from one thousand nine hundred and sixty, five to eighty five. Do you you say that's a distinct period of deepening?
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Lester Ruth: Well, you get a second generation of adopters.
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Andy Miller III: Okay,
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Lester Ruth: who do a second generation of theologizing.
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Lester Ruth: So what you get
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Lester Ruth: in this Gift river is usually an emphasis either on the restoration of the tabernacle of David, or an emphasis, a use of the tabernacle of Moses.
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Lester Ruth: Okay, so let's deal with Moses first, and what that gives them is a kind of an architectural overlay on how to shape these extended times of praising.
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Lester Ruth: Okay, Okay. And they attach Psalm one hundred and four
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Lester Ruth: to the Mosaic tabernacle connected to this praise to presence theology. So they develop patterns of beginning with songs of thanksgiving.
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Lester Ruth: Okay, moving to songs of praise,
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Lester Ruth: moving to songs of worship.
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Lester Ruth: And so um! One hundred and four enter his gates with Thanksgiving interest courts with praise, and then the presumption is, is, once you go past all of the different areas and staging points in the Mosaic tabernacle. You end up in the Holy of holies
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Lester Ruth: and drawing God's manifest presence, which is where you worship.
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Andy Miller III: Are there some songs from this period that are? I know It's hard to say what's popular to um, but that are still a part of like the basic kind of like American context. Now that that might typify this,
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Lester Ruth: I'm: sure. Oh, gosh, my
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Lester Ruth: yeah, i'm all
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Lester Ruth: like, I think, about some of these songs like. Ah, David Dancing. Ah, there's this. Maybe So he's in. Yeah, as you're saying it like, I'm: i'm hearing. I'm feeling like, yeah, that if that makes a lot of sense that there's songs about the Temple and
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Andy Miller III: the walking coming into the Holy of Holies.
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Lester Ruth: Yeah. Well, I none directly come to mind. Um.
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Lester Ruth: But I invite your readers. If they had a Ccli song, select subscription, they
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Lester Ruth: yeah, go to Ccli song, select and just type in keywords and have it praises okay and thrown on praises, and they'll get his
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Lester Ruth: ranging back more than forty years, including some recent ones. Interesting. The
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Lester Ruth: Yeah. The language sounds so familiar to me, and I wouldn't have thought of it having like this theological emphasis from this stream that's fascinating.
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Lester Ruth: Yeah, what Dr. Liv and I discovered is once we began to look for citations of psalm, twenty, two, three, or allusions to it.
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Lester Ruth: Okay, we found them everywhere. Wow.
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Lester Ruth: Mean my favorite story to tell, and it's not in the book,
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Lester Ruth: but it's one of my good students who's lifelong pink Gospel Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee. There you go. So he took my introduction to worship class a few years ago. I have really great conversations with my students after class. So after class, I asked this student.
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Lester Ruth: It's just when this realization of the importance of Psalm Twenty, two, three was beginning to dawn on me. I said Drew, Have you ever heard that God inhabits the praises of his people.
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Lester Ruth: He looked at me. He said, Dr. We've heard it. I've heard it every Sunday of my entire life.
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Lester Ruth: Yeah, it's, I mean, and Pentecostals Don't have written liturgies by and large, but it's such a foundational idea
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Lester Ruth: that, and I don't think he was over emphasizing it literally. He's heard it every time someone has to leave up somehow some way that basic notion
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Lester Ruth: pops to the servant.
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Lester Ruth: This. This: this is the key thing, maybe, about Donald. The key thing in this gift. Tradition, this gift river that inhab is connecting, praising God to experience in God's presence, so does that change in eighty five to the ninety S. When things is there a new emphasis that comes after that?
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Lester Ruth: Well, what happens?
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Lester Ruth: The starting late seventys, but through the eightys into the ninetys
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Lester Ruth: the theology is in place by them. So what you get is an explosion of teaching resources
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Lester Ruth: and teaching opportunities.
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Lester Ruth: And this is when that theology and its practices just sweep the feel in terms of Pentecostalism. And that's true, not only for North America, but for global pentecostalism,
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Lester Ruth: it and global evangelicalism for that matter, And it's true, not only for white forms,
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Lester Ruth: white Pentecostals and Evangelicals here, but for Latino Asian
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Lester Ruth: um, it just sweeps the field. Um. One of the more interesting sort of things that we did. Working on this book is, we track down the the only guy who has a complete set of a really important magazine for worship leaders.
00:23:28.280 --> 00:23:35.890
Lester Ruth: His first one, published from one thousand nine hundred and eighty, five to one thousand nine hundred and ninety five, called the Psalmist. Notice that that connection with the
00:23:35.900 --> 00:23:37.699
Lester Ruth: Yeah. Sure. Sure. Yeah.
00:23:37.710 --> 00:23:55.720
Lester Ruth: So um. The The originators of it are coming from this restoration of the tabernacle of David folks a lot of theologizing. But anyway, and every issue that came out every other month, I think so. Six issues a year. They had reports from around the nation
00:23:56.860 --> 00:24:16.480
Lester Ruth: clearly people adopting praise and worship, and they were fascinating reads the sense of novelty and the excitement and the wonder of being able to experience God in new ways.
00:24:16.490 --> 00:24:18.989
Lester Ruth: Yeah, I mean, this is so old hat now,
00:24:19.000 --> 00:24:20.349
Lester Ruth: right right?
00:24:20.450 --> 00:24:30.309
Andy Miller III: I don't know people can think back to of those who are of a age where they didn't grow up with it. To think when you started to see this emphasis, it was
00:24:30.320 --> 00:24:47.979
Andy Miller III: Yeah, it is a huge I I can think about it in my denomination is when music started to be published, and this is like been in the mid Ninety S. We probably kept caught on when the streams collided. I'm curious, so keep going. But I want to go back still. Keep with the um, the gift stream or the Gift River. There
00:24:47.990 --> 00:24:54.290
Lester Ruth: would things like marinatha and integrity be a part of that. Oh, absolutely
00:24:54.300 --> 00:24:54.890
Andy Miller III: okay.
00:24:54.900 --> 00:25:03.290
Lester Ruth: They're from different tributaries feeding in the Okay. So Marinatha is coming from the Jesus people tributary.
00:25:03.300 --> 00:25:12.600
Lester Ruth: Okay, Southern California tied especially to one Church Calvary Chapel. Costa: Mesa:
00:25:12.610 --> 00:25:13.540
Andy Miller III: Yeah. Yeah.
00:25:13.910 --> 00:25:26.380
Lester Ruth: Um. And tyranny, Hosanna is actually coming from a different tributary. The backgrounds to that is actually prosperity. Gospel Pentecostals.
00:25:26.390 --> 00:25:27.500
Lester Ruth: Oh,
00:25:27.680 --> 00:25:46.150
Lester Ruth: but often what happens is after something develops, and particularly when it goes public, as some sort of company, the sharp edges get rounded off right? Um. And if you can become more mainstream, even if it's primarily kind of a pedecostal mainstream,
00:25:46.160 --> 00:25:48.490
Lester Ruth: you can. You can sell more copies of it.
00:25:48.500 --> 00:25:52.710
Lester Ruth: Yeah, I shared one. So yeah, So
00:25:52.950 --> 00:26:05.699
Lester Ruth: those are two strands. The vineyard. Okay, fellowship As a closely related Calvary Chapel Strand, this psalmist would have been a different strand.
00:26:05.710 --> 00:26:18.480
Lester Ruth: What's another? Ah, the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, the twenty, four, seven phones yeah bigger, a related but distinct strand in the whole thing.
00:26:18.930 --> 00:26:22.949
Lester Ruth: Uh, and once you get out of English speaking
00:26:23.040 --> 00:26:25.519
Lester Ruth: white folks um
00:26:25.550 --> 00:26:28.589
Lester Ruth: the Central and South America. Um
00:26:28.970 --> 00:26:30.300
Lester Ruth: Ah,
00:26:30.460 --> 00:26:45.280
Lester Ruth: Ah Yakos wit. Oh, sherry sure. Yeah, is the key name. The example that Dr. Lim likes to always point out is a stream of praise which is asian-based
00:26:45.290 --> 00:27:03.519
Lester Ruth: the largest producer of Chinese praise and worship songs is based in Los Angeles, And because there's so many tiny speakers around the globe, their music.
00:27:03.680 --> 00:27:20.989
Lester Ruth: Um hill song. Okay, Yeah. Sure. Another Strand origins connected to that early later rain revival, but filtered through distinctive New Zealand and Australian connections and developments
00:27:21.660 --> 00:27:40.729
Lester Ruth: interest. Okay, So we have this is that that gift, Grant, gift, stream, Gift river. But let's back up to go back to the history of the Gap River. What? What's the Gap River? What makes them up, and what makes them distinct? Well, what makes them distinct is a recurring anxiety. Okay,
00:27:41.900 --> 00:27:54.789
Lester Ruth: that what they've inherited to do on Sunday morning is out of sync with contemporary people. Right won't, appeal to them and won't. Communicate the Gospel well to do,
00:27:54.970 --> 00:27:59.819
Lester Ruth: in fact, will be boring and repulsive to contemporary people.
00:28:00.930 --> 00:28:10.060
Lester Ruth: And so that's what they're always thinking about. Is this gap between what the church is currently doing and where people currently are.
00:28:10.200 --> 00:28:15.740
Lester Ruth: And so they they're motivated to try to bridge that gap
00:28:15.810 --> 00:28:17.420
Lester Ruth: consistently.
00:28:17.960 --> 00:28:32.250
Lester Ruth: They're also doing their own form of Biblical theologizing. That's point. Dr. Lem and I try to make and the book is that ultimately both of these rivers and the whole phenomenon is really about trying to grapple with Scripture.
00:28:32.260 --> 00:28:37.199
Lester Ruth: Yes, what's the Scriptural vision? For how it is, we ought to worship.
00:28:37.230 --> 00:28:52.200
Lester Ruth: Yes, um. Whereas that the Gift River notice all my examples came from the Old Testament, and are dealing or creating very specific Practices
00:28:52.350 --> 00:28:56.389
Lester Ruth: Gap people tend to emphasize the New Testament.
00:28:56.400 --> 00:29:11.389
Lester Ruth: Okay, And what we found is a particular verse from the Apostle Paul. First, Grinthians, nine, twenty, two, I think it's twenty two B. If I remember him correctly, i'll become all things to all people in order that I might win some.
00:29:11.400 --> 00:29:12.320
Andy Miller III: Okay.
00:29:12.330 --> 00:29:24.400
Lester Ruth: And so it's a theology scriptually based Scripture-based theology of continual liturgical adaptation is the way that it gets applied,
00:29:24.410 --> 00:29:33.080
Lester Ruth: you know, even before we came on you know your own Salvation Army background. Yeah, for sure, that is the theology
00:29:33.140 --> 00:29:41.600
Lester Ruth: definitely. You finding Kathryn Booth, And, in fact, there's a long section on Catherine Booth and Early Salvation army worship the
00:29:41.680 --> 00:29:43.290
Lester Ruth: in the book.
00:29:43.300 --> 00:29:54.589
Lester Ruth: Okay, like a patient that they're doing. But I even run it all the way back in early American.
00:29:54.600 --> 00:29:59.400
Lester Ruth: Yeah, their willingness to adapt particularly in terms of camp meetings, and
00:29:59.440 --> 00:30:02.079
and just how successful those were,
00:30:02.090 --> 00:30:04.760
Lester Ruth: and at the time being able to reach people
00:30:04.800 --> 00:30:05.910
Lester Ruth: It's
00:30:06.220 --> 00:30:22.390
Lester Ruth: so, and that's the priority, like the the kind of the ecclesiology that underscores all this is one that's focused on results, revivalist results. And so, whatever the utilitarian task is, you know, is to get that result.
00:30:22.400 --> 00:30:33.590
Lester Ruth: I I think there's a more positive way to. Oh, i'm sorry. No, no, That's okay. I'm. Always a little cautious. That's where this river gets hammered on.
00:30:33.600 --> 00:30:35.680
Lester Ruth: Oh, okay,
00:30:35.690 --> 00:30:50.499
Lester Ruth: thank you. I need to be pushed. This I need. I need to hear this, but I think there's a more positive way to spend. And what is fundamentally
00:30:50.870 --> 00:30:57.210
Lester Ruth: motivating these people is an apostolic vision of faithfulness to God's commission.
00:30:59.250 --> 00:31:05.049
Lester Ruth: Yes, and that's what we see over and over and over again all the people swimming in this room.
00:31:05.270 --> 00:31:09.380
Lester Ruth: God has commissioned us. God has given us a mission,
00:31:09.510 --> 00:31:13.090
Lester Ruth: and we can't let um.
00:31:13.250 --> 00:31:15.469
Lester Ruth: Oh, what Catherine is!
00:31:16.230 --> 00:31:24.560
Lester Ruth: Praise! We can't let red tapism. Ah! Throw us off fulfillment of this mission. We
00:31:24.610 --> 00:31:31.139
Lester Ruth: There's not a bit of red tape in the New Testament. She's right. Yeah, I remember you correctly. So
00:31:31.620 --> 00:31:46.310
Lester Ruth: so ah, you know, and it pops up in a line running out on it. The mainline folks. I found it in my own dissertation director from Notre Dame. Okay, this was his approach in the late sixty S. And early nineteen seventy S.
00:31:46.320 --> 00:32:05.839
Lester Ruth: Ah, but Catherine Booth, Amy Simple, Mcpherson, Charles Finney, Francis Andsbury, and then more to the point in the book. Um. These youth organizations that arose, and their church organizations on a rose right after World War Ii. This is their dominant approach. This is what they're developing,
00:32:05.850 --> 00:32:15.040
Lester Ruth: very strong, sometimes radical adaptation, in order to be able to reach people in this case targeted generations so,
00:32:15.050 --> 00:32:29.890
Andy Miller III: and that might be expressed itself then, maybe like in things like Ah, a large church churches nowadays like might say to have that same sort of imagery, an idea that that central theology that they don't. You wouldn't see it as much now,
00:32:29.900 --> 00:32:58.419
Lester Ruth: but I don't know. Maybe maybe you might tell me it is a case using popular tunes at the start of a worship service as a way to make people who are new. You know um non-church people feel welcomed. I mean that that's that same same problem. Yeah, I was being critical of it. I was. I was thinking critically of the nineteenth century expression. But I would say if somebody listened to all my preaching for the last fifteen years, you're going to hear a healthy
00:32:58.430 --> 00:33:09.090
Andy Miller III: a bit of this theology for me, and particularly people when I change things like that. That's the way. The reason that we are making a change is that we can reach more people for Christ.
00:33:09.100 --> 00:33:17.709
Lester Ruth: Yeah, Yeah. And I i'm sorry I felt like I kind of called you on the carpet all I needed. I'm sure a lot of people like that.
00:33:18.210 --> 00:33:19.360
Lester Ruth: Oh,
00:33:19.610 --> 00:33:20.770
Lester Ruth: ah,
00:33:21.300 --> 00:33:34.570
Lester Ruth: well, and i'll tell you why I did it, and I really wasn't trying to do it for you. It is some of my interlocutors, some of my other academic, liturgical historians, who, I think, have been too easily dismissive
00:33:34.990 --> 00:33:36.839
Lester Ruth: of this phenomenon.
00:33:37.080 --> 00:33:40.010
Lester Ruth: And so they just create a straw man
00:33:40.290 --> 00:33:44.440
Lester Ruth: and say, You know, this is nothing but nineteenth century revitalism,
00:33:44.500 --> 00:33:55.939
Lester Ruth: you know, raising his head again. And of course we knew how bad it was then, and of course it's going to be bad now, and you know what I like to my own students is, you know, if they treated you
00:33:56.200 --> 00:33:59.970
Lester Ruth: sixteenth century reformation history like that,
00:34:00.750 --> 00:34:02.610
Lester Ruth: you know they would get
00:34:02.940 --> 00:34:07.120
Lester Ruth: well. You don't have an academic. Sorry. Let me just get a hammer.
00:34:07.130 --> 00:34:10.520
Lester Ruth: So Why is it that they're not hammered
00:34:10.820 --> 00:34:14.370
Lester Ruth: academically when they just raise some sort of
00:34:14.380 --> 00:34:23.789
Lester Ruth: yeah strawman that they can complain about to music? So when you said that about nineteen. It's. This is nineteenth century revivalism all over again. I was like, Well praise the Lord, we need some of that.
00:34:23.800 --> 00:34:29.879
Lester Ruth: Yeah, let's bring it up, and I think that's some of my work is trying to focus on
00:34:29.929 --> 00:34:52.470
Andy Miller III: the often. The claim is that the ecclesiology of that period was weak, you know, and I want to say Well, they they had a different understanding of what the church was, but it it seemed like it was pretty effective, and we. Our institutions are here today. Likely in my tradition in the Westland holiest movement because of it.
00:34:52.480 --> 00:34:55.129
Lester Ruth: Yeah, I I would.
00:34:55.590 --> 00:35:01.389
Lester Ruth: I would say their ecclesiology wasn't necessarily weak. It was different and had different emphasis.
00:35:01.400 --> 00:35:17.250
Lester Ruth: Yes, yeah. And one of the nice things my own dissertation Director James White taught me was Ah appreciate every group on its own terms. Okay, yeah, I know. I Yeah, I appreciate James. Why, it's right through the
00:35:17.260 --> 00:35:18.389
Lester Ruth: well known, you know.
00:35:18.400 --> 00:35:27.119
Lester Ruth: And my shorthand way of saying that is that no one shows up on Sunday morning trying to figure out how they can intentionally mess it up.
00:35:27.160 --> 00:35:28.789
Andy Miller III: There you go,
00:35:28.920 --> 00:35:32.030
Lester Ruth: you know, so there's always a rhyme or reason to it.
00:35:32.290 --> 00:35:33.310
Lester Ruth: Yeah,
00:35:34.130 --> 00:35:42.409
Lester Ruth: you know, and once you understand it, then you can take a step back and go Well, This is what they're missing, Or perhaps this is what they're over emphasizing,
00:35:42.690 --> 00:36:05.119
Lester Ruth: you know. Yeah, interesting. So So what happened before these rivers combined? What else happened in the Gap River. What else was going on there beyond? So it gets connected after World War Ii. To these various Ah, youth, ministries and campus ministries! What else. Who who else is A part of this? Is this kind of like the bill gather side, or I don't know. I'm curious where
00:36:05.130 --> 00:36:11.589
Lester Ruth: some of the names, and not here. I am just talking about music again. But what else is part of this stream?
00:36:11.600 --> 00:36:12.589
Lester Ruth: Well,
00:36:12.650 --> 00:36:19.950
Lester Ruth: for the Gap people, initially, they really do emphasize music first.
00:36:19.960 --> 00:36:20.990
Andy Miller III: Okay,
00:36:21.270 --> 00:36:32.390
Lester Ruth: and what it gives people due to. But they're willing to use anything that they already have at hand. They're not trying to create anything new. They're just trying to repurpose what they already have.
00:36:32.400 --> 00:36:39.509
Lester Ruth: Okay, Okay. But the Gap people are trying to create new things. And so they're intentionally doing things.
00:36:39.830 --> 00:36:46.489
Lester Ruth: They're trying to be edgy. So the best example is a fellow named Ralph Carmichael the
00:36:46.500 --> 00:36:56.409
Lester Ruth: Oh, yeah, Who? I? We had hoped to interview him, but He was in poor health, and his life, in fact, has recently passed away.
00:36:56.620 --> 00:37:08.269
Lester Ruth: But we had some email exchanges with his wife, and she sent us a wonderful glossy photo of Carmichael that we put in the book. But anyway, you know.
00:37:08.310 --> 00:37:27.940
Lester Ruth: Ah, he tells an interesting story, which I think is paradigmatic kind of for what's going on here, and he's discovered that his own teenage daughter in the early sixtys is sneaking out of the house to the car so she can listen to pop radio in the car. Okay,
00:37:27.950 --> 00:37:31.769
Lester Ruth: Um, He must not have allowed it in the house itself,
00:37:32.330 --> 00:37:33.719
Lester Ruth: In the
00:37:33.820 --> 00:37:39.570
Lester Ruth: he says, you know, if I want the church to be able to reach my own daughter. You?
00:37:39.580 --> 00:37:40.509
Andy Miller III: Yeah,
00:37:41.340 --> 00:37:45.190
Lester Ruth: it's got to use music that interest her.
00:37:45.200 --> 00:37:46.120
00:37:46.260 --> 00:38:02.150
Lester Ruth: so. And he's a wonderful, very flexible composer and um, and starts to compose some things. Um! Ah, perhaps one of the more influential things is a music score he did for a movie that Billy Graham.
00:38:02.160 --> 00:38:08.900
Lester Ruth: It came out of the Pilgrims Association of the Mid Sixtys. What particular song is everything to me? Okay, yeah,
00:38:11.600 --> 00:38:26.590
Lester Ruth: which we try to argue in the book is perhaps the first instance that many Evangelicals ever saw a worship time led by an acoustic guitar. Okay, as a scene in the movie where they're singing that song,
00:38:27.740 --> 00:38:43.010
Lester Ruth: but he's just the first youth for Christ doing it. But mainliners are involved in this too. The nineteen sixty S. Is a very tumultuous cultural period, right?
00:38:43.280 --> 00:38:52.790
Lester Ruth: And so I've heard, I guess. Well, I yes, even though I was a kid, you know, even even
00:38:53.780 --> 00:38:59.749
Lester Ruth: you know, as a small kid. You just do how tumultuous it! Why, I
00:38:59.780 --> 00:39:09.709
Lester Ruth: um assassinations protest uh civil rights movement, you know. I tell my own students here, you know I
00:39:09.720 --> 00:39:22.180
Lester Ruth: when I was a kid, I used to think, try to calculate how soon my own town would be bombed in the coming nuclear war. I figured it'd be pretty early, since there were all refineries.
00:39:22.720 --> 00:39:30.130
Lester Ruth: Now I grew up. Who you know, what are six and seven year olds thinking like that, you know. Yeah.
00:39:30.140 --> 00:39:38.450
Lester Ruth: So it was a tumultuous Yeah, this is that period. And so and the other thing to factor in something that we would just
00:39:38.710 --> 00:39:40.849
Lester Ruth: not think twice about
00:39:41.410 --> 00:39:48.380
Lester Ruth: the one thousand nine hundred and sixtys is really where you start getting pervasive Tvs.
00:39:48.390 --> 00:39:49.600
00:39:50.600 --> 00:39:57.040
Lester Ruth: And so prior to that. And this is something my own dissertation director was arguing at the time, he said,
00:39:57.490 --> 00:40:08.389
Lester Ruth: for our generations are used to listening to the radio, and so they're willing to sit there and worship service and have most of it come in through their ears.
00:40:08.400 --> 00:40:13.990
Lester Ruth: Yeah. But now we have a Tv generation who are used to looking at things.
00:40:14.000 --> 00:40:17.690
Lester Ruth: Our worship services. Much must be much more
00:40:17.700 --> 00:40:24.159
Lester Ruth: visually enticing. Mm-hmm which is a stretch for any form of Protestant worship, but
00:40:24.670 --> 00:40:29.860
Lester Ruth: because Protestants have always emphasized speaking or listening
00:40:30.060 --> 00:40:37.220
Lester Ruth: faith comes by hearing and hearing, by the Word of God. That's a fundamental Protestant, a vertical principle.
00:40:37.240 --> 00:40:41.509
Lester Ruth: Um! And so to emphasize faith comes by seeing
00:40:42.810 --> 00:40:46.230
Lester Ruth: and seen in a dynamic setting.
00:40:46.620 --> 00:40:47.910
Lester Ruth: Yes,
00:40:50.540 --> 00:40:54.199
Lester Ruth: I'm not so. That's
00:40:54.320 --> 00:41:16.060
Lester Ruth: now the gift people are going. What What are you talking about? We're just going to sit here and praise God for an hour.
00:41:16.370 --> 00:41:25.289
Lester Ruth: So is this where it is a gap, a Gap World Gap River, where Music festival, Christian music festivals come into being.
00:41:25.300 --> 00:41:30.689
Lester Ruth: We're both connected as Berry and the festival, that type of thing.
00:41:30.700 --> 00:41:44.570
Andy Miller III: So yeah, So that's this desire to see something that see something going on in the culture with Woodstock, or whatever, and create an alternate vision. And it is Ccm. In itself a part of the Gap tradition.
00:41:44.780 --> 00:41:49.589
Lester Ruth: Well, well, Ccm: bridges both rivers.
00:41:49.600 --> 00:41:50.569
Andy Miller III: Okay,
00:41:50.890 --> 00:41:56.209
Lester Ruth: see? And that's the thing was. Any aspect of this gets industrialized
00:41:56.830 --> 00:42:01.529
Lester Ruth: businesses. On the whole, don't care who they sell their products to.
00:42:01.620 --> 00:42:09.939
Lester Ruth: In fact, they want to sell their products to as many people as possible. Yeah. So the industrialization of this
00:42:09.990 --> 00:42:18.679
Lester Ruth: starting in the seventys, but especially in the eightys, and then the ninetys is part of what really causes the confluence. Okay,
00:42:18.870 --> 00:42:24.090
Lester Ruth: because the company's creating the the
00:42:25.570 --> 00:42:29.159
Lester Ruth: the overhead. Um lambda nets.
00:42:29.410 --> 00:42:40.280
Lester Ruth: Well, they don't care who you're using their overhead laminet. The projectors don't care who they're selling them to,
00:42:40.640 --> 00:42:59.439
Lester Ruth: you know. So the motivations for why you might buy the overhead, or you might find a new slide projector, or you might end up buying pro presenter in the late ninetys. You know the motivations for why you might be getting into this could be completely different.
00:43:00.060 --> 00:43:04.889
Lester Ruth: But the product itself is the same. Yeah, interesting.
00:43:04.900 --> 00:43:23.110
Lester Ruth: Okay. So I worked at a Christian bookstore in the late ninety S. In part because of my desire to connect with my generation as a good gapper to ah present Dc. Talk and the like to people who are looking for it. But here's I never thought of this until we've had this conversation
00:43:23.290 --> 00:43:40.990
Andy Miller III: at that Christian bookstore in the Mall Limbstone books there was a variety of of, I would say, gap type of products, but they're almost separated. So then there was another wall which was a praise and worship wall at the time, so this would have ninety, six, ninety, seven,
00:43:41.000 --> 00:43:45.960
Lester Ruth: and the praise of worship. Wall, you had
00:43:46.170 --> 00:43:55.679
Andy Miller III: maybe a little early hill song, but more the marinatha and integrity, and those type of things, and it was a different type of person
00:43:55.690 --> 00:44:10.519
Lester Ruth: who came in a different type of tradition that came in and looked at that side of the wall, and the praise of worship side was just not something. It even had a certain musical texture that was very different from the Ccm. Wall.
00:44:11.490 --> 00:44:20.909
Lester Ruth: Yeah, absolutely. It's really helpful to think about these two distinct trends. So what happens, though, is these walls, these rivers you're saying in the mid ninetys come together.
00:44:20.920 --> 00:44:24.219
Lester Ruth: Yeah, eventually, I mean, because
00:44:24.660 --> 00:44:32.190
Lester Ruth: you know, you're working at this bookstore. You're not checking. Ip cards. When the people
00:44:32.200 --> 00:44:36.939
Lester Ruth: you're a bamboo. You're a gapper, you know, don't go on that phrase of worship ball,
00:44:36.950 --> 00:44:43.890
Lester Ruth: you know, and some assembly of God God comes in and you go. You wouldn't be interested in any of this
00:44:44.900 --> 00:45:01.720
Lester Ruth: literature on how to effectively reach people and how to start these services. You know you're willing to sell to anybody right right? Right. They themselves make one way or the other. But in fact, you want them to linger and look at the
00:45:01.730 --> 00:45:17.480
Lester Ruth: Let me show you this river. It's a nice one. That's right. Yeah. Because once it's industrialized and becomes a business, you don't carry yourself. So is that is it a market Focused reason that the rivers come together.
00:45:17.710 --> 00:45:26.130
Lester Ruth: That's yeah, a lot of it in this, and also other developments that support the market.
00:45:26.140 --> 00:45:29.950
Lester Ruth: Okay. So my favorite, one of my
00:45:30.320 --> 00:45:39.890
Lester Ruth: favorite aspects of the history that we learned in doing the research was where C. Cli actually came from. Oh, wait! I have no idea I still have to use it.
00:45:39.900 --> 00:45:45.030
Lester Ruth: It's coming from a church in Portland, Oregon, Bible Temple.
00:45:45.040 --> 00:45:48.749
Lester Ruth: Okay, now known as Mana House,
00:45:49.110 --> 00:45:52.020
Lester Ruth: Pure Gift River
00:45:54.250 --> 00:45:55.089
Lester Ruth: Church.
00:45:55.100 --> 00:45:58.390
Lester Ruth: In fact, the graduate's illness. Canadian.
00:45:58.400 --> 00:45:59.359
Andy Miller III: Yes,
00:45:59.380 --> 00:46:08.390
Lester Ruth: the the first C. Ceo of Ccl. I grew up in Raj Lazelle's Church interesting,
00:46:08.400 --> 00:46:21.539
Lester Ruth: and his parents were church planters and musicians for Regg Lazelle. Okay, that's the word. He went to Rentaliselle's Bible College. I mean, that's He's If you talk to Howard Roshinski, he's pure
00:46:22.640 --> 00:46:40.459
Lester Ruth: a primitive gift River thinking guy Okay, So Ccli: Develops in that church and in the Pentecostal network associated with that church. It was a large but of coastal church that sponsored ministers, conferences, and music ministers conferences
00:46:40.470 --> 00:46:45.739
Lester Ruth: in the Eightys. They they dawned on them because of a lawsuit against them
00:46:45.940 --> 00:46:54.929
Lester Ruth: up in Illinois that they were using all of these songs in their hour, long times of singing illegally. Okay,
00:46:55.170 --> 00:46:59.540
Lester Ruth: There was a church that got really hammered
00:46:59.620 --> 00:47:10.579
Lester Ruth: a lawsuit, and they go, hey? We got to find a solution to this, and there were several companies. But Ccli copyright Licensing International is the one that
00:47:10.920 --> 00:47:17.490
Lester Ruth: worked with the industry and came up with the largest corpus of songs that the license gave you access to the,
00:47:17.920 --> 00:47:36.370
Lester Ruth: and we got their first denominational break down the list. They put out every six months along with their top twenty, five list that they put out with their every six month row if you pay out, and it's really interesting. There are a lot of southern boundaries,
00:47:36.380 --> 00:47:41.930
Lester Ruth: but initially, everybody else on the list towards the top are all kind of.
00:47:42.240 --> 00:47:46.690
Lester Ruth: They're all gift River folks from these pentecostal worlds
00:47:46.730 --> 00:47:51.220
Lester Ruth: six years later. That's no longer the case,
00:47:51.530 --> 00:47:58.569
Lester Ruth: Southern Baptist convention and mainline denominations like United Methodism. So how the Mid ninetys, the
00:47:59.080 --> 00:48:01.930
Lester Ruth: he medalcles and Mainliners,
00:48:03.730 --> 00:48:07.990
Lester Ruth: are some of the predominant users of A. C cli license,
00:48:08.020 --> 00:48:15.110
Lester Ruth: you know, in Cca allied, I mean. They adapted their own marketing scheme, and figured out how to
00:48:16.040 --> 00:48:21.850
Lester Ruth: advertised to a wide range of churches and make themselves available to a wide range of churches.
00:48:21.930 --> 00:48:26.589
Lester Ruth: Um, you know this is part of the air we breathe now, and the water we drink.
00:48:26.600 --> 00:48:29.089
Lester Ruth: You gotta have a
00:48:29.900 --> 00:48:47.900
Lester Ruth: so, then this is it. And so it's. In that period where things start to shift and it becomes more mainstream. Here it is. The the streams come together and make the mainstream, I guess, of what's happening, and so tell me then, what's happened then in the last twenty five years.
00:48:51.850 --> 00:48:59.280
Lester Ruth: Well several things pretty much what happens to every developed movement that's entering its second.
00:49:00.390 --> 00:49:19.589
Lester Ruth: Ah, one thing is, you get a whole new generation of people who don't remember anything prior right, and just assume the way things are on the way things are. And so for many folks there's less emphasize and less emphasis on the underlying theology.
00:49:21.820 --> 00:49:23.189
Lester Ruth: Sure, Um.
00:49:23.200 --> 00:49:28.660
Lester Ruth: And so you you start getting some literature that says, Oh, we can't forget this. This is really what's
00:49:28.810 --> 00:49:31.020
Lester Ruth: motivating the whole thing.
00:49:31.240 --> 00:49:35.939
Lester Ruth: Um, you start getting celebrities.
00:49:37.170 --> 00:49:42.460
Lester Ruth: So there are no no real celebrity worship leaders
00:49:42.810 --> 00:49:45.959
Lester Ruth: until the nineteen ninety S. Okay,
00:49:46.960 --> 00:50:01.299
Lester Ruth: Who would that be like in the ninetys. Would this have been like? I don't know Ron Canoli, or I don't know. I'm trying to think of
00:50:01.310 --> 00:50:06.689
Lester Ruth: um from the British sign of the Gift river folks. Um,
00:50:06.950 --> 00:50:08.490
Lester Ruth: Matt Redmond.
00:50:08.500 --> 00:50:09.279
Andy Miller III: Yes,
00:50:09.550 --> 00:50:16.550
Lester Ruth: Chris Tomlin, if you want an American sort of name. Yeah, sure. Um, Paul Bolosh,
00:50:17.180 --> 00:50:18.500
Lester Ruth: you
00:50:19.960 --> 00:50:22.849
Lester Ruth: kind of a dominant sort of name.
00:50:24.450 --> 00:50:39.289
Andy Miller III: So what is okay, but getting off the music side. Then what does this do, then, to Protestant worship like? I have an idea. But i'm curious more from a historical perspective, like What's then? What? What has become a process and worship in this period?
00:50:39.300 --> 00:50:46.059
Lester Ruth: Well, it depends on which river a congregation started it around it.
00:50:46.100 --> 00:50:50.399
Lester Ruth: So what's happened in Pentecostalism globally,
00:50:50.920 --> 00:50:56.860
Lester Ruth: that this form of worship has just almost displaced everything else.
00:50:56.870 --> 00:50:57.669
Andy Miller III: Okay,
00:50:58.490 --> 00:51:04.509
Lester Ruth: this is what Pedecostal worship looks like to one degree or another around the world. Now,
00:51:05.060 --> 00:51:09.730
Lester Ruth: I mean, there's some outliers. There's some different things, but this is what it looks like.
00:51:10.000 --> 00:51:20.209
Lester Ruth: What happened here in North America. Among evangelical, but especially mainline denominations, was the addition of a
00:51:20.490 --> 00:51:23.700
Lester Ruth: about near-service
00:51:23.760 --> 00:51:27.090
Lester Ruth: I call it the movie theater phenomenon.
00:51:27.240 --> 00:51:29.860
Lester Ruth: Okay, So when I was a kid,
00:51:29.990 --> 00:51:32.679
Lester Ruth: and we went to the movie theaters.
00:51:32.860 --> 00:51:44.890
Lester Ruth: It almost didn't matter what movie was playing, because there was only one screen. You just wanted the experience you went. You bought your popcorn, your coat, and you went in and you watched the one movie.
00:51:44.900 --> 00:51:50.210
Lester Ruth: Yeah, the theater was going to show for about three to four weeks unless it was a block about there. They kept showing it.
00:51:51.190 --> 00:51:53.920
Lester Ruth: Today You go
00:51:55.620 --> 00:52:00.489
Lester Ruth: to the movie theater, and there are multiple screens, and you have to make a choice.
00:52:00.500 --> 00:52:01.450
Andy Miller III: Yeah,
00:52:01.590 --> 00:52:13.789
Lester Ruth: what kind of movie do I want to watch? And that's what happened to mainline congregations and many evangelical congregations. So the Marquis started saying: Eight, thirty contemporary,
00:52:13.800 --> 00:52:22.980
Lester Ruth: you know often what you got is at eight, thirty, traditional service, a nine o'clock tippery service, eleven o'clock. Traditional service,
00:52:23.860 --> 00:52:29.780
Lester Ruth: You know I had an interesting interview with. I put a coastal pastor about four or five years ago. He was
00:52:30.010 --> 00:52:34.090
Lester Ruth: ah Church of God in Christ. He was African American.
00:52:34.100 --> 00:52:41.689
Lester Ruth: Yeah. And he said, You know, it was really interesting to see him begin to realize that there was a gap way of thinking.
00:52:41.950 --> 00:52:53.380
Lester Ruth: And so I was hearing him describe to me, he says, Oh, my church is really kind of settled into an old form of praise and worship, and i'm afraid we're not reaching the young people in our church.
00:52:53.390 --> 00:53:06.549
Lester Ruth: So i'm thinking about starting a second service on Sunday morning with a different sort of style to me, and for him that was just kind of like a completely novel idea. Yeah,
00:53:06.580 --> 00:53:09.839
Lester Ruth: Because he was used to a Pentecostal world where
00:53:10.490 --> 00:53:14.000
Lester Ruth: praise and worship, they already been there. Yeah, you've been there.
00:53:14.010 --> 00:53:18.389
Lester Ruth: But he was getting old enough now. He thought it was getting a little bit stale.
00:53:18.400 --> 00:53:19.790
Andy Miller III: Yes,
00:53:19.800 --> 00:53:33.990
Lester Ruth: so yeah, he was as flabbergasted when I said, You know There' been people who have been specializing in this literature thirty years ago to do it right. It's interesting.
00:53:34.000 --> 00:53:50.030
Lester Ruth: Yes, Um, that's a major development, and the other big development is that the education got very formalized. By that I mean, you started getting accredited institutions offering degrees.
00:53:50.040 --> 00:53:50.990
Andy Miller III: Yes,
00:53:51.000 --> 00:53:52.790
Lester Ruth: and how to lead this
00:53:56.180 --> 00:54:14.559
Lester Ruth: and don't push, you know, and like in the as such, like. The market is asking for it. I'm sure like people like a seminary, like the two jobs that you have, that churches are looking for a worship pastor and senior pastor, you know, like, and and they have something very particular in mind, and it's like, Well,
00:54:14.770 --> 00:54:32.349
Lester Ruth: how do you go about educating that market need, so to speak. And then also we don't want to respond just to the the We don't want to just respond to the needs of a market, too. This is a pension that seminaries um are facing on a regular basis.
00:54:32.360 --> 00:54:36.139
Lester Ruth: Thanks for bringing that up. And that term worship pastor,
00:54:36.150 --> 00:54:38.810
Lester Ruth: because that's another big development.
00:54:38.890 --> 00:54:52.719
Lester Ruth: Um, I mean. I know many congregations where it's presumed that the musician is the main shaper of the service. Hmm. So you get the Scripture. You get the main.
00:54:52.730 --> 00:55:02.909
Lester Ruth: Serve an idea, and you get kind of the main kind of feel or purpose of the sermon from the pastor Right. But then the musician shapes the service
00:55:05.130 --> 00:55:11.030
Lester Ruth: that's astonishingly new in the history of Christian worship.
00:55:11.240 --> 00:55:13.069
Lester Ruth: It is part of what
00:55:13.530 --> 00:55:28.089
Lester Ruth: you know where we started the interview this podcast that you know my story. He was having a hard time wrapping his brain around the idea that the preacher, the pastor,
00:55:28.120 --> 00:55:30.490
Lester Ruth: he is the main shaper of the service.
00:55:30.500 --> 00:55:32.189
Andy Miller III: Yes,
00:55:32.630 --> 00:55:40.300
Lester Ruth: one of the more interesting churches I've gotten to study over the years is an Evangelical Covenant Church up on the north side of Chicago,
00:55:40.510 --> 00:55:52.189
Lester Ruth: and some other folks did a thorough documentation of this church in the early Os, and they had had the same main musician for twenty years,
00:55:52.990 --> 00:55:55.569
Lester Ruth: and one of the things that we tracked
00:55:55.910 --> 00:56:03.299
Lester Ruth: was how her job title and her job responsibilities morphed, interesting,
00:56:04.240 --> 00:56:09.230
Lester Ruth: and she went from being like a pianist and song leader
00:56:09.660 --> 00:56:14.459
Lester Ruth: to a worship leader where she was the main shaper of the services
00:56:16.130 --> 00:56:25.310
Andy Miller III: it's. It's even. There's the word song I remember like watching my father, my parents, such as my father
00:56:25.320 --> 00:56:43.090
Andy Miller III: try to cope with what was going on in the mid ninety S. And there's always this pull towards a like in general, and people disagree to blend right the the famous word in order to to blend. But there is a way of like it's still being connected to this older,
00:56:43.100 --> 00:57:02.499
Lester Ruth: These older expressions um of of songs or singing in like. So I mean, i'm sure you've You've seen this. But the quote, praise and worship time originally in the Savage Army lands that I was in. Was this inspiration right here. Oh, yeah,
00:57:02.510 --> 00:57:31.689
Andy Miller III: you have this idea like It's still like Maybe it's just something you might clack, clap to. That might have a drum set. Be trying to figure this out, so my my denomination then moved to half, and they called up a whole series called The Holly a courses, but they waited until the songs were shown to like, have some prominence, but that didn't, and never was cutting edge enough, and it created all sorts of challenges like for what it was going to be, and just trying to do be both in and as and when I was serving as a pastor, you know, and within the context of the savage army.
00:57:31.700 --> 00:57:48.990
Andy Miller III: You have all of these things that are pulling on you, and yet wanting to create a situation that's evangelistic. But yet, ah! Enabling people to experience the gift side of the river at the same time. So these are all really helpful terms that it helped me think through my experience.
00:57:49.020 --> 00:57:51.879
Lester Ruth: Well, I i'm glad. I mean um.
00:57:52.000 --> 00:58:01.889
Lester Ruth: You're almost answering your own question, because every time you say something I should stop talking. Yeah,
00:58:01.900 --> 00:58:07.450
Lester Ruth: yeah, the whole movement. Actually, it's been really hard on printed hymn for song collections,
00:58:07.840 --> 00:58:17.570
Lester Ruth: because Gap people are always really cautious about them, because as soon as you print them they're static right right? And so you might get to a point
00:58:18.030 --> 00:58:24.810
Lester Ruth: the near future where they're no longer useful or attractive, and the Gift people,
00:58:25.360 --> 00:58:28.479
Lester Ruth: man. Those folks can generate songs,
00:58:30.190 --> 00:58:40.850
Lester Ruth: so they almost don't want to create hymn those because you just you put boundaries over this huge creativity of songwriting
00:58:40.960 --> 00:58:43.459
Lester Ruth: that comes out of the Gift River.
00:58:45.600 --> 00:59:04.770
Andy Miller III: What? What's been the biggest surprise to you as you enter into this study in the last fifteen years, like, what did you not expect? I I I applaud you for going after it, you know it would have been easy to, you know. Here you are, a a career as a professor now in a research position you could have just said I'm going to stay focusing on
00:59:04.780 --> 00:59:13.710
Andy Miller III: eighteenth century Methodism. But there's something in you that's pulled you to want to figure out what's going on in our current context. But what surprised you in that?
00:59:17.540 --> 00:59:18.819
Lester Ruth: It's,
00:59:22.390 --> 00:59:34.440
Lester Ruth: I think, What really surprised me is how this is not a new history. Okay. So within the broad history of Protestant worship there's a long strand called Free Church worship.
00:59:34.570 --> 00:59:52.419
Lester Ruth: Okay? And and there are a lot of people wrapped up into that. It starts in the sixteenth century, but it encompasses a wide variety of folks over the centuries. Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, an abandoned Salvation Army,
00:59:52.430 --> 00:59:56.740
Lester Ruth: you know. Uh, but the underlying idea
00:59:56.760 --> 01:00:02.430
Lester Ruth: that we will shape worship according description. Okay,
01:00:05.170 --> 01:00:12.970
Lester Ruth: we're not worshipping faithfully unless we're worshipping scriptually Okay, that's the recurring idea, the
01:00:13.250 --> 01:00:18.589
Lester Ruth: and it slowly dawned on both me and Dr. Lim
01:00:18.940 --> 01:00:23.989
Lester Ruth: that this history is just a new episode of that old story.
01:00:24.000 --> 01:00:38.849
Lester Ruth: Yeah, Because the musical aspect has been so dynamic and so enticing, and I mean individually for me, I came to Faith singing the courses of the late one thousand nine hundred and seventys,
01:00:39.350 --> 01:00:45.619
Lester Ruth: and just flabbergasted that we could sing them to guitars, you know, rather than some pie.
01:00:46.280 --> 01:00:53.590
Lester Ruth: Most of the academic literature has been focused on the music. But to come to the realization that it's really about the
01:00:54.210 --> 01:00:58.010
Lester Ruth: Protestant Christians grappling with Scripture.
01:00:58.120 --> 01:01:00.719
Lester Ruth: But that's the real story.
01:01:00.910 --> 01:01:12.060
Lester Ruth: That's been the biggest surprise. And it's also been the biggest delight because it's allowed other significant historic figures to come to the forefront,
01:01:12.130 --> 01:01:19.580
Lester Ruth: you know. Just a minute We We shifted the camera focus, and many other folks who were on the stage,
01:01:19.890 --> 01:01:26.329
Lester Ruth: but a music setting for the camera lens didn't pick up once you shift it.
01:01:26.940 --> 01:01:30.979
Lester Ruth: It shifted the aperture to Scripture rather than music.
01:01:30.990 --> 01:01:33.290
Lester Ruth: I'm getting my camera terms correct.
01:01:33.300 --> 01:01:41.479
Lester Ruth: Then a whole different set of people and events and days pop to the surface, and that's that was the most pleasing
01:01:41.770 --> 01:01:47.469
Lester Ruth: for me. As a historian. I like to bring attention to important people
01:01:47.530 --> 01:01:57.839
Lester Ruth: who, I don't think, have gotten their trust. You. Yeah, that is great. Well, again to everybody listening here. The book is a history of contemporary praise and worship,
01:01:57.850 --> 01:02:11.370
Andy Miller III: understanding the ideas, the Biblical ideas that reshaped the Protestant Church. So, Dr. Ruth, thank you so much for your time. I always ask this question in a good Methodist way. I think of
01:02:11.380 --> 01:02:18.590
Andy Miller III: two sides of the Gospel, not justification, but sanctification. That's the idea behind the title. More to the story.
01:02:18.600 --> 01:02:33.009
Lester Ruth: But I also like to think you know there's more to the story of praise and worship music which we found out today. But also, I bet there's more to the story of Lester Ruth, Than's typically told. So i'm curious. You're the first person. By the way, i'll give you a chance to think about it. Who picked up
01:02:33.020 --> 01:02:46.180
Andy Miller III: my Martin Luther bobble head, he said, What's that? And then you saw my Salvage Army flag in the corner. So you figured it all out the liturgy of Andy Miller's office. She got it. But ah, curious! Is there more to the story of Lester? Ruth.
01:02:46.200 --> 01:02:47.529
Lester Ruth: Um,
01:02:52.070 --> 01:02:58.050
Lester Ruth: Yeah. I um. Most people, when they think of alternative historians,
01:02:58.550 --> 01:03:05.660
Lester Ruth: assumed that our own first comfortable home of worship is pipe organs and the
01:03:05.680 --> 01:03:15.250
Lester Ruth: you know, a lot of formality, etc. Etc. You know that I've got a complete collection of Gregorian chances.
01:03:15.500 --> 01:03:16.689
Lester Ruth: Um,
01:03:17.670 --> 01:03:22.549
Lester Ruth: and they would not assume the same thing for my co-author glimpsed me home.
01:03:22.670 --> 01:03:31.450
Lester Ruth: But one of the things that we found really helped us, and kept us committed to the project is that this world is a first home for us.
01:03:34.190 --> 01:03:35.450
Andy Miller III: Go away
01:03:35.550 --> 01:03:43.580
Lester Ruth: Well, I mean I came to faith and became an active Christian disciple in a campus Ministry college in the late one thousand nine hundred and seventys. The
01:03:43.620 --> 01:03:53.229
Lester Ruth: singing old courses like Siki first, or therefore the beam of the Lord shall return and come with singing on the Zion.
01:03:54.390 --> 01:03:56.790
Lester Ruth: And so,
01:03:57.640 --> 01:04:06.370
Lester Ruth: yeah, I had to learn how to appreciate organs and him of the interesting. Once I got the seminary
01:04:06.980 --> 01:04:08.140
Lester Ruth: it's,
01:04:09.170 --> 01:04:15.119
Lester Ruth: and that that just might surprise some. Yeah, I think that is distinct.
01:04:15.300 --> 01:04:18.389
Lester Ruth: I appreciate you sharing that. Thank you so much for taking time to come on this
01:04:18.400 --> 01:04:31.039
Lester Ruth: my pleasure. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I really, Dr. Lemon, are excited about this book, and we just hope people will pick it up and read it and and realize there is more to the story.
01:04:31.050 --> 01:04:33.290
Andy Miller III: Oh, sounds like a good title for a podcast.
01:04:33.300 --> 01:04:35.089
Lester Ruth: Oh, yeah,
01:04:35.100 --> 01:04:37.750
Lester Ruth: Thank you. Dr. Rou: Okay, Thank you.