One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Dr. Thomas White, Cedarville University President

Soli Deo Gloria is a Latin phrase meaning “Glory to God alone.” Rooted in the Reformation, it flows from a dependence upon Scripture alone as our foundation for comprehending our salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for God’s glory alone. Johann Sebastian Bach notably appended the initials SDG to his manuscripts, dedicating his composition to God’s glory alone.

For Cedarville University, grasping Soli Deo Gloria clarifies the rationale behind our endeavors. Our students exhibit remarkable talent, whether performing in the orchestra or leading worship on the chapel stage. However, we seek not the praise of people. We do not pursue personal glory. Rather, we rightly recognize that talents are divinely bestowed and that we are temporary stewards of the time and talents entrusted to us. Diligently honing and utilizing these talents is our reasonable act of spiritual worship (Rom. 12:2) before a worthy God.

Furthermore, at Cedarville, we recognize that sound theology naturally evokes heartfelt doxology. True worship is inseparable from correct theology. You cannot accurately worship a God you don’t know. Such exercises are mere emotionalism. Proper apprehension of God inevitably inspires expressions of worship, as exemplified in Romans 11:36, where Paul extols the incomprehensible greatness of God, culminating in the declaration, “To Him be glory forever.”

Music, as a form of worship, uniquely engages the heart, soul, and mind. It possesses the capacity to mend the brokenhearted, invigorate the weary soul, and imprint memorable truths in our minds. God has graciously given humanity the gift of music, and at Cedarville, we seek to use this gift for His glory. We train diligently, play excellently, and with humility offer our spiritual worship to the God who alone is worthy.

We believe in the power of music so deeply that we encourage our students to write and compose new music. We need another generation of song- and hymn-writers creating theologically accurate content that congregations can actually sing, leading to vertical worship of a worthy God. We model this in chapel five days a week.

Soli Deo Gloria 858Chapel is the heartbeat of Cedarville University. While the Word holds the central place, music often sets the table, preparing us to receive the Word. I often find the music stirring my affections and emotions. Sometimes, the song will speak to me through well-crafted words. At other times, I am moved by observing our community engaged in worship. Be it through closed eyes, raised hands, or tearful reverence, collectively we come together to ascribe glory to God alone.

Whether through musical performances or instrumental mastery, Cedarville students channel their talents toward worshiping King Jesus. This transcends mere musical proficiency; it embodies a profound devotion to using one's gifts in service to God. At Cedarville, our mission, especially within the realm of music and worship, is to align our God-given talents with our Godgiven passions, pursue excellence in training, and employ these gifts as a platform for glorifying God. We give praise, expressing the sentiment of Paul in 1 Timothy 1:17: “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.”

In all our endeavors, our motivation remains Soli Deo Gloria — for God's glory alone.

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