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Worship, hymnology, and philosophy of ministry reading list for pastors and church musicians

Last week I made the argument that all pastors and church musicians (or “worship leaders”) should give themselves to the study of worship, hymnology, and philosophy of ministry. I had a couple requests to offer a reading list on such topics, so that is what I intend to give today.

Here is a basic list of what I have my students read for the various courses I teach on the subjects mentioned above. Some of them assume a basic understanding of music, but most of them should be accessible to any pastor who wishes to study these things more carefully.

Of course, I don’t necessarily agree with everything in these books (except my books!), but they are a good start for thinking carefully and biblically through these subjects.

History and Theology of Worship

Aniol, Scott. Worship in Song: a Biblical Approach to Worship and Music. Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 2008.

Bauder, Kevin. “A Prelude to a Christian Theology of Culture.” In Glenny, W. Edward. Missions in a New Millennium: Change and Challenges in World Missions. Kregel, 2000.

Castleman, Robbie F. Story Shaped Worship: Following Patterns from the Bible and History. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2013.

Hustad, Donald P. “Baptist Worship Forms: Uniting the Charleston and Sandy Creek Traditions.” Review and Expositor 85, no 1 (1988).

Priest, Gerald L. “Revival and Revivalism: a Historical and Doctrinal Evaluation.” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 1, no. 2 (1996): 233–252.

Shields, Bruce E. and David A. Butzu. Generations of Praise: The History of Worship. Joplin, MO: College Press, 2006.

Hebrew and Early Church Worship

Detwiler, David F. “Church Music and Colossians 3:16.” BibSac 158:631 (2001): 347–369.

Hilton, James. “From Sabbath to Lord’s Day.” Faith and Mission 17:3 (1999): 65–76.

Leithart, Peter J. “Synagogue or Temple? Models for the Christian Worship.” WTJ 64:1 (2002): 119–133.

Martin, Ralph P. Worship in the Early Church. Revised edition. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1975.

Oswalt, John N. The Bible among the Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature?. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.

Ross, Allen. Recalling the Hope of Glory: Biblical Worship from the Garden to the New Creation. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2006.

Seminar in Baptist Worship

Dockery, David S. “Giving Glory to God: Baptist Worship Then and Now.” In Southern Baptist Consensus and Renewal: A Biblical, Historical, and Theological Proposal. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2008.

Ellis, Christopher. “Baptists in Britain.” In The Oxford History of Christian Worship, edited by Geoffrey Wainwright and Karen B. Westerfield Tucker. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Ellis, Christopher J. Gathering: A Spirituality And Theology of Worship in Free Church Tradition. SCM Press, 2004.

Kennedy, Rodney Wallace, and Hatch, Derek C., eds. Gathering Together: Baptists at Work in Worship. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Pub, 2013.

Mathis, Eric. “Campaigning in the House of God: How Worship Shaped the Ecclesiology of the Southern Baptist Convection in the Controversy of 1979.” Dissertation, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2013.

Murray, Iain H. Revival and Revivalism. Banner of Truth, 1994. (Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9)

Runquist, Felix. “Baptist Distinctives.” CenQ 3:2 (1960): 22–26.

Tucker, Karen B. Westerfield. “North America.” In The Oxford History of Christian Worship, edited by Geoffrey Wainwright and Karen B. Westerfield Tucker. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Ward, Matthew. Pure Worship: The Early English Baptist Distinctive. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2014.

Work, Telford. “Pentecostal and Charismatic Worship.” In The Oxford History of Christian Worship, edited by Geoffrey Wainwright and Karen B. Westerfield Tucker. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Arts, Architecture, and Aesthetics

Davies, Stephen. The Philosophy of Art. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006.

Gordon, T. David. “Finding Beauty Where God Finds Beauty: A Biblical Foundation of Aesthetics.” Artistic Theologian 1 (Fall 2012): 16–20.

Hodges, John Mason. “Aesthetics and the Place of Beauty in Worship.” Reformation and Revival 9, no. 3 (2000): 58–76.

Kaplan, Abraham. “The Aesthetics of the Popular Arts.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 24, no. 3 (n.d.): 351–64.

Ryken, Leland. The Liberated Imagination: Thinking Christianly About the Arts. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2005.

Sayers, Dorothy. “Towards a Christian Aesthetic.” The New Orpheus, ed. Nathan A. Scott. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1964. 3-20.

Smith, Rob. “Music, Singing, and Emotions: Exploring the Connections.” Themelios 37, no. 3 (November 2012): 465–479.

Spiegel, James S. “Aesthetics and Worship.” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 2, no. 4 (1998): 38–54.

Vanhoozer, Kevin J. “A Lamp in the Labyrinth: The Hermeneutics of ‘Aesthetic’ Theology.” Trinity Journal 8, no. 1 (1987): 24–56.

Vanhoozer, Kevin J. “What Has Vienna To Do With Jerusalem?  Barth, Brahms, And Bernstein’s Unanswered Question.” Westminster Theological Journal 63, no. 1 (2001): 122–150.

White, “Principles of Liturgical Architecture” in White, James F. Protestant Worship and Church Architecture: Theological and Historical Considerations. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2003.

Witvliet, John. “Toward a Liturgical Aesthetic.”

Comparative Liturgies

Apostolic Constitutions, 350.

Bauder, Kevin. “Believer Baptism” in Baptist Distinctives and New Testament Church Order. Schaumburg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 2013.

Calvin, John. The Form of Church Prayers, 1545.

Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, The, 400.

Ellis, Christopher J. “Duty and Delight: Baptist Worship and Identity.” Review and Expositor 100:3 (Summer 2003): 329–345.

“Eucharistic Rite of The Book of Common Prayer, The,” 1662.

Finn, Nathan. “Baptism as a Prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper.” The Center for Theological Research, 2006.

Hilton, James. “From Sabbath to Lord’s Day: Examining the Ethics of Sunday.” Faith and Mission, Vol 17, 3 (Summer 2000): 62­–76.

Liturgies of the Western Church: Selected and Introduced by Bard Thompson. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1961.

Old, Hughes Oliphant. Worship: Reformed According to Scripture. Revised and expanded. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Senn, Frank C. Introduction to Christian Liturgy. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012.

Thompson, Philip E. “Baptists and Liturgy—The Very Idea!” Review and Expositor 100:3 (Summer 2003): 317–323.

Ward, Matthew. Pure Worship: The Early English Baptist Distinctive. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2014.

Westminster Directory, The, 1643.

Witvliet, John. “Toward a Liturgical Aesthetic.”

Congregational Song

Aniol, Scott. Worship in Song: a Biblical Approach to Worship and Music. Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 2008. (WIS)

Eskew, Harry. Sing With Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Hymnology. Second. Nashville: Genevox Music Group, 1995.

Gaebelein, Frank E. “New Testament Poetry.” Bibliotheca Sacra 129:515 (July 1972): 246–49.

Gordon, T. David. Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2010.

Longman III, Tremper. “Understanding Parallelism” and “Imagery in the Psalms” in How to Read the Psalms. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1988.

Lovelace, “Modulations and Poetic Devices” in The Anatomy of Hymnody. Chicago: GIA, 1965.

Stapert, Calvin R. A New Song for an Old World: Musical Thought in the Early Church. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.

Westermeyer, Paul. Te Deum: the Church and Music. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998.

Wilson, John. “Looking at Hymn Tunes: the Objective Factors” in Duty & Delight: Routley Remembered. Carol Stream, IL: Hope, 1985.

Philosophy of Worship Ministry

Aniol, Scott. Worship in Song: a Biblical Approach to Worship and Music. Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 2008.

Carson, D. A. Christ and Culture Revisited. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2008.

Faulkner, Quentin. Wiser Than Despair: The Evolution of Ideas in the Relationship of Music and the Christian Church. 2nd ed. Simpsonville, SC: Religious Affections Ministries, 2012.

Hart, D. G., and John R. Muether. With Reverence and Awe: Returning to the Basics of Reformed Worship. Phillipsburg,  NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Company, 2002.

Kivy, Peter. Introduction to a Philosophy of Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Makujina, John. Measuring the Music: Another Look at the Contemporary Christian Music Debate. Willow Street, PA: Old Paths Publications, 2002.

Munson, Paul, and Joshua Farris Drake. Art and Music: A Student’s Guide. Wheaton: Crossway, 2014.

Myers, Kenneth. All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1989.

Smith, James K. A. Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013.

Snoeberger, Mark A. “Noetic Sin, Neutrality, and Contextualization: How Culture Receives the Gospel.” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 9 (2004): 345–78.

VanDrunen, David. Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture. Wheaton: Crossway, 2010.

Whitney, Donald S. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1997.

Wolters, Albert M. Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2005.

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Cutlure, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and three children.

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