Author Archives: Christopher Ames

Youth Ministry is a Secular Assumption

Youth Ministry is a Secular Assumption

Peter Leithart gives some analysis of a passage of James K. A. Smith’s new book, You Are What You Love, which I haven’t yet read, so I can’t comment on it. Leithart cites a section of the book where Smith points to contemporary youth ministry as a corrupter of young people based on bad anthropology and… Continue Reading

Psalm 101 and the Aesthetics of Belief

Psalm 101 and the Aesthetics of Belief

Gene Veith has begun to read his Bible with his eyes open for statements about aesthetics. And guess what; he finds them! In this article, he briefly explores the contribution Psalm 101 makes to the Christian understanding of aesthetics. It is good to see people acknowledging that there are, indeed, statements of aesthetic judgment in the… Continue Reading

The Difference Between Grooming and Taxidermy

The Difference Between Grooming and Taxidermy

I ran into a situation recently where I was searching high and low for the original wording to Watts’ “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed” set to the tune MARTYRDOM. I was looking for the tune MARTYRDOM so I wouldn’t have to deal with Ralph Hudson’s degenerate refrain; but I was also looking for text that… Continue Reading

Set Your Filters to “Lutheran”

Set Your Filters to “Lutheran”

Enjoy this. Hans Fiene does a wonderful job of satirizing our tendency, even in a Gospel-Centered™ age, to throw programs at every problem under the ecclesiological sun. Lutheran Satire | Politicians Run For Congregational President Continue Reading

Brand-Name Theology

Brand-Name Theology

Carl Trueman questions the ecclesiological ramifications of Ligonier Ministries’ recently published statement on Christology. [Not many such statements have their own website, but this one does.] Historically, doctrinal statements like this have been forged in the fires of new theological challenges, which is a roundabout way of saying ‘heresies.’ But, according to Trueman, it does not seem… Continue Reading

Boycott the Worship Industry?

Boycott the Worship Industry?

Here’s a new one for your vocabulary: worship industry. Jonathan Aigner poignantly describes this plague on American Christianity, noting the uncomfortable fact that it exists and thrives because of commercial interests, not Christian interests. Ponder Anew | It’s Time to Boycott the Worship Industry And as he points out here, it’s not about taste: it’s about meaning. Continue Reading

Art: Creation, Incarnation, Resurrection

Art: Creation, Incarnation, Resurrection

Now a few years old, his series of chapel lectures by Ken Myers set forth a helpful foundation for understanding the importance of true art to Christianity. One of the points he makes is that art is important because creation itself is a work of art. If creation is invested with meaning, Christians, of all people,… Continue Reading

The Message of the Apple Store, Deconstructed

The Message of the Apple Store, Deconstructed

His name is Read Mercer Schuchardt, and he’s an associate professor of communication at Wheaton College. He did his graduate and postgraduate work at New York University under Neil Postman. The focus of his study? Media Ecology. And if you’re familiar with Postman’s work, this will be a real treat. Schuchardt is in a unique… Continue Reading

Baroque is Superior to Rock: A Utilitarian Argument

Baroque is Superior to Rock: A Utilitarian Argument

Anyone who has had a health club membership is familiar with the psychological effects of music. There is a reason that weightlifters listen to AC/DC rather than Billy Joel, and it’s a reason that is more difficult to articulate than to understand. We’ve all been there. What would happen if you swapped out Metallica for Vivaldi?… Continue Reading

A Worship Canon?

A Worship Canon?

Give this podcast a listen: Theology On the Go | Interview with Rev. Terry Johnson What do you think of the speaker’s concept of a “worship canon?” *   *In anticipation of certain objections, if you’re not familiar with the concept of “canon” outside cameras or the canon of Scripture, you may want to read… Continue Reading

The Discussion We’re Not Having

The Discussion We’re Not Having

While we’re busy haggling over the weasel-word “style,” as though how we approach God in worship is as inconsequential as sweater vest vs. cardigan, some folks are free to engage in fruitful conversation about the real nature of the cultural changes that have occasioned the discussion. Michael Horton here discusses the interplay between media and messages… Continue Reading

The Orwellian “Worship” Industry

The Orwellian “Worship” Industry

When someone has to describe a thing with a term like “worship industry,” it is clear enough that the idea of worship has undergone some fundamental revision. Orwell’s Newspeak comes to mind. With his characteristic ardor, Jonathan Aigner gives eight reasons why he believes that the Worship Industry is killing worship. While I don’t agree with all of… Continue Reading

A Lecture worth Attending?

A Lecture worth Attending?

Recently I stumbled across this advertisement for an upcoming lecture called “Modern Art and Ancient Faith.” If you’re in the Davenport, IA area, you might want to check it out. More information available from: The Heidelblog Sovereign Grace OPC   Continue Reading

William Perkins on Will Worship

William Perkins on Will Worship

One of the perennial habits of conservatism is that we perk up our virtual ears when the past weighs in on the present. Take a look at what Perkins said about Colossians 2:23. What was he guarding against? Thanks to R. Scott Clark over at the Heidelblog for posting this: The Heidelblog | William Perkins… Continue Reading

Bivocational Ministry

Bivocational Ministry

The face of pastoral ministry is changing, and will continue to change, I predict, along a trajectory. There are fewer marginal attenders to populate churches these days, especially as the rapidly secularizing culture turns more of a gimlet eye on real Christianity. Then there are some institutions are manufacturing “church planters” at unsustainable rates, and these… Continue Reading

Poor Prose is Poor Hymnody (and Theology)

Poor Prose is Poor Hymnody (and Theology)

I recently read a praiseworthy article linking poor prose to poor theology. Any time someone gets the connection between form and content it is grounds for rejoicing, but since I live in the world of books, I especially feel the author’s thesis. But his thesis holds true when considering hymn texts as well. As Roger Scruton points… Continue Reading

Two Churches, One Sermon

Two Churches, One Sermon

Timely observations, once again, from Jonathan Aigner. A church with two different worship services is two different churches. The two groups imagine God differently, which is not to say that the “traditional” group gets God right. If both of those worship services exist because of lusts, whether for the nostalgic or the contemporary, there is reason… Continue Reading

Preference Worship

Preference Worship

Jonathan Aigner touches on a point that I’ve seldom heard explored: When a church holds two services with different musical “styles,” the intention is to cater to various personal tastes in the congregation, but the inescapable reality is that they are also offering different theological meaning. Whether those meanings are right or wrong is perhaps… Continue Reading

Worshipers Against Pure Worship

Worshipers Against Pure Worship

Now when the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the exile were building a temple to the Lord God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ households, and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek your God; and we have been sacrificing… Continue Reading