Author Archives: Michael Riley

A Sound Church: Expositional Preaching

A Sound Church: Expositional Preaching

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series A Sound Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series”A Sound Church”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.(The articles in this series were originally written for publication in the local newspaper of the town in which I pastor.) In the previous weeks’ essays on… Continue Reading

A Sound Church: The Regulative Principle

A Sound Church: The Regulative Principle

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series A Sound Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series”A Sound Church”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.(The articles in this series were originally written for publication in the local newspaper of the town in which I pastor.) Last week, I proposed that we… Continue Reading

A Sound Church: Submitted to Scripture

A Sound Church: Submitted to Scripture

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series A Sound Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series”A Sound Church”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.(The articles in this series were originally written for publication in the local newspaper of the town in which I pastor.) What do you look for in… Continue Reading

Cultural skepticism, the opposite of worldliness

Cultural skepticism, the opposite of worldliness

Conservatism will have little attraction for those who fail to be skeptical of their own culture. The skepticism of which I speak must run deep; there is a sort of piecemeal skepticism that is insufficient for the task. A pack of these two-bit skeptics is currently busy occupying various cities. It is comparatively unusual for… Continue Reading

On being elitist

On being elitist

Those who advocate conservatism in worship become accustomed to accusations of elitism. This comparison is employed for several reasons. We are elitists, it is alleged, because we advocate styles of worship that are associated with Western high culture: the music we would use in worship is more commonly played at symphony hall than anywhere else,… Continue Reading

The conservatism of the normative principle

The conservatism of the normative principle

At this year’s Conference on Conservative Christianity (which concluded Tuesday), Steve Thomas of Huron Baptist Church made a point in one of his sessions that I found remarkably insightful. Most of those attending the conference would either embrace the regulative principle of worship outright, or would advocate something very much like the regulative principle. The… Continue Reading

An enduring moral order

An enduring moral order

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Conservatism Beyond Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series”Conservatism Beyond Music”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. This is the foundational principle of conservatism; as a Christian conservative, I would modify it thus: there… Continue Reading

Conservatism Beyond Music: Introduction

Conservatism Beyond Music: Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Conservatism Beyond Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series”Conservatism Beyond Music”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.The central concern of this blog dictates that discussions of conservatism almost inevitably reduce to discussions of musical conservatism. This is not, in itself, a problem; we… Continue Reading

Corrupt affections are the soil of heresy

Corrupt affections are the soil of heresy

Christian discipleship tends to be taught as a linear process: we fill the head with right doctrine, and people should learn to live lives consistent with that doctrine, and then they’ll be happy. In other words, the movement is from doctrine to ethics to affections, or (to say it yet another way) from the mind… Continue Reading

Knowing and Loving God

Knowing and Loving God

The free course being offered this June at Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis should be of particular interest to readers of this blog. It is true that space in the course is limited, and that enrollment priority will be given to those who want to take the course for credit. Because of this, we’re… Continue Reading

Missions and the antithesis

Missions and the antithesis

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series”Missions and Music”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.Last week, I spoke at the Preserving the Truth Conference in Troy, MI. Of the three points that I made in my presentation (notes, audio), one is… Continue Reading

Finding common ground in the missions debate

Finding common ground in the missions debate

This entry is part 5 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part 5 of 16 in the series”Missions and Music”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.Here’s the reality: those of us blogging here fully realize that our positions are not popular. Not popular, I suppose, greatly underestimates the matter: for many Christians… Continue Reading

Book Recommendation: Indivisible by Four

This will be a quick post, as I’m in the midst of significant transition. This past week, on a flight, I had the opportunity to read Arnold Steinhardt’s Indivisible by Four: A String Quartet in Pursuit of Harmony. Steinhardt spent over three decades as first violin for the Guarneri String Quartet. I saw the book… Continue Reading

Culture and Truth

Culture and Truth

The culture of any group of people has a profound influence on the sort of propositions that they are likely to find believable. Here, I’m using culture in a very broad sense, referring to nearly all of the man-made artifacts of one’s environment: government, art, family life, media (not content, but access to various media… Continue Reading

Sola Scriptura and Form: What I’m Not Saying

This entry is part of 4 in the series Sola Scriptura and Form You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part of 4 in the series”Sola Scriptura and Form”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.The purposes and positions of Religious Affections (the ministry and blog, not [necessarily] the book) are not obscure; this granted, I expect that our readers are primed… Continue Reading

Sola Scriptura and Form: Biblical Form

Sola Scriptura and Form: Biblical Form

This entry is part of 4 in the series Sola Scriptura and Form You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part of 4 in the series”Sola Scriptura and Form”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.In this discussion, I am using the term form, quite broadly, to denote those features of the biblical text that express (in additional to their propositional content)… Continue Reading

Sola Scriptura and Form: Theology as a Problem

Sola Scriptura and Form: Theology as a Problem

This entry is part of 4 in the series Sola Scriptura and Form You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part of 4 in the series”Sola Scriptura and Form”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.In the first post of this series, I offered this thesis: “because the Bible is itself expressed in certain forms, and because the Bible is our final… Continue Reading

Sola Scriptura and Form: Introduction

Sola Scriptura and Form: Introduction

This entry is part of 4 in the series Sola Scriptura and Form You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part of 4 in the series”Sola Scriptura and Form”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.Dr. Matt Olson, president of Northland International University, opened a recent sermon on music thus: “What about the music? You know, it’s interesting, as we dive into… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 7

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 7

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part of 7 in the series”A Theology of Conservatism”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.If God does indeed imbue creation with his own value judgments, we are obligated to order our loves in analogy to his. If what I’m arguing is… Continue Reading

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 6

A Theological Basis of Conservatism, Part 6

This entry is part of 7 in the series A Theology of Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part of 7 in the series”A Theology of Conservatism”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.In this series, we are establishing a theological foundation for conservatism, specifically the objective nature of aesthetic judgments. See part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4… Continue Reading