Author Archives: Scott Aniol

Do This in Remembrance of Me

Do This in Remembrance of Me

The observance of the “Last Supper” by Jesus and his disciple appears in all four gospels, though John does not give details of the meal itself (Matt. 26:26–28; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:19, 20). The particular elements of the meal mentioned in the gospel records (and repeated later in 1 Corinthians) each become significant for the… Continue Reading

Religion = Worldview + Theology

Religion = Worldview + Theology

This entry is part of 4 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Everyone has an implicit worldview—a fundamental orientation of the heart expressed in assumptions about reality, and most people have an explicit theology—conscious beliefs expressed in stated propositions. The combination of worldview and theology is what constitutes a religion. Expressed in this way, all people have a religion, whether they acknowledge it or not. Even atheists… Continue Reading

What is the Nature of Religion? Theology

What is the Nature of Religion? Theology

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Broadly speaking, theology is how we intentionally answer the questions James Sire provided (see last week’s post) that form the assumptions at the core of our worldview. What we believe about the nature of reality, the purpose and meaning of life, the basis of right and wrong, and most importantly God form our theology. Theology… Continue Reading

What is the Nature of Religion? Worldview

What is the Nature of Religion? Worldview

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Religion is composed of two parts, the first of which is worldview. A worldview consists of a set of assumptions a person holds about reality; it is a lens through which he understands and interprets everything around him. James Sire has provided a helpful and influential definition of worldview: A worldview is a commitment, a… Continue Reading

Worldview-Forming Worship

Worldview-Forming Worship

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Imagine a dense forest separating two cities. In order to engage in commerce between these cities, merchants must pass through the forest. For the earliest of these merchants, this was a very difficult task, wrought with many mistakes and casualties. Eventually, though, over time and with experience, the merchants discovered the safest, quickest route through… Continue Reading

Why We Should Study the Liturgical Story of the Christian Faith

Why We Should Study the Liturgical Story of the Christian Faith

Studying the liturgical history of the Christian faith paints a necessary picture of what Christians have truly believed throughout history, perhaps in some cases more so than studying their creeds. This history helps us obey God’s command given in Job 8:8–10: For inquire, please, of bygone ages, and consider what the fathers have searched out.… Continue Reading

Hymns Ancient and Modern for a New Generation

Hymns Ancient and Modern for a New Generation

In 1861 a hymnal was published in England that would set the standard for all hymnals to follow: Hymns Ancient and Modern. This significant hymnal was produced as a part of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England, a movement that wished to address both stagnant piety among more formal churches on the one hand,… Continue Reading

How Liturgy Tells the Story of the Christian Faith

How Liturgy Tells the Story of the Christian Faith

There are many valuable ways to study the history of the church; church historians often trace the development of creedal theology, recount the lives of key theologians and church leaders, or study significant events in the life of the church. Each of these is a valuable way to understand how we arrived where we are… Continue Reading

A Theology of the Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship

A Theology of the Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series The Holy Spirit's Work in Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I have spent a considerable amount of time over the past several weeks carefully surveying the Holy Spirit’s work throughout Scripture, and specifically in passages that describe his work in worship, to determine what should be our expectation regarding his ordinary work in worship. The common expectation today is that we should expect him to… Continue Reading

For Thus Says the Lord

For Thus Says the Lord

During the Hebrew captivity, prophets like Jeremiah provided instruction of critical cultural discernment. God permitted his people to evaluate the culture of their captors and participate in some aspects of that culture as long as they did not contradict his law. However, when it came to their worship, the Lord’s instructions were far more strict. The Hebrews were… Continue Reading

Ordering in Corporate Worship

Ordering in Corporate Worship

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series The Holy Spirit's Work in Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week, we saw that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for the purpose of building a “holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:21-22). This metaphor of the Spirit building believers into a temple for God narrows the focus of the Holy Spirit’s work specifically to corporate worship. The temple metaphor is not coincidental; the… Continue Reading

The Gospel Changes Culture

The Gospel Changes Culture

New Testament authors identify people groups (ethnicities, tribes, nations, etc.) as those of common ancestral heritage who share common culture flowing from common values. They do not think about “culture” as such; rather, they think about behavior, and they believe that the gospel changes behavior—it changes a person’s culture. Since culture is a component of… Continue Reading

Ordering in Salvation and Sanctification

Ordering in Salvation and Sanctification

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series The Holy Spirit's Work in Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The Holy Spirit’s characteristic work is not only an ordering of God’s historical-redemptive plan, but it also a moral ordering. This work begins with his acts of convicting sinners (John 16:8) and regenerating hearts (Titus 3:5), bring life and order to once dead and disordered lives. This re-ordering continues with his frequently mentioned work of… Continue Reading

New Book: Hymns of Passion and Resurrection

New Book: Hymns of Passion and Resurrection

I am pleased new announce a new collection of hymns of Christ’s passion and resurrection. This is simply all of the passion/resurrection hymns included in Hymns to the Living God, published in a format convenient for home gatherings, or even church services. You may purchase the print or Kindle editions here. . You have full permission… Continue Reading

Ordering as Characteristic of the Holy Spirit’s Work

Ordering as Characteristic of the Holy Spirit’s Work

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series The Holy Spirit's Work in Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Based on a thorough survey of how the Holy Spirit works throughout Scripture, I suggested last week that although he certainly sometimes works in extraordinary ways, these occur in Scripture at transitional stages in the outworking of God’s plan. Therefore, our expectation for how the Holy Spirit works should not be that he will do something… Continue Reading

Is the Holy Spirit’s Work Characteristically Extraordinary Experience?

Is the Holy Spirit’s Work Characteristically Extraordinary Experience?

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series The Holy Spirit's Work in Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I presented a brief survey of the Holy Spirit’s activity throughout Scripture, which helps to lay an important foundation for assessing his work in worship, especially what Christians should expect his ordinary work to be. In order to arrive at conclusions regarding that expectation, I will next consider broadly how to characterize the… Continue Reading

How Does Scripture Describe the Work of the Holy Spirit?

How Does Scripture Describe the Work of the Holy Spirit?

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series The Holy Spirit's Work in Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Ultimately, current expectations concerning the Holy Spirit’s work in worship must derive, not from experience, but from Scripture. In order to lay such a biblical foundation, I will next survey how the Bible broadly characterizes the Holy Spirit’s activity, and then narrow the focus to the church age and specifically corporate worship. Scripture contains roughly… Continue Reading