Author Archives: Scott Aniol

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 44: Jesus’s Death and Resurrection

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 44: Jesus’s Death and Resurrection

This entry is part 44 of 50 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 44: Jesus’s Death and Resurrection Weekly memory verse: Isaiah 53:5 – “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Weekly hymn: “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted” (free download) Weekly catechism: What is the Lord’s… Continue Reading

Functional Diversity in the Church

Functional Diversity in the Church

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Diversity and Unity in the Body of Christ You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

There is a lot of discussion about diversity and identity today, both in the wider culture and among Christians. Unfortunately, such discussions often are not informed by Scripture, even among Christians. Secularist theories and ideologies plague discourse about these subject in ways many Christians don’t even recognize. Any discussion of diversity and identity, however, must… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 43: Holy Week

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 43: Holy Week

This entry is part 43 of 50 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 43: Holy Week Weekly memory verse: John 11:25 – “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.’” Weekly hymn: “My Song Is Love Unknown” (free download) Weekly catechism: What is the duty of those who are rightly baptized? It is… Continue Reading

The New Song

The New Song

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In Psalm 96, David emphasized, through various poetic devices, the necessity of singing confidently about the Lord’s reign, even though it is not yet a present reality. He wants us to sing this way because in so doing, it shapes our hearts. A recognition and acknowledgment of the realities of Christ’s future reign causes us… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 42: Parables of the Kingdom

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 42: Parables of the Kingdom

This entry is part 42 of 50 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 42: Parables of the Kingdom Weekly memory verse: Luke 19:10 – “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Weekly hymn: “Come, Christians, Join to Sing” (free download) Weekly catechism: What is baptism? Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, instituted by Jesus Christ, to be a sign… Continue Reading

Parallelism in Psalm 96

Parallelism in Psalm 96

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week we looked at several aspects of how various poetic devices were used in Psalm 96 to shape the content and form the singer and listener. Many of these poetic devices are still used in poetry and hymnody today. The most common poetic device in Hebrew poetry is parallelism, which has been captured in… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 41: The Light of the World

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 41: The Light of the World

This entry is part 41 of 50 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 41: The Light of the World Weekly memory verse: 2 Corinthians 4:6 – “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. “ Weekly hymn: “O Splendor of God’s Glory… Continue Reading

How Poetry Forms Us

How Poetry Forms Us

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Singing both helps us express right affections to God in response to God’s character and works, and it also helps to form those affections when we make present through the art realities that are past, present, and future. But our affections are also formed by the art itself; in the case of Psalm 96, the… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 40: True Repentance and Faith in Christ

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 40: True Repentance and Faith in Christ

This entry is part 40 of 50 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 40: True Repentance and Faith in Christ Weekly memory verse: John 6:40 – “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Weekly hymn: “I Sought the Lord” (free download)… Continue Reading

How Singing Forms Us

How Singing Forms Us

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We have seen thus far that good hymns help us to express the affections of our hearts in response to God’s character and works, which brings him great glory he deserves, and that this kind of expression in public is a great witness to the unbelieving world. But there is a second reason that we… Continue Reading

Poetry and Scripture: Finding Truth Through Beauty

Poetry and Scripture: Finding Truth Through Beauty

A great explanation of the power of poetry, especially in communicating truth in ways that cannot be any other way: Poetry communicates primarily through images and association contrived by words or sounds. A well-written poem can often express the wrongness of abortion or the cruelty of slavery more powerfully and more persuasively than an articulate… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 39: Jesus Heals and Forgives

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 39: Jesus Heals and Forgives

This entry is part 39 of 50 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 39: Jesus Heals and Forgives Weekly memory verse: 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 – “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and… Continue Reading

Is there a specific will of God we’re supposed to discern?

Is there a specific will of God we’re supposed to discern?

Mark Snoeberger provides a helpful friendly counterpoint to Kevin Bauder’s series on knowing the will of God. He concludes: I conclude that the traditional view, while neither monolithic nor equally practiced, rests on a foundation of mysticism and a breach of the creator/creature distinction, both ideas which lead to additional theological/practical errors detailed here in this… Continue Reading

Singing as a Response and Witness

Singing as a Response and Witness

This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Psalm 96 is a call to sing, and it gives us clear explanation of why we are supposed to sing. As we have already seen, the very structure of the psalm gives both calls to sing and reasons for that singing. So what, then, are the reasons David gives for singing to the Lord? Worthiness… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 38: Jesus’s Ministry in Galilee

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 38: Jesus’s Ministry in Galilee

This entry is part 38 of 50 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 38: Jesus’s Ministry in Galilee Weekly memory verse: Colossians 1:18 – “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” Weekly hymn: “When Morning Gilds the Skies” (free download) Weekly catechism: What is the church? The church… Continue Reading

Apparently Orthodox Jews are giving in to pragamatism, too

Apparently Orthodox Jews are giving in to pragamatism, too

According to the New York Times, Rabbis Perry and Leah Berkowitz, a brother-and-sister pair who run “an unconventional congregation on the Upper East Side of Manhattan,” held nontraditional services on Rosh Hashana. The services contained a gospel choir and conga lines, and “touched on social and political themes including racism, anti-Semitism, Black Lives Matter, climate change, and homophobia.” The… Continue Reading

Give Attention to the Public Reading of Scripture

Give Attention to the Public Reading of Scripture

Reading the Bible as we gather for worship is foundational to our ongoing personal and congregational reformation. The public reading of Scripture in worship is a reminder that we are part of the living body of Christ, which is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Tim 3:15). This was important to the Apostle… Continue Reading

Singing: Response to Who God Is and What He Has Done

Singing: Response to Who God Is and What He Has Done

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We are studying Psalm 96 in an attempt to answer the question, Why sing? Last week we saw that the unique power of singing is that it helps us to express affections of the heart in ways that would not be possible if we didn’t have song. Song gives us a language for the expression… Continue Reading

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 37: Jesus’s Early Ministry

Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 37: Jesus’s Early Ministry

This entry is part 37 of 50 in the series Bible Narratives Devotional You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Week 37: Jesus’s Early Ministry Weekly memory verse: John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Weekly hymn: “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” (free download) Weekly catechism: What is prayer? Prayer is an offering up of… Continue Reading