Author Archives: Scott Aniol

Review Article: You Are What you Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit

Review Article: You Are What you Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit

For several years now James K. A. Smith has been helpfully speaking and writing on the subject of liturgical formation in education and worship. His first two volumes on this subject, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Baker, 2009) and Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works (Baker, 2013), have reintroduced several important biblical… Continue Reading

My Song is Love Unknown

My Song is Love Unknown

My song is love unknown, my Savior’s love to me; love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be. O who am I, that for my sake my Lord should take frail flesh and die? He came from his blest throne salvation to bestow; but men made strange, and none the longed-for Christ would… Continue Reading

A pastor’s attention to form

A pastor’s attention to form

. . . [A pastor] can seek to use those forms that convey the truths of Christianity without trivializing, sentimentalizing, or otherwise falsifying them. He can seek forms that are consonant with Christian worship and affections by understanding those forms. For the sake of space, let’s restrict our examples to form within poetry. As he… Continue Reading

How many songs can one church sing?

How many songs can one church sing?

Have you ever thought about how many songs your church can sing in a year? If you consult the average transdenominational hymnal published today, you might assume that churches can sing 700 or more hymns in a given year. The truth is that most churches–and I’m being very generous in my estimate here–can only sing… Continue Reading

Why we’re publishing a new hymnal

Why we’re publishing a new hymnal

If you didn’t know that we are publishing a new hymnal, well, we are. We’re first creating an online resource of free, downloadable hymns, but we’re working toward (and very close to completing!) a print hymnal as well. Yesterday, Tim Challies blogged about “What We Lost When We Lost Our Hymnals.” Of course, just with… Continue Reading

Reasons to be a Cessationist

Reasons to be a Cessationist

Jordan Standridge gives three good reasons to be a cessationist and specifically counters the idea that cessationism “puts God in a box.” Biblical history. When we consider who in the Bible could actually do miracles, it reveals a lot. The purpose of the sign gifts. When we actually closely consider why God gave these gives… Continue Reading

How to remain fad-proof

How to remain fad-proof

This is good advice: When you internalize an author whose vision or philosophy is both rich and out of fashion, you gain a certain immunity from the pressures of the contemporary. The modern world, with its fads, propaganda, and advertising, is forever trying to herd us into conformity. Great literature can help us remain fad-proof.… Continue Reading

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come, thou Fount of ev’ry blessing, Tune my heart to sing thy grace; Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above; Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of God’s unchanging love. Here I raise my Ebenezer; Hither by thy help… Continue Reading

Co-opted

Co-opted

Too many of our churches function as secular entertainment centers with religious morals slapped on top, when they should be functioning as the living, breathing Body of Christ. Too many churches have succumbed to modernity, rejecting the wisdom of past ages, treating worship as a consumer activity, and allowing parishioners to function as unaccountable, atomized members.… Continue Reading

Wanted: Hymn Proofreaders

Wanted: Hymn Proofreaders

I am pleased to announce that we have now published 230 free, downloadable hymns on our online hymn collection, which means that we are within just a few months from being ready to publish our print hymnal! If you are curious, here is the final list of hymnal we intend to include in the print hymnal.… Continue Reading

The Benedict Option: The Christian Option

The Benedict Option: The Christian Option

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Rod Dreher’s much anticipated book, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, is how unremarkable his proposal really is. Yet it is a profoundly necessary correction for an American Christianity that has lost its biblical moorings and become just as secular as the culture around… Continue Reading

Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken

Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken

Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God; He whose word cannot be broken Formed thee for his own abode: On the Rock of Ages founded, What can shake thy sure repose? With salvation’s walls surrounded, Thou may’st smile at all thy foes. See, the streams of living waters, Springing from eternal… Continue Reading

You have come to Mount Zion

You have come to Mount Zion

In Hebrews 12:18, Mount Sinai stands as a representative for worship under the Law, and thus the location of this worship is first the tabernacle and later the temple. In contrast, worship for a Christian takes place on “Mount Zion, even the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (12:22). These synonymous terms refer to the… Continue Reading

More on truth in hymnody

More on truth in hymnody

I mentioned yesterday a response I gave to a post about “And Can It Be” as the Detroit Seminary blog, and the conversation over there continues. Here is Tim’s reply to my comment: Scott, Thanks for the substantive feedback. I know you have thought about this topic extensively, so I would like to make sure… Continue Reading

Poetic analysis of hymns

Poetic analysis of hymns

Tim Miller has an interesting post over at the Detroit Seminary blog analyzing the text of Wesley’s “And Can it Be.” There is some good food for thought there, and I certainly appreciate the emphasis on making sure our hymns are theologically accurate, but I do think that we often miss the fact that hymns… Continue Reading

On the meaning of “culture

On the meaning of “culture

Mahoney’s assessment of how the word “culture” has evolved to describe almost anything in human civilization is correct; I trace this evolution in By the Waters of Babylon. My solution to this evolved redefinition was to connect the current definition with the New Testament, and then to specify the term “high culture” for what “culture” used… Continue Reading

Looking through Psalm 137, Stanza 3: Worship that Trusts in God

Looking through Psalm 137, Stanza 3: Worship that Trusts in God

This entry is part of 9 in the series God's People in Exile You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This entry is part of 9 in the series”God’s People in Exile”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of Contents in the right sidebar.It is time to complete our discussion of Psalm 137 by looking through stanza 3, verses 7–9: Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem, how… Continue Reading