Category Archives: Articles on Worship

Beauty and Christianity’s Primary Endeavors

Beauty and Christianity’s Primary Endeavors

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Once we understand that beauty is close to glory in meaning, we will without any difficulty find beauty at the heart of many Christian endeavors. The most obvious is worship. Worship is the act of returning to God affections corresponding to His beauty. Psalm 29:1-2 captures this: “Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones,… Continue Reading

Beauty as Scripture’s Theme

Beauty as Scripture’s Theme

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The idea of beauty is present in the first chapters of the Bible, as God creates and then makes the evaluative judgement that it was “good”. God was not judging the morality of the world, but praising the the beauty of creation. The Bible opens with God creating a cosmos which was aesthetically pleasing to… Continue Reading

In Pursuit of a Doxology

In Pursuit of a Doxology

This entry is part of 5 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In 1962, A. W. Tozer warned that the evangelical church was missing a jewel. “Now, worship is the missing jewel in modern evangelicalism. We’re organized; we work; we have our agendas. We have almost everything, but there’s one thing that the churches, even the gospel churches, do not have: that is the ability to worship.… Continue Reading

Why We Let the Little Ones Come to the Service

Why We Let the Little Ones Come to the Service

I remember the Sunday driving home from church when Becky said, “Wow, I think I was able to listen to the whole sermon today.” Our kids had finally reached the age where they were able to sit still in our church’s service without needing attention. Now we’ve “started over” with two more children. There is… Continue Reading

Pentecostalism’s View of the Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship

Pentecostalism’s View of the Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship

This entry is part 6 of 8 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 noted that the most common expectation today of the Holy Spirit’s work in worship is that he will make God’s presence known in a tangible way, and I promised to discuss where this expectation arose. This expectation is certainly not new; theologians such as John Owen and Jonathan Edwards addressed the religious… Continue Reading

Holy Spirit, come flood this place and fill the atmosphere

Holy Spirit, come flood this place and fill the atmosphere

This entry is part 5 of 8 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.

Arguably, the default expectation of contemporary evangelical worshipers is that the Holy Spirit works in worship in such a way so as to create an extraordinary experience, well expressed in the popular worship song by Bryan and Katie Torwalt: Holy spirit, You are welcome here Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere Your glory,… Continue Reading

The Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship: Extraordinary Experience or Disciplined Formation?

The Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship: Extraordinary Experience or Disciplined Formation?

This entry is part 4 of 8 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.

“Our church’s worship is pretty formal, but I prefer Holy Spirit-led worship.” Such was a comment I overheard recently by a young evangelical describing his church’s worship service, illustrating a very common perception by many evangelicals today—if the Holy Spirit actively works in worship, the results will be something extraordinary, an experience “quenched” by too… 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

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

Spurgeon Uncut and Unpasted

Spurgeon Uncut and Unpasted

Reading Spurgeon is a sheer delight to the heart. At the same time, it is often faintly discouraging to the preacher. How could a preacher manage such eloquence? His sentences are positively dripping with imagery, his prose saturated with trope and metaphor. It seems impossible for such poetic gold to have flowed from a preacher… Continue Reading

The Many Meanings of “Reformed”

The Many Meanings of “Reformed”

I find it quite amusing these days to be classified by some as “Reformed”, when I’d barely heard the term for most of my Christian life. I grew up in Baptist circles that didn’t use the term “Reformed”. In fact, the first time I heard it used of my church was when a student attending… Continue Reading

Two Views on Christ’s Invitation

Two Views on Christ’s Invitation

Below are two works of Christian imagination. Both attempt to depict what it means for Christ to invite sinners to Himself, and how sinners should understand themselves. On closer examination, however, they are nearly opposite in meaning. We do not see the same Christ, the same Gospel and the same dilemma of the sinner in… Continue Reading

Why Does God Call Us to Sing?

Why Does God Call Us to Sing?

This entry is part 3 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 time in our study of Psalm 96, I made the point that structurally this psalm oscillates between calls to praise God through song followed by reciting reasons for praising God. Understanding this structure will help us to discern why God would have us sing this psalm, any psalm, or any song in worship for… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 8: Love for Christ through Scripture-Regulated Worship

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 8: Love for Christ through Scripture-Regulated Worship

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

With this post, I conclude my series on Scripture-regulated worship (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7). The Christian impulse to submit to Christ ought grounds our willing submission to the New Testament in all matters, including worship. If Christ is Lord, then we are obligated to obey him. The way we obey Christ in our worship is… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 7: Loving What Christ Loves

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 7: Loving What Christ Loves

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I am forming an argument for Scripture-regulated worship from two pillars: the authority of Christ and our love for him  (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6). If Christ is Lord, then we should obey him. But we should also obey Christ because we love him. The way Christ exercises authority in the church is through the apostles, and… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 6: Love for Christ and New Testament Authority

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 6: Love for Christ and New Testament Authority

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This is the sixth post in this series (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5). The whole of the first five parts could be summarized in the final paragraph of the last post: In sum, the Christian religion is subservient to Christ’s authority. Christ gave that authority to his apostles and prophets, and they sealed… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 5: Christ’s Authority 3

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 5: Christ’s Authority 3

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

My initial post in this series introduced the idea of worship regulated by Scripture alone (also known as the Regulative Principle of Worship). The second post considered important arguments for the Regulative Principle. The third introduced the argument for the Regulative Principle from Christ’s authority. This argument consists of several subpoints. First, I showed how the New Testament teaches that… Continue Reading