Category Archives: Articles on Worship

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 5 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

Example Video of a Gospel-Shaped Service

Example Video of a Gospel-Shaped Service

I regularly teach and write about how to plan and lead worship services whose structural narrative express the gospel. For example, in the following article, I explain how I plan such a service, including a video that walks through the process: “How I order corporate worship“ When I teach or write on this subject, I… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 4: Christ’s Authority 2

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 4: Christ’s Authority 2

This entry is part 4 of 5 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.

The first post in this series introduced Scripture-Regulated Worship. The second post considered some important arguments for Scripture-Regulated Worship. The third post showed the ways the New Testament explains the authority of Christ in churches. To summarize my argument in that third installment, Jesus Christ sent delegates (apostles) to teach his churches his will for them as churches. This… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 3: Christ’s Authority 1

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 3: Christ’s Authority 1

This entry is part 3 of 5 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.

The first post in this series introduced Scripture Regulated Worship. The second post considered some of the most important arguments for Scripture-Regulated Worship. The Argument from Christ’s Authority The Regulative Principle cannot be understood as a mere novel approach to worship, or even as the preferred method of worship among of Reformed theologians. Scripture regulated worship is… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 2: Arguments for RPW

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 2: Arguments for RPW

This entry is part 2 of 5 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.

In the first post, I introduced Scripture Regulated Worship and the topic of this series. In this post, I consider some of the most important arguments for Scripture-Regulated Worship. Wise Christians have advanced many reasons to regulate Christian worship according to Scripture. The intent here is not to list all such arguments or even interact… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 1: Introduction

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 1: Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 5 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.

Note: This is the first in a series of posts on the Regulative Principle. This offers documentation for and expands upon my presentation to the 2018 Knowing, Loving, Ministering Conservative Christianity Conference. Two streams concerning worship diverged from the headwaters of the Protestant Reformation. For Luther, a church may worship with any element not forbidden in… Continue Reading

Some Thoughts on Physical Expression in Corporate Worship

Some Thoughts on Physical Expression in Corporate Worship

I recently received an email asking for my opinion on whether worship should be only reverent, or whether celebration and joy—especially expressed through physical expression and even dance—were appropriate for corporate worship. Here is my response: A couple thoughts. One, I would actually agree that joy and even celebration should be part of corporate worship (although not… Continue Reading

Holy Week Service

Holy Week Service

Each year in our church, we have a Holy Week service that has become one of our most anticipated services. It is a simple service of Scripture, hymns, and Communion, following a similar structure to a Lessons and Carols Christmas service, but focusing on the events leading up to and including the Cross. Over the… Continue Reading

Two Exams, and Two Questions

Two Exams, and Two Questions

I present my children with two written tests. They open the envelope of the first, and see the heading, “Dad Orthodoxy”. A series of questions about me follows, which they find delightfully easy. “What is your father’s first name?” “What color are your father’s eyes?” “What is your father’s favorite meal?” “Where did your father… Continue Reading

Hope in Psalm 130

Hope in Psalm 130

This entry is part 8 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In our study of Psalm 130, we have seen that the psalmist uses various poetic devices like metaphor and repetition to create a picture of what true repentance should feel like–desperate need for forgiveness from sin. This is the primary function of stanza 1 (vss. 1-2) and 3 (vss.5-6) of this song of repentance. But… Continue Reading

Repetition in Psalm 130

Repetition in Psalm 130

This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We have seen that in verse 1 and 2 of Psalm 130, the author is creating a poetic experience of desperation that he wants us to enter as we consider our sin. He is not just telling us that we should feel desperate about our sin, he shows us artistically through the use of metaphor.… Continue Reading

Metaphors in Psalm 130

Metaphors in Psalm 130

This entry is part 6 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I pointed out that since Psalm 130 is a song, we cannot treat it like a Pauline epistle. We need to explore the poetic elements of the psalm to let it do for us what the original author(s) intended for it to communicate. First, songs often make use of artistic metaphors to create… Continue Reading

Psalm 130 – A Song!

Psalm 130 – A Song!

This entry is part 5 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

It our discussion of Psalm 130, we have seen that it is a song of repentance, it is a song of corporate worship, and it is a gospel song. But notice the common word in each of these descriptions—this is a song! And because this is a poem that is meant to be sung, we… Continue Reading

Psalm 130 – A Gospel Song

Psalm 130 – A Gospel Song

This entry is part 4 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We have been looking at the message of Psalm 130 and have noticed that it is a penitential psalm and a song of corporate worship. The final stanza (verses 7-8) in particular reveal its congregational focus, proclaiming that God will redeem all of his people from their iniquities. You see, this penitential psalm is not… Continue Reading

Thanksgiving: The Primary Worship Response

Thanksgiving: The Primary Worship Response

In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln established an annual national holiday of Thanksgiving to be observed on the last Thursday in November. Most of us look forward to this holiday, a day on which we eat good food, enjoy time with family and friends, and perhaps watch some football. And we will probably set aside at… Continue Reading

A Song of Corporate Worship

A Song of Corporate Worship

This entry is part 3 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week in our discussion of Psalm 130 for today, we saw that this is one of seven of the penitential psalms, psalms that express repentance from sin and a call to God for mercy. Yet this is not simply an expression of individual repentance; this psalm is meant to be used in the context… Continue Reading

A Song of Penitence

A Song of Penitence

This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Psalm 130 is one of seven psalms that church tradition has labeled the “penitential psalms” (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143), another way of saying “songs of repentance.” This penitential psalm includes all of the necessary elements of heartfelt confession to the Lord. The psalm has four stanzas, each progressively expressing true repentance. In… Continue Reading

Should We Sing Repentance?

Should We Sing Repentance?

This entry is part 1 of 13 in the series Out of the Depths You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

First John 1:9 commands us as Christians to regularly confess our sins to God as part of our progressive sanctification: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Here is a simple, clear statement of our need for repentance. We should… Continue Reading

The People’s Work: A Reformation Recovery

The People’s Work: A Reformation Recovery

This year we celebrate the 500 year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a theological movement that restored many biblical doctrines and emphases that had been lost or confused during the Middle Ages. Men like John Huss, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Bucer, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer, and others recovered doctrines like justification by faith alone… Continue Reading

Drawing Near to God as the Essence of Worship

Drawing Near to God as the Essence of Worship

In order to grasp the essence of Christian worship, we must start in the beginning. Creation provides the foundation for understanding not only the nature of God and mankind but also the substance of their relationship in worship. God, the sovereign Initiator, publicly revealed himself through what he made. The creation itself displays his nature… Continue Reading