Category Archives: Articles on Worship

When are the Twelve Days of Christmas?

When are the Twelve Days of Christmas?

You can’t escape them. There are 12 Days of Christmas contests on the radio, 12 Days of Christmas sales at the mall, 12 Days of Christmas charity drives, and, of course, that very long song. Most people (in America, at least) seem to assume that these infamous twelve days describe those leading up to Christmas Day,… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (9)

A Worship Catechism (9)

This entry is part 9 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

52. What is meant by consecration? Consecration is dedicating something to the holy glory of God. 53. What are we to consecrate to God? Whatever cannot be loved for God’s sake should not be loved at all; whatever can be loved for God’s sake should be consecrated to Him (Phil 4:8). 54. How are we… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (8)

A Worship Catechism (8)

This entry is part 8 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

46. What is meant by confession? Confession is the agreement of the mind and heart with God’s conviction (1 John 1:9). The mind agrees with the sinfulness of the sin, and accepts the guilt of it (Ps 51:3-4). The heart agrees it has loved what God hates and hated what God loves, and sorrowfully revolts… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (7)

A Worship Catechism (7)

This entry is part 7 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

39. What is meant by imagination? Imagination is that faculty which interprets and construes reality, and enables us to understand both what is seen and unseen. 40. How are we to behold God in His revealed and reflected presence? We are to gaze persistently (Lk 11:5-13, 18:1-8) and deliberately upon His Word and works, diligently… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (6)

A Worship Catechism (6)

This entry is part 6 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

33. What is meant by communing with God? Communing with God is beholding of the glory of the Triune God, directly and indirectly, in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:18-4:4) as the Holy Spirit illuminates our imagination with truth, resulting in a desire to bless and magnify that glory, and become more like… 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 Worship Catechism (5)

A Worship Catechism (5)

This entry is part 5 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

29. What has the Father done to enable us to abide in God’s presence? The Father lovingly chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4-6; 1 Pet 1:2), and so will never condemn us (Ro 8:34) or forsake us (Heb 13:5; Jo 10:27-29), but has adopted us into His family (Eph… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (4)

A Worship Catechism (4)

This entry is part 4 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

23. How does God accomplish this love in us? God sheds His love abroad in our hearts by work of grace: changing our natures to love His glory, changing our exposure to His glory in His presence, and by changing those nurturing influences in our lives that will shape our love for Him. (Deut 30:6,… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (3)

A Worship Catechism (3)

This entry is part 3 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

15. How does the Father magnify God’s beauty? The Father magnifies the glory of God as Beholder, by delighting in it and declaring its uniqueness to all (Is 42:1, Mt 3:17, 17:5). 16. How does the Son magnify God’s beauty? The Son magnifies the glory of God as Beauty, by expressing it and displaying its… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (2)

A Worship Catechism (2)

This entry is part 2 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

8. Can we love anything or anyone besides God? Ultimate love for God demands that we love all that God loves, for His sake (Matthew 10:37). 9. How can we love people or things for God’s sake? First, we can love what reflect and reveals the Creator (James 3:9, Ps 19:1, Jas 1:17). Second, we can… Continue Reading

A Worship Catechism (1)

A Worship Catechism (1)

This entry is part 1 of 15 in the series A Worship Catechism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

1. What is the great priority and purpose of man? Man’s great priority and purpose is to love God with his entire being: heart, soul, mind and strength (Mk 12:29-30). 2. Why is this man’s great priority and purpose? Loving with the entire being is worship: expressing the worth and value due to God (Ps… Continue Reading

Afraid of Emotion in Worship?

Afraid of Emotion in Worship?

Roger Olson asks, “Why are we afraid of emotion in worship?” The short answer is that we–as in we at Religious Affections Ministries–aren’t. Not in the least. In fact, we are convinced that emotion is absolutely necessary to worship. If you’re not emotionally engaged, you’re not worshiping. Emotion in worship is important, so important that… Continue Reading

Receive a MA or PhD in Worship Studies without Relocating

Receive a MA or PhD in Worship Studies without Relocating

For the past five years I have had the privilege of teaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. It has been a joy to teach courses like History and Theology of Worship, Philosophy of Ministry, Congregational Song, Aesthetics, Spiritual Formation, Culture, and Biblical Foundations of Worship alongside a world-class faculty that are… Continue Reading

Why Christians Should Care About Meaning in Art

Why Christians Should Care About Meaning in Art

Christians claim to be concerned with meaning. They debate over the meaning of texts of Scripture, and urge particular hermeneutics, so as to arrive at the correct meaning of Scripture. Many claim to be concerned with the meaning of cultural trends, explaining their ethical significance. Some are fascinated with current events, and are hungry to… Continue Reading

Maintaining appropriate unity and necessary disunity through worship

Maintaining appropriate unity and necessary disunity through worship

This entry is part of 8 in the series Worship and Doctrinal Distinctives You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Over the past several weeks, I have been demonstrating how the theology and practice of worship has historically divided Christians into various denominations, provided the means for appropriate unity across denomination lines, and more recently blurred important doctrinal distinctions. What I have shown is that worship theology and practice has always been central to denominational… Continue Reading

Lessons from a Worship War for a People in Exile

Lessons from a Worship War for a People in Exile

Here is a sermon I preached yesterday at our church that’s relevant to matters we discuss often here. Read 1 Kings 18:1-40 The Rise and Fall of the Hebrew Empire This account of Elijah and the Prophets of Baal is one of the most well-known and colorful narratives in the whole of the Old Testament.… Continue Reading

Blurring doctrinal distinctives with Church Growth

Blurring doctrinal distinctives with Church Growth

Last week I discussed how the Praise and Worship movement has blurred important doctrinal distinctives between churches and denominations by making musical style the predominant issue for church identity and for choosing a church. The church growth movement built off this tendency to define a church’s identity by musical style and recognized it as a… Continue Reading

Tozer’s Third Concern – Worship and Entertainment

Tozer’s Third Concern – Worship and Entertainment

Perhaps Tozer used more ink on the topic of worship than on any other. As Tozer watched the heritage of Christianity being exchanged for a religion that sought credibility in its intellectualism and popularity through its pragmatism, he saw the ultimate casualty was Christian worship. For as genuine illumination of the Scriptures dissipates, and as… Continue Reading

Blurring doctrinal distinctives with Praise and Worship

Blurring doctrinal distinctives with Praise and Worship

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Worship and Doctrinal Distinctives You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Over the past several weeks I have been showing that, while differences over worship theology and practice have been one of the most significant doctrinal dividers, traditional psalmody, hymnody, and liturgy provided a means by which distinct denominations were able to enjoy an appropriate unity while at the same time maintaining necessary theological and practical boundaries.… Continue Reading