A Visit to Winners Chapel
Jeff Straub I recently read an essay in which the author described the scene at a San Salvador Pentecostal church: “Within two minutes it is holy bedlam—high-energy guitar music, electronic-generated images on two big screens, girls waving flags, hands raised, people dancing in the aisles, crying and singing so loud the windows vibrate.” Such a description could apply to hundreds of Pentecostal churches across the world. In July, I had the privilege [more]
Augustine on that which deserves the name “love”
Too often, contemporary Christianity sees all emotions or affections as essentially equal. For this reason, many conclude as long as some kind of religious emotion is evoked, some good has been done. Augustine did not believe that all loves were equal. In fact, he distinguished between different kinds of genuine spiritual love. This comes out in many different places in his writings. Consider, for example, this wonderful passage from The Trinity: It follows that in [more]
Fittingness
Last week I argued that if we believe in verbal-plenary inspiration, then the meaning of the aesthetic forms we employ in our contemporary worship must accurately correspond to the meaning Scripture's aesthetic forms had in their original context. What we need to concern ourselves with is what both Kevin Vanhoozer and Nicholas Wolterstorff call “fittingness.” ((Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine, 108ff; Nicholas Wolterstorff, Art in Action: Towards a Christian Aesthetic (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1987).)) Wolterstorff defines fittingness as “similarity across modalities.” ((Wolterstorff, Art in Action, 99.)) Modalities are different forms of expression—literature, music, rhetoric, architecture, drama, visual arts, etc. [more]
A Worship Catechism (7)
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 seeking His Person (Prov 2:1-5), as our ultimate delight and dependence. 41. What are the responses of a new nature to illumination? Beholding the glory of God leads to blessing and beautifying God in admiring adoration (Ex 33:13-18; Ps 27:4) and desiring a deeper union [more]
Justification and the Gospel
First Things, founded in 1990 by the late Richard John Neuhaus, has become the flagship [more]
Aesthetic Correspondence
In this series of essays, I have argued that Scripture presents God's truth to us, [more]
A Worship Catechism (6)
33. What is meant by communing with God? Communing with God is beholding of the [more]