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Conclusion to By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture

By the Waters of Babylon Cover 2God has a mission, and that mission is to create a people who will draw near to communion with him by faith through the means that he has provided in the sacrificial atonement of his Son. As part of that mission, God has tasked the New Testament Church to help make disciple-worshipers through the proclamation of the gospel and teaching of his commandments. Corporate worship helps accomplish this mission, not by attracting unbelievers through “relevant” services or even through “contextualizing” the gospel message in cultural forms that are most appealing to unbelievers. Rather, corporate worship accomplishes the mission of God by being what it is—worship; the most missional worship is that which acts out the gospel and communicates God’s truth using forms that are regulated by the authority of the Word of God.

If churches would return to this kind of corporate worship, they might see more examples of what Paul hoped for the Corinthian church when an unbeliever witnessed their worship:

He is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. (1 Cor 14:24–25)

Taken from By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture (Kregel, 2015).

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Cutlure, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and three children.

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