Tag Archives: affection

Why I believe gratitude is the most important worship affection

Why I believe gratitude is the most important worship affection

The affections of our hearts are central to true worship. Yet while praise, joy, contrition, and love are all important affections for worship, I believe gratitude is the most important worship affection. Here’s why: All true spiritual affections of worship have an object, and their object is always God. This is why true spiritual affections are… Continue Reading

Are emotions universal?

Are emotions universal?

This is a fascinating article in many ways. It traces the scientific debate concerning what, exactly, emotions are and whether they are universal or not. This issue has a good deal of relevance for discussions of the arts, for art, especially music, communicates at least on one level through mimicking human emotional expression. Here are… Continue Reading

Thankfulness as a central worship affection

Thankfulness as a central worship affection

I have a theory I’d like to explore more at a later time, but I thought I’d offer some thoughts about it today considering the season. My theory is that the affection most directly connected to worship is thankfulness. Here are some reasons behind this theory: I have an untested observation that the idea of… Continue Reading

What “moves” you in worship?

What “moves” you in worship?

Which of the following scenario is a more meaningful worship experience? The 100 member choir and 50 piece orchestra combine in a rousing performance of Bach’s Cantata No. 182, a piece composed for Palm Sunday. The stage is full with a professional band, complete with drums, electric guitars, and a praise team. As the music… Continue Reading

The power of worship to sanctify the imagination

The power of worship to sanctify the imagination

I’m going to say more soon about James K. A. Smith’s book, Imagining the Kingdom–I don’t agree with all of how he frames the conversation, but his general thesis and applications are outstanding–but here’s a bit just to whet your appetite: Christian liturgical practices and spiritual disciplines are not just means of personal renewal; they remake… Continue Reading

“If people want ‘play’ and ‘merriment’ in liturgy, it can only be because they’ve lost Joy.”

“If people want ‘play’ and ‘merriment’ in liturgy, it can only be because they’ve lost Joy.”

This piece is packed full of great tidbits. Here are some of them: Why are traditional liturgies traditionally performed (I mean normal and usual) considered unfit for children?  We don’t pave children’s streets, build children’s houses and construct children’s airplanes?  They seem to do just fine.  Children always aspire to be adults.  They like to approach… Continue Reading

Letter to a Concerned Saint

Letter to a Concerned Saint

Dear saint, You have been reading about orthopathy and ordinate affection, and perhaps it all sounds rather perplexing and intimidating. The controversy around these matters is unnerving and unsettling, and you wish it would go away.  It has caused you some real anxiety. You are close to real distress, or worse, to dismissing the whole… Continue Reading

The problem with defining worship in any way by physical response

I’ve been teaching recently about the differences between Jonathan Edwards and Charles Finney. In most ways, these men, their philosophies, theologies, and practices are polar opposites. But if you study what these men wrote, you can’t  help but notice what appear to be similarities in what they said. And the deeper you look, the more… Continue Reading

Resources on Affections vs. Passions

Resources on Affections vs. Passions

After teaching recently on the distinction between affections and passions, a student asked for more resources to read on the subject, preferably short articles available online. Of course, my book deals with this in several places, such as pp 32-34, Chapter 4, and Chapter 14. Here are some other articles you may find helpful: Conservative… Continue Reading

Worship euphoria?

Worship euphoria?

Matt Costella notes here a recent study that finds megachurch worship to create similar physiological responses to that of drug use: The University of Washington just released a fascinating study which concludes that megachurches provide the same biological “high” and euphoria as that produced by sporting events and concerts. The only difference? Those who get “high” from the emotional… Continue Reading

Music is for people, not God

Music is for people, not God

I have heard many times from people who have the noble objective of recovering a God-centeredness in worship that our music is not for people–it’s for God. Now, I understand and applaud the sentiment behind a statement like this. If by this statement they mean that God should be the center and focus of our worship, then… Continue Reading

Transmitting Imagination to our Children

Transmitting Imagination to our Children

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Preserving the Truth in our Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I have suggested in this series that in order to preserve the truth in our worship, we must be concerned about how we are shaping the imagination in the presentation of biblical truth. This is no more important than with our children. It is my fear that most Christians do not recognize that before a child… Continue Reading

Worship Wars and Warriors

Worship Wars and Warriors

Editor’s note: the following essay appears as the foreword to Scott Aniol’s book, Worship in Song: a Biblical Approach to Music and Worship. This highlights some of the perspe ctive from which Kevin Bauder will be teaching his upcoming tuition-free class: “Knowing and Loving God.” Worship wars. It’s a new phrase, but it expresses a… Continue Reading

Finding common ground in the missions debate

Finding common ground in the missions debate

This entry is part 5 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Here’s the reality: those of us blogging here fully realize that our positions are not popular. Not popular, I suppose, greatly underestimates the matter: for many Christians today, our positions are not even fathomable—it is impossible for them to believe that anyone could hold a position as outlandish, and even as offensive, as ours. And… Continue Reading

Conservative Christians will be committed to worship forms that have been nurtured within the community of faith

Conservative Christians will be committed to worship forms that have been nurtured within the community of faith

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Defining Conservatism You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In order to conserve transcendent ideas about God, conservatives are committed to worship regulated by God’s Word, and they are also committed to discerning between true religious affections and mere physical appetites in worship. Such discernment is difficult, however, because all of us are products of our culture. If a distinction between religious affections and… Continue Reading