Tag Archives: emotion

As Real As I Feel

As Real As I Feel

This entry is part 21 of 24 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

An assumption of a generation intoxicated with authenticity is the notion that feelings don’t lie. Given their spontaneous and often uncontrollable nature, emotions are seen as the inevitable and unstoppable eruptions of the heart. Breaking through the surface layer of ‘masks’, ‘forms’, or some other supposed act of evading one’s inner truth, emotions represent pure,… Continue Reading

Evangelical Religious Romanticism

Evangelical Religious Romanticism

Bruce Davidson makes some good points here about the romanticism present in much of evangelical sentiment. I think his analysis could be strengthened if he employed the premodern distinction between “passions” and “affections” instead of relying on the nebulous term, “emotion,” but his points are well taken. He concludes, By elevating them and exempting them… 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

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

How corporate worship is and is not like a baseball game

How corporate worship is and is not like a baseball game

Yesterday I attended a baseball game with my family, and I found myself pondering again a comparison I’ve often heard made by preachers between corporate worship and sporting events. “Look at how excited and enthusiastic everyone is,” they observe. “If we can get that excited about sports, we should be even more enthusiastic about God… Continue Reading

Meaning in Music

Meaning in Music

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Back to Basics You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Meaning in music is a tricky thing. Most people think it’s tricky because music is so abstract and lacks specificity such that describing its meaning with words is nearly impossible. On the contrary, meaning in music is tricky for exactly the opposite reason. As Felix Mendelssohn once noted, “What music expresses its not too indefinite to… Continue Reading

We Become How We Worship

We Become How We Worship

This is very good: Much worship today aims primarily at stimulating and exciting our physical senses. If we can provide a colorful spectacle for the eyes, spectacular musical sounds for the ears, a pounding beat to impact the body and get the adrenaline running, then the emotions are stirred, and there’s a sense of elation and excitement.… Continue Reading

Congratulations to Ryan Martin

Congratulations to Ryan Martin

Ryan Martin, regular contributor to Religious Affections Ministries, has successfully defended his dissertation. His Ph.D. will be conferred officially on May 11, but (for what it’s worth) he can already claim to be Dr. Martin. As with most dissertations, Ryan’s title was long and convoluted: “‘A Soul Inflamed with High Exercises of Divine Love:’ Affections… Continue Reading

Worship that Cannot Be Touched

Worship that Cannot Be Touched

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Worship in Hebrews You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Throughout the history of the Church, Christians have always been tempted to follow after more physical, more sensory forms of worship because of a misunderstanding of this discontinuity, and this is perhaps no more true than it is in the 21st century Church. When people worship, they strongly desire to feel something; they want to… Continue Reading

Two Roads Diverged

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series The Hymnody of the Christian Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The dethroning of the Church by Reason and the creation of pop culture left the Church in an awkward position. Its cultural influence was non-existent. As the culture around it plunged into sanitized paganism, the Church’s traditional forms became foreign. The Church was in Babylon, yet it was free to worship as it pleased. So… Continue Reading

Medieval Hymns

Medieval Hymns

This entry is part 10 of 14 in the series The Hymnody of the Christian Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

When Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in 313 with the Edict of Milan, and Christianity soon became the religion of the entire empire, the cultural conditions within which the Church thrived changed into a situation that had not been enjoyed since before the Hebrew exile. Soon the Church gained prominence over all aspects of politics and… Continue Reading