Tag Archives: physical

Some Thoughts on Physical Expression in Corporate Worship

Some Thoughts on Physical Expression in Corporate Worship

I recently received an email asking for my opinion on whether worship should be only reverent, or whether celebration and joy—especially expressed through physical expression and even dance—were appropriate for corporate worship. Here is my response: A couple thoughts. One, I would actually agree that joy and even celebration should be part of corporate worship (although not… Continue Reading

Beyond contemporary vs. traditional

Beyond contemporary vs. traditional

Imagine a church auditorium packed with people. Their eyes are fixed on the stage where skilled musicians play and a handsome man leads the congregation in singing. He is dressed in clothing considered relevant to the congregation, and he skillfully manipulates the passions of the people with a style of music he believes adds vitality,… 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

Continuities between OT and NT Worship

Continuities between OT and NT Worship

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Worship in Hebrews You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

What becomes apparent when studying worship in Hebrews, as exemplified by this central idea of faith, is that all of these continuities between OT and NT worship exist because they are metaphysical realities. Worship’s focus, consequences for refusing it, its attitude, and faith are all metaphysical in nature both in OT and NT worship. This… Continue Reading

Worship by Faith

Worship by Faith

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Worship in Hebrews You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Faith (πίστιϚ) stands in Hebrews as the supreme continuity between OT and NT worship since it functions as an essential link between the physical and metaphysical. The author of Hebrews defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1). Two modifiers in the author’s definition of faith reveal… Continue Reading

Jesus Christ as the Fulfillment of OT Worship

Jesus Christ as the Fulfillment of OT Worship

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Worship in Hebrews You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Significant discontinuities exist between OT and NT worship, and it is important to note that each of these cases of discontinuity stems from the author of Hebrews’ primary discontinuity, that of the physical vs. the metaphysical. Human prophets, a mediator, priests, animal sacrifices, and a Temple each represent physical realties that Hebrew worshipers could see,… Continue Reading

The Location of Worship

The Location of Worship

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Worship in Hebrews You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Hebrews 12:18-29 is structured around a discontinuity of the location of worship, and the rest of the book reflects this emphasis. In Hebrews 12:18, Sinai stands as a representative for worship under the Law, and thus the location of this worship is first the Tabernacle and later the Temple. In contrast, worship for a Christian… Continue Reading

Physical vs. Metaphysical Worship

Physical vs. Metaphysical Worship

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Worship in Hebrews You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Hebrews 12:18-29 provide an important summary of the book’s argument concerning worship. The author’s descriptions of these two contrasting mountains are instructive and important to his argument, highlighted by the emphatic position of the negative term οὐ (“not”) in verse 18 and the strongly negative term ἀλλά (“on the contrary”) in verse 22. Lane summarizes,… Continue Reading

The Sacrifice of Worship

The Sacrifice of Worship

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Worship in Hebrews You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

God required OT saints to offer sacrifices with him as means of temporary forgiveness. These sacrifices themselves were imperfect, and they did nothing to change the heart of the one offering the sacrifice. They did not provide full atonement (10:4, 11), but rather a temporary, legal satisfaction of immediate wrath.1 They could not cleanse sin, but… Continue Reading

How Can We Conserve Biblical Worship? Part 3

How Can We Conserve Biblical Worship? Part 3

Conservative Christians will be committed to worship forms that foster ordinate affection toward God. Commitment to the Regulative Principles of Worship solves the question of what we will include in our corporate worship, but it doesn’t necessarily address how we will do it. Conservatives have always recognized that while the Bible clearly prescribes what elements… Continue Reading

Externalism

Externalism is a sneaky error in which we insist that the outward appearance reveals the heart. Or, another way of saying it is that inward, heart realities will show themselves outwardly. Conservatives are often charged with externalism by progressives. The progressives claim (sometimes rightly) that conservatives place too much emphasis on outward appearance, forms, rituals, duties, and traditions… Continue Reading

Is worship like riding a roller coaster?

Joy. What exactly is joy? I can say that I experienced the emotion of joy while riding a roller coaster. It’s this thrilling enthusiasm that sends tingles all up and down my spine. It’s an exhilaration that permeates my whole body. I can also say that I experienced the emotion of joy while worshiping. But is it the same… Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Song Leaders

A Tale of Two Song Leaders

About a year ago I posted a piece on leading congregational singing; I compared two conferences, one in which I was privileged to plan and lead the services, and another I had recently attended. I made some somewhat controversial statements about what I observed in the leadership of that conference. My primary contention was that… Continue Reading

Emotions vs. Feelings

Emotions vs. Feelings

Matthew Elliot has some helfpul discussion of the difference between emotions and feelings. For Elliot, “emotions” are what I mean when I talk about “affections,” and “feelings” are what I mean when I talke about physical passions. Here’s an excerpt: My major point is that emotions are about our thoughts, our minds, our thinking process. … Continue Reading

Worship That Cannot Be Touched – Hebrews 12:18-29

Worship That Cannot Be Touched – Hebrews 12:18-29

At the end of Hebrews 12 we find a very instructive passage that describes New Testament worship. But in order to understand the point of this passage, we need to first understand the broader context in which it is found. The purpose of the book of Hebrews is to warn Jewish Christians against leaving Christianity… Continue Reading