Tag Archives: truth

Without Wax

Without Wax

This entry is part 22 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

To recover the word sincerity from its current mangled form, we might remember some etymology. The etymology of sincerity is a favorite among preachers, and for good reason – it’s an interesting tale. It seems in the Graeco-Roman world, unscrupulous merchants had found a nifty way to sell otherwise useless cracked pottery. By using wax,… Continue Reading

Aesthetic Correspondence

Aesthetic Correspondence

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series of essays, I have argued that Scripture presents God’s truth to us, not merely in didactic propositions, but also (in fact, mostly!) through various aesthetic forms. Therefore, when we attempt to translate the truth of Scripture into contemporary forms of communication, we must be certain that the meaning of the original text is accurately… Continue Reading

How important is the style of music a church sings?

How important is the style of music a church sings?

I read a post yesterday from a blog of a popular ministry that attempted to answer a question from a reader: “How important is the style of music a church sings?” The answer? “The style of music a church sings is relatively unimportant.” After making several simplistic points, the post concluded, “In short, what we… Continue Reading

The beauty of truth

The beauty of truth

Pilate’s question to Jesus in John 18:30—“What is truth?”—is no less relevant today than it was then. In its most basic definition, something is true if it corresponds with reality.[1] The truth of which the church is the pillar and support (1 Tim 3:15) has been revealed through the written Word of God. Everything contained… Continue Reading

The Aesthetic Nature of Truth

The Aesthetic Nature of Truth

Conservative evangelicals admirably repudiate emergent leaders who argue that both content and form must be contextualized; evangelicals insist that since God’s Word is inspired and inerrant, God’s truth transcends culture and must be preserved intact. But since even most conservative evangelicals consider culture as entirely neutral in itself and beauty as in the eye of… Continue Reading

Aesthetic correspondence

Aesthetic correspondence

Conservative evangelicals admirably repudiate emergent leaders who argue that both content and form must be contextualized; evangelicals insist that since God’s Word is inspired and inerrant, God’s truth transcends culture and must be preserved intact. But since even most conservative evangelicals consider culture as entirely neutral in itself and beauty as in the eye of… Continue Reading

Does Form Matter?

Does Form Matter?

Imagine yourself in a nice restaurant with your sweetheart, seeking to impress him/her.  The ambiance is nice and romantic, there is soft classical music playing to soothe all customers, and you are looking forward to a wonderful meal together.  You order your food and continue your nice conversation.  After some time your food arrives and… Continue Reading

Preserving God’s truth in a changing world

Preserving God’s truth in a changing world

Next month I am pleased to participate once again in the Preserving the Truth Conference held in Troy, Michigan. This is the second such conference, organized bi-annually by a group of fine pastors in the Detroit area. I’m particularly excited about the theme for this year’s conference since it is one of the primary foci… Continue Reading

Godless Worship

Godless Worship

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Faulty Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In part one of this series, we investigated what Isaiah describes as heartless worship. God was not pleased with that worship, nor did He accept it as true worship. God demands to be worshipped in a manner which gives Him true glory and honor, not in ways that simply salve our consciences. In addition to… Continue Reading

To sing or not to sing, that is the question

To sing or not to sing, that is the question

An interesting online discussion has emerged in the past few weeks about the issue of not singing a particular song in a service when that song expresses sentiments you do not believe to be true. The discussion began with Roger Olson, who argued that we should not sing a song when the doctrine does not… Continue Reading

The Relationship between Cultural Conservatism and Theological Conservatism

The Relationship between Cultural Conservatism and Theological Conservatism

This entry is part 8 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.

What I have described in this series is nothing more than historic conservative Christianity—Christianity that aims at conserving God’s truth both doctrinally and aesthetically. It is popular today to speak deridingly about “cultural conservatism” vs. “theological conservatism.” Most evangelicals and increasing numbers of fundamentalists claim that cultural conservatism is at best unnecessary and at worst legalistic. For example, Mark… Continue Reading

Culture and Tradition

Culture and Tradition

This entry is part 5 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 argued in the last post that all cultural forms are built upon something that came before, and we call this “tradition.” The implication of this is that all of the various cultural institutions, forms, artistic expressions, media, languages, and systems of thought are what they are today based on hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of… Continue Reading

Truth and the Moral Imagination

Truth and the Moral Imagination

This entry is part 2 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.

If, as I argued in the last post, truth is more than factual correspondence—if it has an aesthetic aspect to it—then both the apprehension and the presentation of truth involve more than just intellect; they involve the aesthetic part of man, in particular, his imagination. Today we use the term “imagination” to mean something more similar to… Continue Reading

Preserving the Truth in our Worship

Preserving the Truth in our Worship

This entry is part 1 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.

My argument in this series will be that conservative worship is essential to the preservation of truth for this reason: we will have preserved truth successfully only if it is truth rightly imagined, and our imagining truth rightly depends heavily on the forms of worship that we employ. What is Truth? We must first clarify what it is… Continue Reading

Culture and Truth

Culture and Truth

The culture of any group of people has a profound influence on the sort of propositions that they are likely to find believable. Here, I’m using culture in a very broad sense, referring to nearly all of the man-made artifacts of one’s environment: government, art, family life, media (not content, but access to various media… Continue Reading