Tag Archives: Articles on Worship

May a Baptist (or any other Protestant) sing Catholic hymns?

May a Baptist (or any other Protestant) sing Catholic hymns?

A critic recently approached me about our hymnal and rebuked us for (among other things) including hymns written by Catholics in our hymnal. It is no secret that we include Catholic and Orthodox hymn texts. For example, we include the very ancient Te Deum (“Holy God, We Praise Thy Name”). We include works by or attributed to… Continue Reading

How Singing Forms Us

How Singing Forms Us

This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Sing to the Lord a New Song You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We have seen thus far that good hymns help us to express the affections of our hearts in response to God’s character and works, which brings him great glory he deserves, and that this kind of expression in public is a great witness to the unbelieving world. But there is a second reason that we… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 8: Love for Christ through Scripture-Regulated Worship

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 8: Love for Christ through Scripture-Regulated Worship

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

With this post, I conclude my series on Scripture-regulated worship (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7). The Christian impulse to submit to Christ ought grounds our willing submission to the New Testament in all matters, including worship. If Christ is Lord, then we are obligated to obey him. The way we obey Christ in our worship is… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 7: Loving What Christ Loves

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 7: Loving What Christ Loves

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I am forming an argument for Scripture-regulated worship from two pillars: the authority of Christ and our love for him  (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6). If Christ is Lord, then we should obey him. But we should also obey Christ because we love him. The way Christ exercises authority in the church is through the apostles, and… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 6: Love for Christ and New Testament Authority

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 6: Love for Christ and New Testament Authority

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This is the sixth post in this series (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5). The whole of the first five parts could be summarized in the final paragraph of the last post: In sum, the Christian religion is subservient to Christ’s authority. Christ gave that authority to his apostles and prophets, and they sealed… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 5: Christ’s Authority 3

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 5: Christ’s Authority 3

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

My initial post in this series introduced the idea of worship regulated by Scripture alone (also known as the Regulative Principle of Worship). The second post considered important arguments for the Regulative Principle. The third introduced the argument for the Regulative Principle from Christ’s authority. This argument consists of several subpoints. First, I showed how the New Testament teaches that… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 2: Arguments for RPW

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 2: Arguments for RPW

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In the first post, I introduced Scripture Regulated Worship and the topic of this series. In this post, I consider some of the most important arguments for Scripture-Regulated Worship. Wise Christians have advanced many reasons to regulate Christian worship according to Scripture. The intent here is not to list all such arguments or even interact… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 1: Introduction

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 1: Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Note: This is the first in a series of posts on the Regulative Principle. This offers documentation for and expands upon my presentation to the 2018 Knowing, Loving, Ministering Conservative Christianity Conference. Two streams concerning worship diverged from the headwaters of the Protestant Reformation. For Luther, a church may worship with any element not forbidden in… Continue Reading

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

The Unproven Premise Strikes Again

The Unproven Premise Strikes Again

The Gospel Coalition recently published an excerpt from a new book by Brett McCracken in which he makes a very common argument about music in worship that may sound pious at first glance, yet has a fatal flaw. Here is the core premise of McCracken’s argument summarized in two pull quotes from the post: “We… Continue Reading

Worship and Music During Christendom

Worship and Music During Christendom

In his book, Wiser Than Despair: The Evolution of Ideas in the Relationship of Music and the Christian Church, Quentin Faulkner provides a helpful description of how the domination of the Church during the Middle Ages affected worship and music, for good and for ill: Financial support for the church was from taxes; therefore “in no way,… Continue Reading

Making Disciples of Our Children

Making Disciples of Our Children

When it comes to making disciples of our children in our churches, pure love is what we are after. This love is not a mindless “emotion,” as is clear from our commitment to thorough, biblical, catechetical instruction. But this love cannot be confined to robust doctrine. We will not pass on the faith whole and… Continue Reading

Thanksgiving: The Primary Worship Response

Thanksgiving: The Primary Worship Response

In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln established an annual national holiday of Thanksgiving to be observed on the last Thursday in November. Most of us look forward to this holiday, a day on which we eat good food, enjoy time with family and friends, and perhaps watch some football. And we will probably set aside at… Continue Reading

Our Eternal Occupation

Our Eternal Occupation

Kevin T. Bauder Christian writers from Augustine to Dante picture the eternal destiny of the righteous as beatific vision. The idea is that in eternity, purified from our sins and glorified in our resurrection bodies, we shall behold God in the fullness of His glory. Transfixed with His beauty, our eyes shall gaze upon Him… Continue Reading

Drawing Near to God as the Essence of Worship

Drawing Near to God as the Essence of Worship

In order to grasp the essence of Christian worship, we must start in the beginning. Creation provides the foundation for understanding not only the nature of God and mankind but also the substance of their relationship in worship. God, the sovereign Initiator, publicly revealed himself through what he made. The creation itself displays his nature… Continue Reading

Sincerity and Profanity

Sincerity and Profanity

This entry is part 21 of 37 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Many pastors and Christian leaders believe they are purifying Christianity and worship when they remove any kind of formality from corporate worship. Formal dress, an exalted tone in prayer, or reverent music are eschewed for a more casual and informal approach. They appear to believe that retaining forms that are not immediately recognizable or penetrable… Continue Reading

But we never talk like that in real life!

But we never talk like that in real life!

It appears today that “authenticity” has become the most important virtue. In one sense this is good. Hypocrisy is a vice condemned by Scripture (Mathew 23:27). I often think about this with regard to my children. Never would I want them to watch me act one way in public with others and think to themselves,… Continue Reading

Pastors – Become Literate in Christian Culture

Pastors – Become Literate in Christian Culture

When the topic of music and worship comes up, a favorite slap-down argument against thoughtful discrimination of music is that pastors need not study music to be faithful pastors. It is beside the point to say that pastors need not become art critics. If their vocation is that of shepherding the flock, it is manifestly… Continue Reading

Review Article: You Are What you Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit

Review Article: You Are What you Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit

For several years now James K. A. Smith has been helpfully speaking and writing on the subject of liturgical formation in education and worship. His first two volumes on this subject, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Baker, 2009) and Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works (Baker, 2013), have reintroduced several important biblical… Continue Reading

Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken

Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken

Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God; He whose word cannot be broken Formed thee for his own abode: On the Rock of Ages founded, What can shake thy sure repose? With salvation’s walls surrounded, Thou may’st smile at all thy foes. See, the streams of living waters, Springing from eternal… Continue Reading