Tag Archives: Articles on Worship

A People in Exile

A People in Exile

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series God's People in Exile You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I presented the historical context for Psalm 137, a context of the people of God living in exile among a pagan people. Now once again, understanding this immediate context may cause us to wonder, how in the world could this psalm be relevant for Christians today? Certainly we do not live under such depressing… Continue Reading

The Historical Context of Psalm 137

The Historical Context of Psalm 137

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series God's People in Exile You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I began a series looking at Psalm 137. I am going to do two things with the psalm; first, I will look at the psalm, and then I would like to look through the psalm and allow it to speak to us today. So let us begin by looking at Psalm 137. The psalm… Continue Reading

God’s People in Exile

God’s People in Exile

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series God's People in Exile You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 On the willows there we hung up our lyres. 3 For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song… Continue Reading

Augustine on that which deserves the name “love”

Augustine on that which deserves the name “love”

Too often, contemporary Christianity sees all emotions or affections as essentially equal. For this reason, many conclude as long as some kind of religious emotion is evoked, some good has been done. Augustine did not believe that all loves were equal. In fact, he distinguished between different kinds of genuine spiritual love. This comes out… Continue Reading

Fittingness

Fittingness

This entry is part 5 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.

Last week I argued that if we believe in verbal-plenary inspiration, then the meaning of the aesthetic forms we employ in our contemporary worship must accurately correspond to the meaning Scripture’s aesthetic forms had in their original context. What we need to concern ourselves with is what both Kevin Vanhoozer and Nicholas Wolterstorff call “fittingness.”1 Wolterstorff defines fittingness… 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

Hillsong’s God

Hillsong’s God

At the Grace to You blog, Cameron Buettell and Jeremiah Johnson report on a recent visit to a Hillsong church: During our recent visits to Hillsong Los Angeles, we’ve seen that trend played out in vivid detail. Worse still, we’ve identified some unbiblical characteristics that Hillsong routinely attribute to God. They describe what Hillsong’s music… 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

Why Tolkien Wrote About Middle-Earth

Why Tolkien Wrote About Middle-Earth

Some Evangelicals’ credo might be: “There is only one Tolkien, and Peter Jackson is his Prophet.” While there is no denying that the art of John Howe and Alan Lee made the films a visual feast, or that Howard Shore’s scores were moving and memorable, let us set aside the movies for a moment and return to… Continue Reading

Receive a MA or PhD in Worship Studies without Relocating

Receive a MA or PhD in Worship Studies without Relocating

For the past five years I have had the privilege of teaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. It has been a joy to teach courses like History and Theology of Worship, Philosophy of Ministry, Congregational Song, Aesthetics, Spiritual Formation, Culture, and Biblical Foundations of Worship alongside a world-class faculty that are… Continue Reading

Maintaining appropriate unity and necessary disunity through worship

Maintaining appropriate unity and necessary disunity through worship

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

Over the past several weeks, I have been demonstrating how the theology and practice of worship has historically divided Christians into various denominations, provided the means for appropriate unity across denomination lines, and more recently blurred important doctrinal distinctions. What I have shown is that worship theology and practice has always been central to denominational… Continue Reading

Lessons from a Worship War for a People in Exile

Lessons from a Worship War for a People in Exile

Here is a sermon I preached yesterday at our church that’s relevant to matters we discuss often here. Read 1 Kings 18:1-40 The Rise and Fall of the Hebrew Empire This account of Elijah and the Prophets of Baal is one of the most well-known and colorful narratives in the whole of the Old Testament.… Continue Reading

Blurring doctrinal distinctives with Church Growth

Blurring doctrinal distinctives with Church Growth

Last week I discussed how the Praise and Worship movement has blurred important doctrinal distinctives between churches and denominations by making musical style the predominant issue for church identity and for choosing a church. The church growth movement built off this tendency to define a church’s identity by musical style and recognized it as a… Continue Reading

Worship and doctrinal disctinctives

Worship and doctrinal disctinctives

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Worship and Doctrinal Distinctives You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The watering down of doctrine in evangelicalism, evidenced perhaps most acutely in the minimizing of important denominational distinctives and the growth of the “Nones,” is problematic to be sure. The question is, what has caused this? Over the next several weeks I plan to show the role worship philosophy and practice has had in both… Continue Reading

The Holy Spirit and decent and orderly worship

The Holy Spirit and decent and orderly worship

In the fourteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul rebukes the church for its chaotic worship. It seems that the problems included women teachers (14:33b-35), the incoherence of foreign langues (14:13, 19, 27-28), and even people speaking over each other in the services (14:27-32). Paul rebukes them strongly for this. As he wraps up his discourse,… Continue Reading

Christian worship is corporate

Christian worship is corporate

Paul has a corporate worship in mind in 1 Corinthians 14, and as the Apostle addresses the problem of tongues in Corinth, he at the same teaches us something very important about Christian worship. Earlier in the book, Paul asks, Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Cor 3:16). The… Continue Reading

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