Tag Archives: Articles on Worship

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.

This entry is part of 8 in the series”Worship and Doctrinal Distinctives”You can read more posts from the series by using the Table of 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… 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.

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 Table of 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… 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

Answering Paige Patterson’s Suggestions for Worship in Song

Answering Paige Patterson’s Suggestions for Worship in Song

In 2013, Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern Baptist Theologian Seminary, wrote a kind review in Artistic Theologian of my first book, Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship (2009). Ever since I first met Dr. Patterson, I’ve known that he has a deep interest in and concern for biblical worship. This is one reason,… 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

Knowledge Without Skill

Knowledge Without Skill

Both of my children take Suzuki strings lessons, Caleb on cello and Kate on violin. Part of the Suzuki philosophy (which happens to match perfectly with our parenting philosophy) is that a parent attends the child’s lesson in its entirety, takes careful notes, and then practices each day at home with the child. In essence,… Continue Reading

You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way

You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way

Deuteronomy 12:2–7 reveals important principles regarding the way God desires to be worshiped and, specifically, the relationship between the biblical way to worship and the ways of the pagans. You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under… Continue Reading

Stop inviting God to your worship

Stop inviting God to your worship

We hear it all the time in corporate worship services: “God, we invite you to come as we worship you.” “God, fill this place as we worship.” “God, you are welcome here. Come down as we worship you.” The motivation is, of course, noble: we want to commune with God in worship. We don’t worship… Continue Reading

How do we explain similarities between Hebrew and pagan worship?

How do we explain similarities between Hebrew and pagan worship?

There is no doubt that some of the practices of ancient Hebrew worship bear remarkable resemblance to the worship practices of the pagan nations around them. Other nations practiced similar sacrificial systems, had temples and priests, and many scholars note the the idea of covenants established by God with his people is virtually identical to… Continue Reading

The First Worship War

The First Worship War

The very first conflict following the Fall was a conflict over worship. Genesis 4:3–8 relates how Abel’s offering to the Lord’s was accepted, while Cain’s was not. These offerings were important because they were God’s means for at least temporarily and partially restoring communion with his people. Yet for some reason that is not explicit… Continue Reading