Tag Archives: Articles on Worship

You have come to Mount Zion

You have come to Mount Zion

In Hebrews 12:18, Mount 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 takes place on “Mount Zion, even the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (12:22). These synonymous terms refer to the… Continue Reading

Looking through Psalm 137, Stanza 3: Worship that Trusts in God

Looking through Psalm 137, Stanza 3: Worship that Trusts in God

This entry is part 8 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.

It is time to complete our discussion of Psalm 137 by looking through stanza 3, verses 7–9: Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem, how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare, down to its foundations!” O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed, blessed shall he be who repays you with… Continue Reading

Not of the world

Not of the world

If worship is inspired by the revelation of the Lord of glory, then it will flower into a life-changing communion with the living God that will ultimately be made perfect in glory. But for the present it takes place in the world, which has always been a very religious place, though not in a truly… Continue Reading

Looking through Psalm 137, Stanza 2: Worship that is Pleasing to God

Looking through Psalm 137, Stanza 2: Worship that is Pleasing to God

This entry is part 7 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.

We have considered our experience as God’s people in exile through stanza 1 of Psalm 137; now look at stanza 2, verses 5–6: If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do… Continue Reading

Looking through Psalm 137, Stanza 1: Worship in a Pagan Culture

Looking through Psalm 137, Stanza 1: Worship in a Pagan Culture

This entry is part 6 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.

In our study of Psalm 137 over the past several weeks, we have looked at the historical context of the psalm, the analogical relationships between the psalm and the present status of Christians, and what this psalm does aesthetically. We have seen that as pilgrims and exiles in this present world, Christians today have much to… Continue Reading

What Psalm 137 Does

What Psalm 137 Does

This entry is part 5 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.

Over the past several weeks, we have been looking at Psalm 137 and its relevance for Christian today. I have presented the historical background of the psalm and argued that it has significant relevance for us since, like the author/audience of Psalm 137, Christians are exiles living among a pagan people. Now let us consider… Continue Reading

Dual Citizens

Dual Citizens

This entry is part 4 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, as part of our study of Psalm 137, I pointed out the striking similarities between the conditions in which the Hebrews exiled in Babylon found themselves and the Church today. I ended by asking, “How many Christians today consider themselves sojourners and exiles? How many Christians recognize that their citizenship is in another… Continue Reading

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