Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children.

Author Archives: Scott Aniol

Scripture-Formed Worship

Scripture-Formed Worship

Our task as churches is to make disciples, and this happens when we use the Word of God to shape the minds and hearts of believers in our congregations. This recognition highlights the significance of corporate worship as one of the primary means through which God forms us into mature disciple-worshipers. Yet because modern Christianity… Continue Reading

Disciple-Forming Corporate Worship

Disciple-Forming Corporate Worship

Every church has as its mission the making of disciples, but how does that happen? Two weeks ago I made the point that while such discipleship certainly involves teaching truth to the mind, that is not enough since discipleship is more than data transmission. Last week I supported this claim by looking at Scripture itself,… Continue Reading

Transformation through the Word

Transformation through the Word

Last week I made the point that discipleship, which is the mission Christ gave his church, involves more than (though no less than) data transmission. The primary reason I believe this is true is because the kind of spiritual transformation we’re after happens by means of the living and active Word of God, and God’s… Continue Reading

Discipleship: More Than Data Transmission

Discipleship: More Than Data Transmission

An important question every Christian must ask is, What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? Very simply, a disciple will observe all that Christ commanded. In other words, a disciple of Jesus Christ will be characterized by certain behaviors. Christians are a new people of God (1 Peter 2:9) whose behavior should… Continue Reading

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Biblical, Not Unregulated

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Biblical, Not Unregulated

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

For the past month, I have been tracing Paul’s argument about spiritual gifts in corporate worship in 1 Corinthians 14, drawing out important implications including the fact the corporate worship is corporate, not individual, for believers, not unbelievers, is primarily for edification, not merely expression, and must be orderly, not disorderly. The preceding two principles… Continue Reading

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Order, Not Disorder

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Order, Not Disorder

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Sometimes people comment that the New Testament gives us very little instruction regarding corporate worship, but this is not true. There are many NT passages that help define corporate worship, and some of the NT epistles were written specifically to help believers know “how to behave in the household of God” (1 Tim 3:15), not… Continue Reading

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Edification, not Expression

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Edification, not Expression

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Paul’s central argument in the only full NT chapter addressing corporate worship is that for corporate worship, the spiritual gift of prophecy was to be desired more than the gift of tongues. Even though this core argument may not be directly applicable in a day when tongues and prophecy have ceased, I have been demonstrating… Continue Reading

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Believers, Not Unbelievers

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Believers, Not Unbelievers

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul makes the specific argument that in corporate worship, the gift of prophecy is to be desired over the gift of tongues. But in the course of making that argument, Paul reveals core principles about the nature and purpose of corporate worship that apply for all churches to this day. Last… Continue Reading

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Corporate, Not Individual

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Corporate, Not Individual

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

For the last couple of weeks I have been laying the contextual foundation for what is perhaps the most significant chapter in the New Testament about corporate worship. Last week I demonstrated that Paul’s central argument in at least the first half of 1 Corinthians 14 is that for corporate worship, the gift of prophecy—direct… Continue Reading

Decent and Orderly Worship: Why is Prophecy better than Tongues?

Decent and Orderly Worship: Why is Prophecy better than Tongues?

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I started a series on what is likely the single most important text in the New Testament regarding our corporate worship—1 Corinthians 14. By way of introduction, I demonstrated that the chapter is specifically addressing “when we come together,” that is, it is explicitly about the gatherings of churches, and thus this chapter… Continue Reading

Decent and Orderly Worship: The Context

Decent and Orderly Worship: The Context

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“Our church’s worship is pretty formal, but I prefer Holy Spirit-led worship.” Such was the comment I overheard recently by a young evangelical describing his church’s worship service, illustrating a very common perception by many evangelicals today—if the Holy Spirit actively works in worship, the results will be something extraordinary, an experience “quenched” by too… Continue Reading

What does government have the right to do?

What does government have the right to do?

In these times of government-mandated quarantine for many US states and even countries around the world, the issue of the biblical role of government, and the response of individual Christians and churches collectively to government, is an understandable topic of concern. While our current dilemmas—particularly with churches being encouraged not to meet—are complicated, and I… Continue Reading

Use this time to develop healthy family worship habits

Use this time to develop healthy family worship habits

If you’re like most people right now, you’re finding yourself at home a whole more these days! There are certainly lots of challenges involved with this time, but more time at home with family can create many blessings as well. Don’t waste this time! One of the great blessings you can enjoy while your family… Continue Reading

Facing the Cross: A Service of Scripture and Song

Facing the Cross: A Service of Scripture and Song

One of the things I’m going to miss most (among many!) during this unusual season when our church can’t gather is our annual “Facing the Cross Service,” a simple service we observe each year during Holy Week that recounts the last few days, death, and burial of our Lord through Scripture readings and hymns. Since… Continue Reading

Why “Virtual Lord’s Supper” Is Impossible

Why “Virtual Lord’s Supper” Is Impossible

This past Monday I turned 40, and because of “stay in place” requirements, my wife hosted a surprise Zoom birthday celebration. About 20 people logged on, they sang “Happy birthday” (which didn’t go well, but was hilarious), and it was a really nice brief chance to see a lot of friends and family since we… Continue Reading

Home Worship Resources During COVID-19

Home Worship Resources During COVID-19

Last week I briefly highlighted how a church can at least approximate worship “together” while we’re prevented from being together physically, and I definitely echo David de Bruyn’s comments here about taking care to make sure that we’re not cheapening corporate worship through the technological means we use during this time. To be clear, neither… Continue Reading

How a church can worship “together” during COVID-19

How a church can worship “together” during COVID-19

It may be tempting to think that we are living in unprecedented times until we remember that Christians have faced persecution and plagues throughout history. This is not the first time Christians have been forced to gather in small groups, nor will it be the last. However, what we are facing as a result of… Continue Reading

The Dangers of Syncretism and Idolatry

The Dangers of Syncretism and Idolatry

In the Old Testament Law, God gave his people very specific instructions about how they were to relate to the people around them, including in their culture and worship practices. Deuteronomy 12:2–8 reveals important principles in this regard. God commanded that the people destroy the places where pagans worshiped, including their altars, their pillars, their… Continue Reading