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

Roots of Evangelical Worship: Two Worship Philosophies

Roots of Evangelical Worship: Two Worship Philosophies

In the wake of eighteenth-century Enlightenment and nineteenth-century revivalism, evangelical Christianity evidenced two distinct philosophies of worship. The first was the conservative philosophy that generally characterized each of the post-Reformation groups despite their idiosyncratic differences. This conservative philosophy desired to preserve the theology and practices of biblical worship, mediated through the tradition of the church… Continue Reading

Roots of Evangelical Worship: The Oxford Movement

Roots of Evangelical Worship: The Oxford Movement

Over the past month I have been exploring the various historical roots that created what we might call “evangelical worship” today, including German Pietism, American Revival, the Wesleys, American Democracy and Camp Meetings, and Charles Finney. Today, I’d like to look at one reaction to some of these developments, that I would suggest also had… Continue Reading

Roots of Evangelical Worship: Charles G. Finney

Roots of Evangelical Worship: Charles G. Finney

Many factors, cultural and theological, converged to form what we might call today “Evangelical Worship,” including Enlightenment philosophy, German Pietism, John and Charles Wesley, American revival and democracy, and rural camp meetings. None, however, had as significant impact as one individual—nineteenth-century Revivalist Charles G. Finney (1792–1875). Influenced by theologian Nathaniel Taylor’s “New Haven Theology,” Finney… Continue Reading

Recent article publications

Recent article publications

I’ve had several recent academic article publications that may be of interest to readers: “The Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship: Extraordinary Experience or Disciplined Formation?” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 24 (2019). Download “Worship that Cannot be Touched: A Theology of Christian Worship from the Book of Hebrews.” Journal of IRBS Theological Seminary, 2019. Print version… Continue Reading

Special Holiday Rates for Hymns to the Living God

Special Holiday Rates for Hymns to the Living God

In honor of the Advent/Christian season, we are offering some special prices for Hymns to the Living God: Individual Copies – $13.99 each plus shipping (regularly $17.99) 6 Copies – $78 with free shipping! Other bulk discounts (10+, 50+, 100+) available on the single copy page. Copies are also available on Amazon.com for $19.99 each with free shipping for Prime Members.… Continue Reading

Roots of Evangelical Worship: American Democracy and Camp Meetings

Roots of Evangelical Worship: American Democracy and Camp Meetings

For the past several weeks, I have been tracing what influences formed what today we might call “Evangelical worship,” including German Pietism, American Revival, and the Wesleys. Developments in nineteenth-century America also had considerable influence. The nineteenth century in America was a critical time in its cultural, political, and religious development. The nation was still… Continue Reading

Episode 8 of By the Waters of Babylon Podcast: Diversity and Unity in the Body of Christ

Episode 8 of By the Waters of Babylon Podcast: Diversity and Unity in the Body of Christ

There is a lot of discussion about diversity and identity today, both in the wider culture and among Christians. Unfortunately, such discussions often are not informed by Scripture, even among Christians. Secularist theories and ideologies plague discourse about these subject in ways many Christians don’t even recognize. Any discussion of diversity and identity, however, must… Continue Reading

Roots of Evangelical Worship: The Wesleys and Methodism

Roots of Evangelical Worship: The Wesleys and Methodism

What today we might call “evangelical worship” stems from many different influences, some of which I have been highlighting here over the past couple of weeks, including German Pietism and American Revival. A third contributing movement involved the Wesley brothers and Methodism, which arose as a response to increasing lack of devotion in the Church… Continue Reading

A new book from Calvin Johansson

A new book from Calvin Johansson

I’ve always appreciated Calvin Johansson’s books on church music, Music and Ministry: A Biblical Counterpoint and Discipling Music Ministry: Twenty-First Century Directions. I especially find helpful his emphasis upon accomplishing our God-given mission of making disciples through the music we choose to use in corporate worship. Johansson’s insights into the goal of Christian maturity necessitating the… Continue Reading

Roots of Evangelical Worship: Early American Revival

Roots of Evangelical Worship: Early American Revival

Along with German Pietism, revival in early America contributed to what would become distinctive Evangelical worship. American democracy itself had both positive and negative effects for Christianity and its worship. On the positive side, the new world provided freedom for the new colonists to worship according to their convictions rather than state mandate, which is why… Continue Reading

Roots of Evangelical Worship: German Pietism

Roots of Evangelical Worship: German Pietism

Many factors coalesced in the wake of the Protestant Reformation to produce what we now might call “Evangelical worship.” The first was German Pietism. Pietism was a reform movement within orthodox Lutheranism that had significant impact in the late seventeenth century to mid-eighteenth century. The Pietist movement began in Germany in 1675 with Philipp Jakob… Continue Reading

How Christians Have Responded to the Secularization of Culture

How Christians Have Responded to the Secularization of Culture

Over the past several weeks I have been tracing how western culture was impacted in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the rise of secularism. An initial response to the rise of secularism by Christians was to accept a separation of reason and faith and attempt to affirm both. However, adopting the rationalist redefinition of reason… Continue Reading

Secular Culture

Secular Culture

In blog posts over the last several weeks, I have been trying to help us understand what kinds of influences and values have converged to produce the culture in which we Christians in the West now find ourselves. I’ve explored some of the worldview values that have shifted; today, I’d like to begin exploring how… Continue Reading

Secular Worldview

Secular Worldview

As we Christians seek to live Christianly in the culture in which we find ourselves, it is important that we recognize how values contrary to God have infiltrated our culture so that we can respond appropriately. The naturalist and empiricist philosophies that emerged in western civilization as a result of the Enlightenment began quickly to spread,… Continue Reading