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

Torah for the Heart

Torah for the Heart

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Living in a wicked world presents challenges for people attempting to walk the way of righteousness. We are constantly bombarded with competing images of the good life, and the wicked often appear to be flourishing. For this reason, God’s people must delight themselves in God’s Word, meditating on Scripture to the degree that our hearts… Continue Reading

Imagination Formed by Scripture’s Music

Imagination Formed by Scripture’s Music

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The way that you live will be controlled ultimately by your image of the good life—what it means to really flourish and prosper, And, in particular, your image of what it means to flourish in relation to God’s rule is what controls your life. This is what we have been seeing from Psalm 1 over… Continue Reading

What Shapes Your Image of the Good Life?

What Shapes Your Image of the Good Life?

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A lot of Christians have the wrong image when they read Psalm 1. They think if they just choose the righteous path, then everything will be care free, without any trouble or adversity. But the psalter is here to show us what that blessed tree actually looks like and what the nature of growing will… Continue Reading

Contrasting Images of Blessedness

Contrasting Images of Blessedness

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

We are living in what potentially could be very discouraging times for Christians seeking to live lives that glorify the Lord. But as I pointed out last week, the book of Psalms has been structured to help us endure through these very kinds of times. Much of the book focuses on dark times of discouragement… Continue Reading

Praise in the Midst of Wickedness

Praise in the Midst of Wickedness

This entry is part of 5 in the series Musing on God's Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The Book of Psalms in Hebrew was originally called Tehillim—“Praises.” That probably doesn’t surprise you; we often associate the psalms with praise. We expect to find expressions of praise like “Hallelujah”—Praise the Lord! However, the book was called “Praises,” not actually because the book is just a collection of expressions of praise. In fact, while… Continue Reading

Lessons from a Pandemic: Science Is Limited

Lessons from a Pandemic: Science Is Limited

I’m obviously very thankful for science, I’m thankful for medical advancements that improve quality of life, I’m thankful for technology. However, what our current situation with COVID-19 has helped us to see is that science can’t solve everything because it is based on human observation, and humans are limited. The scientific method by definition is… Continue Reading

Aesthetic Correspondence

Aesthetic Correspondence

For a couple weeks I have been developing the idea that in order to disciple people through corporate worship, our corporate worship must be shaped by the means God has given us for such transformation—Scripture. This means both that our liturgies must be shaped by Scripture and our music must be shaped by Scripture. There has… Continue Reading

Scripture-Formed Music

Scripture-Formed Music

Last week I mentioned the fact that there has been a resurgence of sorts in recent times of emphasis on the disciple-forming power of gospel-shaped worship. What has not yet been recovered in my opinion is a recognition of the disciple-forming power of Scripture-formed music. In fact, both Bryan Chapell and Mike Cospers explicitly deny music’s… Continue Reading

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