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

Mission: Make Worshipers

Mission: Make Worshipers

After Jesus died and rose again, he appeared to his disciples and many others, beginning a short period of teaching before he ascended back to heaven. During this time, Jesus prepared his disciples for the mission he was giving to them, telling them, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you”… Continue Reading

Return to the Ordinary Means of Grace

Return to the Ordinary Means of Grace

Giving in to the constant pressure to satisfy the world’s hunger for bigger, flashier, and more impressive, we put on slick productions and programs, often at the expense of biblical faithfulness. Six-figure budget lines devoted to sound and lighting systems, in-church coffee shops, stage props and set designs—these things are foreign to the pages of… Continue Reading

Memorial

Memorial

The requirement for Israel of specific times and rituals for worship, both weekly and annually, established a fundamental principle for God’s people that did not end with Israel. God’s creation of these worship days and festivals was not arbitrary; rather, in establishing these days, God clearly articulated their purpose. For example, when God founded the… Continue Reading

Worship at Sinai

Worship at Sinai

Fifty days after the exodus from Egypt, the people of Israel arrived at the foot of Mt. Sinai, where God specifically set apart the worshiping community and gave instructions for how he desired to be worshiped, serving as the formative era of Israelite worship and history. This encounter is on God’s initiative. The people don’t… Continue Reading

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

What we have seen over the past several weeks is a dynamic interplay between four realities: worldview, theology, culture, and cultus. Worldview and theology affect one another and constitute religion; culture and cultus affect one another as liturgy. But this kind of mutual formation occurs at a macro level as well, between religion and liturgy,… Continue Reading

The Liturgical Nature of Cultus

The Liturgical Nature of Cultus

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I described the liturgical nature of culture. Yet there is a second element within the broader concept of liturgy, actually the more common use of the term, and the one that centers on the primary focus of this book—worship. While the Greek term leitourgia was originally used to describe all sorts of social works,… Continue Reading

The Liturgical Nature of Culture

The Liturgical Nature of Culture

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I am arguing that liturgy forms our religion, and religion forms our liturgy. When I left off last time, I defined religion as worldview + theology. Now it’s time to define liturgy. Liturgy is a word that I am using to describe the way we “live and move and have our being.” Our English word… Continue Reading

Jesus Fulfills Old Testament Worship

Jesus Fulfills Old Testament Worship

In the Old Testament economy, God established particular means through which his people were enabled to draw near to him in worship, although since the sacrifices were not completely pure and the worshipers remained sinful, no one could enter God’s presence for free and open communion with him. Jesus enabled such communion by himself fulfilling… Continue Reading

Do This in Remembrance of Me

Do This in Remembrance of Me

The observance of the “Last Supper” by Jesus and his disciple appears in all four gospels, though John does not give details of the meal itself (Matt. 26:26–28; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:19, 20). The particular elements of the meal mentioned in the gospel records (and repeated later in 1 Corinthians) each become significant for the… Continue Reading

Religion = Worldview + Theology

Religion = Worldview + Theology

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Everyone has an implicit worldview—a fundamental orientation of the heart expressed in assumptions about reality, and most people have an explicit theology—conscious beliefs expressed in stated propositions. The combination of worldview and theology is what constitutes a religion. Expressed in this way, all people have a religion, whether they acknowledge it or not. Even atheists… Continue Reading

What is the Nature of Religion? Theology

What is the Nature of Religion? Theology

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Broadly speaking, theology is how we intentionally answer the questions James Sire provided (see last week’s post) that form the assumptions at the core of our worldview. What we believe about the nature of reality, the purpose and meaning of life, the basis of right and wrong, and most importantly God form our theology. Theology… Continue Reading

What is the Nature of Religion? Worldview

What is the Nature of Religion? Worldview

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Religion is composed of two parts, the first of which is worldview. A worldview consists of a set of assumptions a person holds about reality; it is a lens through which he understands and interprets everything around him. James Sire has provided a helpful and influential definition of worldview: A worldview is a commitment, a… Continue Reading

Worldview-Forming Worship

Worldview-Forming Worship

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Worldview-Forming Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Imagine a dense forest separating two cities. In order to engage in commerce between these cities, merchants must pass through the forest. For the earliest of these merchants, this was a very difficult task, wrought with many mistakes and casualties. Eventually, though, over time and with experience, the merchants discovered the safest, quickest route through… Continue Reading

Why We Should Study the Liturgical Story of the Christian Faith

Why We Should Study the Liturgical Story of the Christian Faith

Studying the liturgical history of the Christian faith paints a necessary picture of what Christians have truly believed throughout history, perhaps in some cases more so than studying their creeds. This history helps us obey God’s command given in Job 8:8–10: For inquire, please, of bygone ages, and consider what the fathers have searched out.… Continue Reading

Hymns Ancient and Modern for a New Generation

Hymns Ancient and Modern for a New Generation

In 1861 a hymnal was published in England that would set the standard for all hymnals to follow: Hymns Ancient and Modern. This significant hymnal was produced as a part of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England, a movement that wished to address both stagnant piety among more formal churches on the one hand,… Continue Reading

How Liturgy Tells the Story of the Christian Faith

How Liturgy Tells the Story of the Christian Faith

There are many valuable ways to study the history of the church; church historians often trace the development of creedal theology, recount the lives of key theologians and church leaders, or study significant events in the life of the church. Each of these is a valuable way to understand how we arrived where we are… Continue Reading

A Theology of the Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship

A Theology of the Holy Spirit’s Work in Worship

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series The Holy Spirit's Work in Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I have spent a considerable amount of time over the past several weeks carefully surveying the Holy Spirit’s work throughout Scripture, and specifically in passages that describe his work in worship, to determine what should be our expectation regarding his ordinary work in worship. The common expectation today is that we should expect him to… Continue Reading