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

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

How the Order of OT Sacrifices Communicated a Theology of Worship

How the Order of OT Sacrifices Communicated a Theology of Worship

Last week I described how the layout and structure of the tabernacle communicated a particular transcendent theology of worship. Even the order of the sacrifices pictures this. God gave specific instructions concerning sacrifices to him: An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your… Continue Reading

How the Tabernacle Communicated a Theology of Worship

How the Tabernacle Communicated a Theology of Worship

At Mt. Sinai, God established standardized practices of worship for his people. First, God commanded that the people build a sanctuary for him. They built the tabernacle of God—and later the temple—according to God’s specific instructions (Exod 25:8–9, 40; 27:8; Num 8:4; cf. Acts 7:44; Heb 8:5). This sanctuary of his presence was not for… Continue Reading

Forming a Great Commandment Culture

Forming a Great Commandment Culture

In the context of giving the Law at Mt. Sinai and the promise that if they follow God’s commands as a nation, God will bless them, we find a statement that stands at the core of biblical religion: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your… Continue Reading

Manhood Ceremony for a Boy Becoming a Man

Manhood Ceremony for a Boy Becoming a Man

From the time our eldest child, Caleb, was just an infant (and possibly even before), I knew that I wanted to do something significant to mark the point when our children would come of age. I reject the whole notion of a “teenager,” a modern construct invented by pop culture, and instead wanted to reinforce… Continue Reading

Help Get Conservative Christian Content in Print

Help Get Conservative Christian Content in Print

I recently read a shocking statistic about the state of book publishing today: Here’s the reality of the book industry: in 2004, 950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book… Continue Reading

Called by God to Worship

Called by God to Worship

The first Patriarch of Israel, Abraham, was not originally a worshiper of the true God; he dwelt the land of Ur, worshiping many false gods (Josh 24:2). God initiated his contact with Abraham (Gen 12:1), confirming a central that principle that all true worship begins with the God who reveals himself to his people. Each… Continue Reading

The First Worship War

The First Worship War

The very first conflict following the Fall was a conflict over worship. Genesis 4:3–8 relates how Abel’s offering to the Lord’s was accepted, while Cain’s was not. These offerings were important because they were God’s means for at least temporarily and partially restoring communion with his people. Yet for some reason that is not explicit… Continue Reading

Foundations of Worship

Foundations of Worship

“In the beginning, God.” With those opening words of the book of Genesis, we find the very foundation for all biblical religion. God’s self-existence, creative power, and divine providence over all things provides the basis for a Christian worldview and theology, which should flow into how Christians worship (cultus) and, indeed, the entirety of how… Continue Reading

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