Category Archives: Articles on Conservatism

A parable of moral change on alcohol

A parable of moral change on alcohol

Increasingly, evangelical Christians are abandoning abstentionist and prohibitionist positions on alcohol. This is true among many conservative Baptist churches. It is increasingly common for pastors to lead their churches to take a more moderationist position with respect alcohol. Back in 1981, John Piper led Bethlehem Baptist Church to change its church covenant with respect to… Continue Reading

Votes From the Democracy of the Dead

Votes From the Democracy of the Dead

This entry is part 50 of 52 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The idea of ordinate affection is not welcome today. Narcissism has become a celebrated virtue, and is now even given the monikers transparent, authentic, and real. The two ditches of sentimentalism and brutality now take up most of the road and a slender middle path of appropriate love is known by few and trod by fewer.… Continue Reading

Emotional or Affected?

Emotional or Affected?

This entry is part 47 of 52 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

While C. S. Lewis encourages us to not place too much stock in our feelings, he was adamant that the whole point of education was to create right affections. Affections are not a matter of bodily sensations, but a matter of judging value and responding appropriately: “Until quite modern times all teachers and even all… Continue Reading

Equality and Necessary Hierarchy

Equality and Necessary Hierarchy

This entry is part 41 of 52 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The current proponents of social justice have little idea of what they may be creating in pursuit of their goal. Their goal is a just society, but the pursuit of radical egalitarianism won’t provide them with that. Richard Weaver, writing in 1948, describes how radical egalitarianism provides nothing new that traditional societies didn’t already produce,… Continue Reading

Converted clog-dancers: Spurgeon on drawing a crowd

Converted clog-dancers: Spurgeon on drawing a crowd

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was known for being an ardent “soul winner.” He maintained that a gospel minister will see certain fruit. A lack of success could be caused by weak preaching, faulty doctrine, or unfaithfulness in prayer. In An All Around Ministry, he said, ‘He that never saved a sinner after years of work is… Continue Reading

A Parable About Pop Music in Church

A Parable About Pop Music in Church

Christian 1: So I hear you have a problem with lollipops? Christian 2: Lollipops? No, I think they’re just fine. Christian 1: But you apparently won’t eat them for family meals. Christian 2: That’s true. I prefer my family eats some kind of meat, vegetables or healthier food for their meals. Christian 1: So you… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 7: Loving What Christ Loves

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 7: Loving What Christ Loves

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I am forming an argument for Scripture-regulated worship from two pillars: the authority of Christ and our love for him  (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6). If Christ is Lord, then we should obey him. But we should also obey Christ because we love him. The way Christ exercises authority in the church is through the apostles, and… Continue Reading

The Conservative Philosophy of Culture and Worship

The Conservative Philosophy of Culture and Worship

Last week I offered a brief synopsis of the standard evangelical progressive philosophy of culture and worship. Today, I’d like to offer a simple counterpoint to that view. This conservative philosophy, of course, is a central focus of much of what we write here at Religious Affections, and this post is not meant to be… Continue Reading

The Progressive Philosophy of Culture and Worship

The Progressive Philosophy of Culture and Worship

One of our primary objectives at Religious Affections Ministries is to carefully articulate a biblical conservative philosophy of Christianity. We try to primarily focus on what we are for rather than simply what we are against. However, it is helpful at times to examine opposing views, which helps to contrast views we consider in error with what… Continue Reading

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 4: Christ’s Authority 2

Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship 4: Christ’s Authority 2

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Love for Christ & Scripture-Regulated Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The first post in this series introduced Scripture-Regulated Worship. The second post considered some important arguments for Scripture-Regulated Worship. The third post showed the ways the New Testament explains the authority of Christ in churches. To summarize my argument in that third installment, Jesus Christ sent delegates (apostles) to teach his churches his will for them as churches. This… Continue Reading

The importance of cultural discernment in Christian education

The importance of cultural discernment in Christian education

If Christian educators are intent upon educating their students with truth, both its factual content and the way the truth is imagined, then they must commit to utilize the best of our classical tradition. We have at our fingertips a rich heritage of cultural forms that have grown within value systems that are fully consistent with what it… Continue Reading

On Baby Grands and Expensive Hymnals

On Baby Grands and Expensive Hymnals

“Why this waste?”, said the greediest member of the Twelve. Judas’ supposed concern with helping the poor and for efficient use of ministry finances was really a facade for his unvarnished envy. Judas wanted money, and like every jealous soul, disliked money being spent lavishly on someone else. The sentiment that it is frivolous waste… Continue Reading

Christians and Critical Judgments

Christians and Critical Judgments

This entry is part 18 of 52 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Most Christians are happy to accept the authority of expert opinion. What is instructive to note is which domains of knowledge they are comfortable to refer to experts, as opposed to those in which they actively oppose expert opinion. To paraphrase what I wrote to one commenter, Christians are happy to listen to experts when… Continue Reading

Pastors – Become Literate in Christian Culture

Pastors – Become Literate in Christian Culture

When the topic of music and worship comes up, a favorite slap-down argument against thoughtful discrimination of music is that pastors need not study music to be faithful pastors. It is beside the point to say that pastors need not become art critics. If their vocation is that of shepherding the flock, it is manifestly… Continue Reading

Cooperation and Culture: Conclusion

Cooperation and Culture: Conclusion

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series That They May Be One: Conservatism, Cooperation, and the Center of Christian Unity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The gospel is the boundary of Christian fellowship and cooperation, but the degree to which we cooperate with others who believe the gospel will be necessarily affected by the degree to which there is agreement in important secondary matters because those secondary matters affect the gospel and our worship of God. This is the idea… Continue Reading

Philosophy and applications in the local church

Philosophy and applications in the local church

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series That They May Be One: Conservatism, Cooperation, and the Center of Christian Unity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I argued that differences among philosophies of culture must necessarily affect cooperation on various levels of ecclesiastical cooperation. Having said this, it is important to distinguish between philosophy of culture and worship and particular applications of that philosophy. I am suggesting that agreement concerning philosophy is an important factor influencing my ability to… Continue Reading

Differences over philosophy of culture must always affect cooperation

Differences over philosophy of culture must always affect cooperation

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series That They May Be One: Conservatism, Cooperation, and the Center of Christian Unity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Up to this point in this series, I have described the essence of conservative Christianity, particularly its philosophy of beauty and culture, and described the nature of ecclesiastical cooperation. So where, then, do philosophies of culture fit on the spectrum of Christian fellowship and cooperation? First, to state the obvious, philosophy of culture is clearly… Continue Reading

Fundamentalism and a Conservative Philosophy of Culture

Fundamentalism and a Conservative Philosophy of Culture

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series That They May Be One: Conservatism, Cooperation, and the Center of Christian Unity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I suggested that biblical cooperation is not an “all-or-nothing” sort of thing, but is rather dependent upon the particular matter under consideration and the circumstance, whether it be simple fellowship, joining a church, or proclaiming the gospel. This was the genius of the idea of fundamentalism. Beyond refusing to recognize as Christian those who… Continue Reading

The Center of Christian Unity

The Center of Christian Unity

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series That They May Be One: Conservatism, Cooperation, and the Center of Christian Unity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The purpose of this series is to ask the question of whether a conservative philosophy of worship and culture should affect ecclesiological cooperation. For the past several weeks I have been explaining how I define conservative Christianity. Conservative Christians believe in absolute standards of truth, goodness, and beauty and in preserving certain cultural forms and… Continue Reading

The Importance of Form

The Importance of Form

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series That They May Be One: Conservatism, Cooperation, and the Center of Christian Unity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I briefly summarized what I consider the first pillar of conservative Christianity–affirmation of transcendent truth, goodness, and beauty–and spent a bit of time on absolute beauty since it is the transcendental often overlooked. The purpose of explaining these principles is that I will later ask the question of whether these issues are important… Continue Reading