Category Archives: Articles on Worship

The Process of Correspondent Love

The Process of Correspondent Love

This entry is part 32 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Love for God’s beauty is known not only by imagination and through changed nature, but also by exposure. The writer of Theologia Germanica wrote, “And he who would know before he believeth, cometh never to true knowledge…We speak of a certain Truth which it is possible to know by experience, but which ye must believe… Continue Reading

In Defense of the Prayer Meeting (Part 1)

In Defense of the Prayer Meeting (Part 1)

This entry is part of 1 in the series In Defense of the Prayer Meeting You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Long live the prayer meeting! When I was a kid, the independent Fundamentalist Baptist church I grew up in had a prayer meeting. It felt like all the churches did, not just among the Baptists, but in many other evangelical churches as well. Over the decades since, prayer meetings have slowly been replaced or even… Continue Reading

Brought Near by the Blood of Christ

Brought Near by the Blood of Christ

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Fundamentals of Corporate Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week we examined two images Scripture uses to describe the Old Testament temple that should be applied equally to the New Testament Church has God’s temple—sanctuary and house of God. From these images, we can recognize a bit more clearly the nature of who we are and what we are to do as the… Continue Reading

The Church: God’s Temple

The Church: God’s Temple

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Fundamentals of Corporate Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

So far in this series I have established the importance of grounding our theology and practice of worship in the sufficient and authoritative Word of God. Then remainder of this series will address the natural next question: What is that theology and practice of worship that the Bible prescribes? And in this post I will… Continue Reading

The Authority of Scripture over the Order of Corporate Worship

The Authority of Scripture over the Order of Corporate Worship

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Fundamentals of Corporate Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I discussed implications of the doctrine of Scripture’s authority over our corporate worship, and I suggest that it involves at least three aspects: elements, content, and form. The fourth implication of biblical authority over our corporate worship is that the order of our worship should be derived from the Word of God. If… Continue Reading

The Dilemma of Commanded Love

The Dilemma of Commanded Love

This entry is part 29 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If God’s beauty is perceived through correspondent, or ordinate love, we face a dilemma. Love is not merely a mental choice between options. One cannot simply choose to love as a naked act of the will. As Tozer said, “[E]very man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be.… Continue Reading

The Extent of Biblical Authority over Worship

The Extent of Biblical Authority over Worship

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Fundamentals of Corporate Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

For the past couple of weeks I have been establishing the need to root our theology and practice of worship in the authoritative and sufficient Word of God. So what would it mean, then for our worship to be truly governed by the authority and sufficiency of Scripture? This emphasis upon biblical authority over our… Continue Reading

More Voices From the Past on Loving God Rightly

More Voices From the Past on Loving God Rightly

This entry is part 28 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Brother Lawrence’s (1614–1691) collected letters, known as The Practice of the Presence of God, describe his attempt to love all things for God’s sake. He remarks that he was pleased “when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of God, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts”… Continue Reading

The Authority of Scripture over Worship

The Authority of Scripture over Worship

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Fundamentals of Corporate Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Jesus’s confrontation with the Pharisees during his earthly ministry highlights the fact that God rejects worship based on the traditions of men; rather, he insists that worship be regulated by his inspired Word. The key biblical text that emphasizes the authority of God’s Word is 2 Timothy 3:16–17: All Scripture is breathed out by God… Continue Reading

Voices From the Past on Loving God Rightly

Voices From the Past on Loving God Rightly

This entry is part 27 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

It would be an insurmountable task to gather the collective thought of Christians on the topic of love for God. Suffice it to say, that many Christians have spoken frequently on the degree and nature of rightly ordered love. They have spoken not only on the required order of Christian loves, but on their kind.… Continue Reading

The Traditions of Men

The Traditions of Men

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Fundamentals of Corporate Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Ever since Cain and Abel, God’s people have been asking, “What is the proper way to worship God?” Uncertainty reigns today in churches over whether or not certain service elements are really helpful for congregational worship. What is acceptable? Some godly Christians, attempting to enhance their worship, believe they have freedom to use anything to… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Definition: What About the Cross?

Beauty’s Definition: What About the Cross?

This entry is part 20 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

If beauty is ultimately God’s self-knowledge and communicative self-delight, we can explain easily enough why other theories of beauty have defined beauty as harmony and symmetry, or truth and goodness, or pleasure and delight. For Trinitarian love is the ultimate and absolute form of harmony and unity, being a symmetry not of objects but of… Continue Reading

Beauty Defined (With Some Help From Edwards)

Beauty Defined (With Some Help From Edwards)

This entry is part 18 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

How do we decide between these competing definitions of beauty? As Christians, we would firstly say that we cannot be satisfied with a definition of beauty abstracted from God. Beauty must be defined in relation to God. For that reason, special revelation (Scripture) must define beauty in general revelation (nature and art), not the other… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Definition

Beauty’s Definition

This entry is part 17 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Defining beauty is no easy task. A definition of beauty or the beautiful has eluded the grasp of those who wish a definition with mathematical precision. This more than two-millennia-old discussion remains open, and no definition has satisfied its perennial participants or become the final word. Among those who venture to define it, we can… Continue Reading

Beauty’s Difficulties: The Problem of Taste

Beauty’s Difficulties: The Problem of Taste

This entry is part 15 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

After more than a century of grappling with Descartes’ division of knowledge into “subjective” and “objective”, eighteenth-century thinkers developed a way to rescue the concept of beauty. The conversation about beauty moved away from a discussion of harmony, proportion, or unity and towards the idea of taste. In fact, at this early stage, the attention… Continue Reading

The Bowl

The Bowl

High upon a volcanic plateau was a village, about an hour’s walk from the Everlasting Spring. Once a week, on the Day of Worship, the Healer would arise long before dawn and begin his trek to the Spring, carrying the Bowl. Hollowed out from a large stone, the Bowl had been passed down from one… 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

Beauty and Motivation

Beauty and Motivation

This entry is part 10 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

As surprising as it might sound, beauty lies at the heart of motive. Why we do what we do is a question of desire, and desire is rooted in what we think is good and beautiful. Jonathan Edwards tackled the questions of motive, desire, and freedom in his work The Freedom of the Will. There Edwards… Continue Reading

Beauty, Ethics and Worship

Beauty, Ethics and Worship

This entry is part 9 of 32 in the series Doxology: A Theology of God's Beauty You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Sometimes throwaway lines leave a deep impression. One of those were words written on a blog I avidly followed about fifteen years ago. The writer said, “A good man does not love ugly things”. Words like that enabled me to see a profound link and overlap between what is true, good, and beautiful. Real beauty… Continue Reading