“Worldview Bias and the Origins of Hebrew Worship” published in the Answers Research Journal
I’m pleased to link to an article of mine that was recently published in the Answers in Genesis Research Journal: “Worldview Bias and the Origins of Hebrew Worship” (PDF download)
Here is the introduction:
Many have noted that the worship practices of Israel share elements in common with nations around them, including a sacrificial system, a sanctuary, and priests, leading secular scholars to conclude that the worship practices of ancient Israel arose as mere evolutionary developments from other Near Eastern religions. In this essay, I will focus on one primary line of argumentation used to conclude that Israel’s monotheistic worship evolved naturally from polytheism. I begin with an explanation of the problems of similarity between the worship of Israel and its pagan neighbors. I then survey common answers to the question of similarity. I conclude by arguing that worldview bias plays a significant role in the conclusions drawn from the available data, and I observe that non-theists who discredit the veracity of the biblical record by appealing to historical accuracy do so only on the basis of the biblical worldview they repudiate.
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. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.