Tag Archives: affections

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

Affect or Effect

Affect or Effect

This entry is part 2 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 difference between affections and emotions is seen in what art is used in worship. Since worship uses art, worship leaders can use it in precisely one of these two ways: to affect us, or to create effect. They can work with poetry, music and the spoken word to work with the imagination. There the… Continue Reading

Everything is Uh-Sim

Everything is Uh-Sim

This entry is part 48 of 52 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“How’re you guys doin’ today?” “Fine, thanks.” “Uh-sim. Will you be using a rewards card today?” “Uh, no.” “Uh-sim. Cash back?” “No, not today.” Swipes card, takes receipt.  “No prob. You guys have an uh-sim day!” *** I’m probably not being fair to the cashiers at Target, but that was certainly how their pronunciation of… 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

Stop Feeling Your Feelings

Stop Feeling Your Feelings

This entry is part 45 of 52 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Since emotion is a mangled and confusing word, we need to separate the different experiences it is used to refer to. As we have seen, older generations used the terms affections and passions to at least attempt to point out the differences. Some of these emotional experiences are moral desires and should be treated with the same caution… Continue Reading

Does God Have “Emotions”?

Does God Have “Emotions”?

This entry is part 46 of 52 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Trying to answer a badly-worded question often leads to an inferior answer. Loaded questions implicate those who even attempt to answer them. “By what authority doest thou these things?” Whether Jesus had answered “By My own” or “By My Father’s”, he would have been accused of pride or blasphemy. Best rule of thumb: ask the… Continue Reading

A Short History of “Emotion”

A Short History of “Emotion”

This entry is part 43 of 52 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Some might be surprised to learn that the word emotion is perhaps only 200 years old. Thomas Dixon has documented the history of the term “emotion” in his book From Passions to Emotions. He shows that what was originally a moral category in Christian thought named affections or passions became a psychological category termed emotions. What used… Continue Reading

Why Hymnals?

Why Hymnals?

I was recently asked to fill out a survey for pastors about their use of hymnals. Their final question was: “If you DO use hymnals for congregational singing, why do you view them as a worthwhile means of leading your church in worship?” Here was my response: A printed hymnal is good for so many… Continue Reading

The Value of Beauty

The Value of Beauty

This entry is part 6 of 8 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.

What possible value can the study of beauty deliver? Isn’t this fiddling while Rome burns, counting daffodil petals while barbarians lay siege to the city? In times of apostasy, false teaching, deception and darkness, shouldn’t aesthetics go to the bottom of the priority-pile? When caricatured as effete aestheticism, then yes, beauty will seem to be… Continue Reading

Book Announcement: Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards: “The High Exercises of Divine Love” by Ryan J. Martin

Today marks the release of my first book, Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards: “The High Exercises of Divine Love.” (Amazon Link | Bloomsbury Link) | ISBN 9780567682246). T&T Clark (a subsidiary of Bloomsbury) is publishing it as part of their series T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology. I want to give glory to… Continue Reading

Two Exams, and Two Questions

Two Exams, and Two Questions

I present my children with two written tests. They open the envelope of the first, and see the heading, “Dad Orthodoxy”. A series of questions about me follows, which they find delightfully easy. “What is your father’s first name?” “What color are your father’s eyes?” “What is your father’s favorite meal?” “Where did your father… Continue Reading

Making Disciples of Our Children

Making Disciples of Our Children

When it comes to making disciples of our children in our churches, pure love is what we are after. This love is not a mindless “emotion,” as is clear from our commitment to thorough, biblical, catechetical instruction. But this love cannot be confined to robust doctrine. We will not pass on the faith whole and… Continue Reading

Helpful audio on loving God from Michael Riley

Helpful audio on loving God from Michael Riley

Here is audio from some helpful sessions recently presented by Michael Riley at a conference: Way of the Cross Conference 2016 – With ALL your heart Session 1 – The First and Greatest Commandment Session 2 – Why Christians Sing Session 3 – The Standard for Ordered Loves Session 4 – You Shall Not Worship… Continue Reading

Habits

Habits

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I suggested that data transmission alone does not create disciples. Rather, we must focus upon the heart’s inclinations in order to shape one’s behavior. With the limits of data transmission in mind, what will it take, then to nurture true discipleship? If cultivating holy behavior requires influencing the heart’s inclinations, how does this… Continue Reading

Make Disciples

Make Disciples

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I argued that culture is essentially the behavior of a people. Here is the second peg to the argument I am developing over these several weeks: The cultivation of culture should be a concern for conservative Christians because the formation of certain kinds of behaviors falls squarely in the nature, purpose, and mission of… Continue Reading

Start Them Young

Start Them Young

This essay was originally published on April 27, 2012. A couple of events have coincided during the last day or so to bring a question to my attention. That question is essentially, What music should I provide for my small children to listen to? I would like to answer that question by providing general suggestions concerning music… Continue Reading

Affections and Passions

Affections and Passions

Perhaps one of the most important ideas to grasp in any discussion of music and worship is the difference between affections and passions. Premodern thought understood a distinction between kinds of emotion. At the time of the writing of the New Testament, common Greek thought articulated a distinction between the splankna — the chest — and the koilia —… Continue Reading

Crown Him With Many Crowns

Crown Him With Many Crowns

The principal figure of the book of Revelation is the Lamb. He is introduced in Revelation 5, where the seven-sealed scroll represents the outpouring of God’s retribution upon human sin in preparation for the kingdom. The Lamb is the one who has earned the right to break the seals and to impose God’s wrath upon… Continue Reading

Congratulations to Ryan Martin

Congratulations to Ryan Martin

Ryan Martin, regular contributor to Religious Affections Ministries, has successfully defended his dissertation. His Ph.D. will be conferred officially on May 11, but (for what it’s worth) he can already claim to be Dr. Martin. As with most dissertations, Ryan’s title was long and convoluted: “‘A Soul Inflamed with High Exercises of Divine Love:’ Affections… Continue Reading

John Wesley on how the Bible regulates affections

John Wesley on how the Bible regulates affections

The authority of Scripture is of utmost importance to those of us who write here on the Religious Affections blog. The Bible regulates our doctrine, our practice, and even our love. We do not believe our love is arbitrary, to be expressed by our natural whim and fancy. We refuse to believe every theological concept… Continue Reading