Tag Archives: form

Poetry and Scripture: Finding Truth Through Beauty

Poetry and Scripture: Finding Truth Through Beauty

A great explanation of the power of poetry, especially in communicating truth in ways that cannot be any other way: Poetry communicates primarily through images and association contrived by words or sounds. A well-written poem can often express the wrongness of abortion or the cruelty of slavery more powerfully and more persuasively than an articulate… Continue Reading

On the Authority of Scripture’s Form

On the Authority of Scripture’s Form

The church did not simply draw up lists of crucial beliefs but actually canonized particular texts with particular shapes. The implication would seem to be that the particular form of the writings is constitutive of, rather than incidental to, the theological construal of the whole. -C. Kavin Rowe and Richard Hays, “What Is a Geological Commentary?” Pro Ecclesia… Continue Reading

Form and Content in Music

Form and Content in Music

This is good from Greg Wilbur: Too often music is thought about as if the notes are the form and the lyrics are the content. In actuality, the lyrics have form and content, the music has form and content, and the marriage of text and notes have another layer of form and content. For example,… Continue Reading

The Colloquial, the Casual, and the Crafted

The Colloquial, the Casual, and the Crafted

Those who call for ‘authenticity’, ‘realness’, and ‘sincerity’, are not always sure what they mean, if you press them for a definition. Some mean honesty, some others mean integrity, both of which are virtues the Bible commends and commands. But some of those calling for authenticity are really calling for a removal of formality from… Continue Reading

A pastor’s attention to form

A pastor’s attention to form

. . . [A pastor] can seek to use those forms that convey the truths of Christianity without trivializing, sentimentalizing, or otherwise falsifying them. He can seek forms that are consonant with Christian worship and affections by understanding those forms. For the sake of space, let’s restrict our examples to form within poetry. As he… Continue Reading

Worship forms regulated by Scripture

Worship forms regulated by Scripture

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This is the final post in a series I’ve been writing over the past couple months in order to more thoroughly develop an idea I presented in By the Waters of Babylon, namely, that the aesthetic forms in our corporate worship should be regulated by the aesthetic forms of Scripture. In this series, I have argued… Continue Reading

Translating the Aesthetic Forms of Scripture

Translating the Aesthetic Forms of Scripture

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In By the Waters of Babylon, I make a brief statement about how the aesthetic forms of Scripture should guide and regulate worship forms today. In this series, I am attempting to flesh out that argument a bit more. Up to this point, I have argued that truth expressed in Scripture is not merely scientific fact… Continue Reading

Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture

Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I’d like to take a few posts over the next several weeks to respond to one criticism of something I wrote, but did not develop, in a very brief section in By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, published last year by Kregel. In that book, I suggest that instead of our worship… 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

How important is the style of music a church sings?

How important is the style of music a church sings?

I read a post yesterday from a blog of a popular ministry that attempted to answer a question from a reader: “How important is the style of music a church sings?” The answer? “The style of music a church sings is relatively unimportant.” After making several simplistic points, the post concluded, “In short, what we… Continue Reading

Form and content are not easily separable

Form and content are not easily separable

Debates over worship usually center on the issue of form. “Don’t elevate form over content,” the progressives cry. “Content is what is important; it really doesn’t matter what aesthetic forms you use.” What I intend to demonstrate in this essay is the fact that separating form and content is not as simple as many progressives would imply.… Continue Reading

Aesthetic correspondence

Aesthetic correspondence

Conservative evangelicals admirably repudiate emergent leaders who argue that both content and form must be contextualized; evangelicals insist that since God’s Word is inspired and inerrant, God’s truth transcends culture and must be preserved intact. But since even most conservative evangelicals consider culture as entirely neutral in itself and beauty as in the eye of… Continue Reading

Does Form Matter?

Does Form Matter?

Imagine yourself in a nice restaurant with your sweetheart, seeking to impress him/her.  The ambiance is nice and romantic, there is soft classical music playing to soothe all customers, and you are looking forward to a wonderful meal together.  You order your food and continue your nice conversation.  After some time your food arrives and… Continue Reading

On the flexibility of form in worship

On the flexibility of form in worship

 I defend a conservative philosophy of worship not because I want to protect old in the rejection of new, but because I believe “traditional” forms (both old and new) are more flexible and elastic in what they can express in worship, are better suited to carry rich truth about God, and are more appropriate than most contemporary… Continue Reading

Culture doesn’t just change

Culture doesn’t just change

I received an email a few days ago asking what I thought about a few particular contemporary Christian songs. The individual mentioned that he thought that hymns have always been simply reflections of whatever music existed in the current culture, and that these songs were no different. I’ve copied my reply to him below in… Continue Reading

Godless Worship

Godless Worship

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Faulty Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In part one of this series, we investigated what Isaiah describes as heartless worship. God was not pleased with that worship, nor did He accept it as true worship. God demands to be worshipped in a manner which gives Him true glory and honor, not in ways that simply salve our consciences. In addition to… Continue Reading

Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged by Roger Scruton

Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged by Roger Scruton

This entry is part 10 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Having first recommended books which expound the strong foundation of our faith, I have moved on to recommending books which reflect upon the milieu in which we must live our faith. Godliness is the Scripture is never merely correct doctrinal statements, signed and sealed behind glass for all to see. It is also right living… Continue Reading

On racism, ethnicity, and culture

On racism, ethnicity, and culture

I thought today would be a good day to make a few comments about the relationship between race and culture. Often the idea that cultures should be judged or that one culture may be better than another is charged with racism. This is a misguided charge, however. Contrary to the beliefs of early cultural evolutionists, there… Continue Reading