Tag Archives: passions

Does God Have “Emotions”?

Does God Have “Emotions”?

This entry is part of 43 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 1 of 43 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

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

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

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

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

The problem with defining worship in any way by physical response

I’ve been teaching recently about the differences between Jonathan Edwards and Charles Finney. In most ways, these men, their philosophies, theologies, and practices are polar opposites. But if you study what these men wrote, you can’t  help but notice what appear to be similarities in what they said. And the deeper you look, the more… Continue Reading

Worship euphoria?

Worship euphoria?

Matt Costella notes here a recent study that finds megachurch worship to create similar physiological responses to that of drug use: The University of Washington just released a fascinating study which concludes that megachurches provide the same biological “high” and euphoria as that produced by sporting events and concerts. The only difference? Those who get “high” from the emotional… Continue Reading

The Centrality and Nature of the Religious Affections

The Centrality and Nature of the Religious Affections

This entry is part 15 of 32 in the series Toward Conservative Christian Churches You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Restoring a right view of the affections may take many years of teaching and instruction. Most Christians exist with very foggy notions of ‘the emotions’ and their relationship to Christianity. Many Christians have either been taught to ignore the affections as irrelevant by-products of a mental-volitional kind of Christianity, or they have been taught to… Continue Reading