Tag Archives: Articles on Worship

Aesthetic Correspondence

Aesthetic Correspondence

For a couple weeks I have been developing the idea that in order to disciple people through corporate worship, our corporate worship must be shaped by the means God has given us for such transformation—Scripture. This means both that our liturgies must be shaped by Scripture and our music must be shaped by Scripture. There has… 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, Ethics and Worship

Beauty, Ethics and Worship

This entry is part 9 of 13 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

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Biblical, Not Unregulated

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Biblical, Not Unregulated

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

For the past month, I have been tracing Paul’s argument about spiritual gifts in corporate worship in 1 Corinthians 14, drawing out important implications including the fact the corporate worship is corporate, not individual, for believers, not unbelievers, is primarily for edification, not merely expression, and must be orderly, not disorderly. The preceding two principles… Continue Reading

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Order, Not Disorder

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Order, Not Disorder

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Sometimes people comment that the New Testament gives us very little instruction regarding corporate worship, but this is not true. There are many NT passages that help define corporate worship, and some of the NT epistles were written specifically to help believers know “how to behave in the household of God” (1 Tim 3:15), not… Continue Reading

Doctrinal Triage for Worship

Doctrinal Triage for Worship

Many years ago, Al Mohler published a widely-read article on doctrinal triage, a method for evaluating the seriousness of doctrines. Kevin Bauder then pointed out that this approach was something that mainstream fundamentalists had espoused for many years, with possibly more sophistication. I’ve thought for a while that we need something like that for the… Continue Reading

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Edification, not Expression

The Nature and Purpose of Corporate Worship: Edification, not Expression

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Paul’s central argument in the only full NT chapter addressing corporate worship is that for corporate worship, the spiritual gift of prophecy was to be desired more than the gift of tongues. Even though this core argument may not be directly applicable in a day when tongues and prophecy have ceased, I have been demonstrating… Continue Reading

Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Screens

Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Screens

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Disembodied Christianity You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“John, we’d love it if you and Susan would join us for a meal on Thursday evening.” “Uh…well, Mike, thanks but…isn’t that illegal? I mean, doesn’t the lockdown prohibit that kind of social gathering?” “Oh, no, I don’t mean that you and Susan come to our home. We’ll host you online.” “I’m still not following.… Continue Reading

Decent and Orderly Worship: Why is Prophecy better than Tongues?

Decent and Orderly Worship: Why is Prophecy better than Tongues?

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week I started a series on what is likely the single most important text in the New Testament regarding our corporate worship—1 Corinthians 14. By way of introduction, I demonstrated that the chapter is specifically addressing “when we come together,” that is, it is explicitly about the gatherings of churches, and thus this chapter… Continue Reading

What I’ve missed while not gathering with my local church (Part 3)

What I’ve missed while not gathering with my local church (Part 3)

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series What's missing in virtual church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The novel coronavirus has resulted in a time where many churches have been unable to gather. This has been unprecedented for most of us alive today. Many churches have opted for a virtual or streaming ministry. Others have encouraged family worship, or sent pastoral guidance to church members to follow. As I have repeatedly said,… Continue Reading

Decent and Orderly Worship: The Context

Decent and Orderly Worship: The Context

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Decent and Orderly Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“Our church’s worship is pretty formal, but I prefer Holy Spirit-led worship.” Such was the comment I overheard recently by a young evangelical describing his church’s worship service, illustrating a very common perception by many evangelicals today—if the Holy Spirit actively works in worship, the results will be something extraordinary, an experience “quenched” by too… Continue Reading

Why We Won’t Livestream During Lockdown (Though We Could)

Why We Won’t Livestream During Lockdown (Though We Could)

Left-click the bread icon to consume the bread.  >Click< >>>  Thank you. You have eaten the bread. Left-click the cup icon to consume the cup.  > Click< >>> Thank you. You have drunk the cup. Sound preposterous? Why shouldn’t we do virtual Lord’s Supper? Our technology has made this scenario possible. But is it desirable?… Continue Reading

How a church can worship “together” during COVID-19

How a church can worship “together” during COVID-19

It may be tempting to think that we are living in unprecedented times until we remember that Christians have faced persecution and plagues throughout history. This is not the first time Christians have been forced to gather in small groups, nor will it be the last. However, what we are facing as a result of… Continue Reading

The Dangers of Syncretism and Idolatry

The Dangers of Syncretism and Idolatry

In the Old Testament Law, God gave his people very specific instructions about how they were to relate to the people around them, including in their culture and worship practices. Deuteronomy 12:2–8 reveals important principles in this regard. God commanded that the people destroy the places where pagans worshiped, including their altars, their pillars, their… Continue Reading

How the Tabernacle Communicated a Theology of Worship

How the Tabernacle Communicated a Theology of Worship

At Mt. Sinai, God established standardized practices of worship for his people. First, God commanded that the people build a sanctuary for him. They built the tabernacle of God—and later the temple—according to God’s specific instructions (Exod 25:8–9, 40; 27:8; Num 8:4; cf. Acts 7:44; Heb 8:5). This sanctuary of his presence was not for… Continue Reading

Forming a Great Commandment Culture

Forming a Great Commandment Culture

In the context of giving the Law at Mt. Sinai and the promise that if they follow God’s commands as a nation, God will bless them, we find a statement that stands at the core of biblical religion: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your… Continue Reading

Called by God to Worship

Called by God to Worship

The first Patriarch of Israel, Abraham, was not originally a worshiper of the true God; he dwelt the land of Ur, worshiping many false gods (Josh 24:2). God initiated his contact with Abraham (Gen 12:1), confirming a central that principle that all true worship begins with the God who reveals himself to his people. Each… Continue Reading

The First Worship War

The First Worship War

The very first conflict following the Fall was a conflict over worship. Genesis 4:3–8 relates how Abel’s offering to the Lord’s was accepted, while Cain’s was not. These offerings were important because they were God’s means for at least temporarily and partially restoring communion with his people. Yet for some reason that is not explicit… Continue Reading