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Top Articles and Resources This Year

It is the end of another great year for Religious Affections Ministries. We continue to be encouraged by the e-mails we receive thanking us for the resources we provide to help the church think biblically about worship and the Christian life.

This year we published regular weekly content on the website as usual (top posts listed below), but we also launched our new “Tune My Heart” resource page as well as the Tune My Heart Bible Narratives Devotional guide for Individuals or Families and the Tune My Heart Bible Narratives Worship Guide. Be looking for a brand new Tune My Heart resource coming very soon!

I also continued my “By the Waters of Babylon” podcast, which has grown considerably in listenership. Thanks to all who’ve listened, and please continue to spread the word!

We continue to provide hymn resources to supplement our hymnal, Hymns to the Living God, including new, free hymn accompaniment audio and video files.

We would like to take this opportunity to express deep gratitude to all who have donated over the past year. We would not be able to continue producing conservative Christian resources without you.

I want to especially thank personally the several people who have regularly contributed to this site, including David de Bruyn, Ryan Martin, David Duffstutler, and Michael Riley.

I would also like to thank those who give monthly to support this ministry. We could not provide the resources that we do without you!

As the year comes to a close, would you consider giving to Religious Affections Ministries? Since the ministry is a federally-approved non-profit organization, you can take full advantage of the tax benefits of your giving.

Your donation will help us to continue publishing books and other materials that will help the church.

Consider giving today!

Below are the top posts from this past year:

#10: “Social Justice” by Kevin T. Bauder

Excerpt: “But social justice is not justice. It is injustice. It is a mirage, a fake, a bill of goods. We would be much further ahead simply to repudiate the leadership of any individual (whether evangelical or secular) who spoke as if social justice were a desirable, an attainable, or even a real thing.”

#9: “The Coronavirus and the Christian” by David Huffsutler

Excerpt: “How should Christians respond to the coronavirus? How should we think about the spread of this virus as it relates to God? Has He lost control? Does He know what He is doing?  Is He being cruel to us on earth?”

#8: “New Book! Tune My Heart: Bible Narratives Devotional Guide for Families or Individuals” by Scott Aniol

Excerpt: “Many of you have watched this book develop over these years as I posted the 5 Day Bible Narratives Reading Plan, Religious Affections Catechism, and study notes on this web site, and I have received many messages indicating people are are using the reading plan and notes for themselves and their families. Now, the reading plan, study notes, reflection questions, catechism, weekly Bible memory, and weekly hymns are all conveniently published in one 359 page volume!”

#7: “Our Homeschool Curriculum (I Bought a Whole Program!)” by Becky Aniol

Excerpt: “I know a lot of you are thinking about next year’s curricula for your homeschool and some of you may be thinking about homeschooling for the first time. I’ve received numerous emails asking what we are currently using. I haven’t posted our plans in awhile because we’ve been trying something, and I wanted to give myself time to make a good assessment of it before sharing it with you. But…this may amaze some of you who’ve been here for awhile…I bought a whole curriculum rather than piecing something together myself!”

#6: “Manhood Ceremony for a Boy Becoming a Man” by Scott Aniol

Excerpt: ““Coming of age” ceremonies are not unique in the history of humankind, of course. Various communities around the world and throughout time have marked the transition of a child into an adult with rituals and ceremonies, possibly the most well-known of these being the Bar Mitzvah in Jewish communities. Historically, age thirteen is when a child comes of age and enters a period of training for adulthood. For Christians, this can be a wonderful opportunity to stimulate a young man or woman toward Christian maturity.”

#5: “Cessationism in a Nutshell” by David Huffstutler 

Excerpt: “The term cessationism is typically used in theology with reference to the belief that the practice of miraculous spiritual gifts ceased at the end of the time of the apostles. In contrast, the term continuationism is used with reference to the belief that the practice of miraculous spiritual gifts continue to be practiced today.”

#4: “How a church can worship ‘together’ during COVID-19” by Scott Aniol

Excerpt: “At the end of the day, I think we need to avoid trying to “reproduce” normality through digital means. It is not normal, nor should it be, for churches to “gather” virtually. Some churches are choosing to live-stream services. Personally, I’m not sure the real value in that unless you feel like you need to reproduce the “professional production” of a Sunday service, which may indicate a problem with how we conceive of corporate worship.”

#3: “Wrong Responses to a Loss of Corporate Worship” by David de Bruyn

Excerpt: “Could this be a moment for pastors and leaders to consider the meaning of church, the meaning of worship, the meaning of the Body (and the human body) and renew their commitment to worship instead of entertainment, to body life and not vicarious involvement, to membership instead of illusory community?”

#2: “Why “Virtual Lord’s Supper” Is Impossible” by Scott Aniol

Excerpt: “But some things technology cannot accomplish. And since physical togetherness is inherently part of what the Lord’s Supper is meant to communicate, I believe it would be a mistake to try to “replicate” the Table virtually through technological means. In fact, you can’t. You can eat and drink; you may even be able to proclaim the Lord’s death. But you can’t have Communion without coming together.”

#1: “Why We Won’t Livestream During Lockdown (Though We Could)” by David de Bruyn

Excerpt: “When a pandemic prevents us from gathering, the appropriate response is to grieve that we cannot gather, and then do what is the closest thing to corporate worship, while praying for the restoration of normal life. Creating a simulation of gathered worship, however “live” or “real-time”, is just that: a simulation.”

 

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies 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.

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