Results tagged “worship” from Reformation21

Soul Food and Spiritual Drink

Article by   October 2019
Humans are complex creatures, consisting of body and soul. God formed us out of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7a). He gave us bodies, making us physical creatures. And He nourishes our bodies with physical things. The Lord provides food to satisfy our hunger and drink to quench our thirst. continue

The World in the Church 2: Ordinary World, Ordinary Church?

Article by   October 2015
My first article began with the observation that Satan ambitiously aims to attack the church at the very points that are intended by God for its defence. He seeks to bring the world into the church through its elders, and at the heart of its public worship. Having considered the growing problem of distractedness, in this article I turn to reflect on the desire that Christians can feel to demonstrate to the world that they are normal, and the resultant risk of churches becoming like the world at just the points where they should be differe continue

The World in the Church: A Distracted World, a Distracted Church?

Article by   October 2015
How does the world get inside the church? The prince of this world is not modest in his schemes or unambitious in his aspirations: his attack on the Son of God reveals the insane over-reach of his pride. Sometimes he might use subtle and insidious means, but he is just as capable of attacking the church at the very point where her divinely ordained defence is focused. Thus while the elders of the church are appointed by God for her protection (Acts 20:28-31), Satan is ready to attack them in order to undermine the church. continue

In Defense of the Ass: Is the Sermon a "Relic of the Reformation?"

Article by   April 2015
Recently I was presented with a question about preaching. "Given that contemporary communication studies show that people learn better with a Q&A format, should we abandon the traditional form of the sermon?" The stated premise behind the question was that the sermon form as we know it is a "relic of the Reformation" for which there is no biblical sanction. continue

Desiring the Kingdom

Article by   November 2013
James K. A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. Cultural Liturgies, vol. 1. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009, 240pp. $22.99/£12.99In Desiring the Kingdom, James K. A. Smith sets forth a vision of Christian formation that seeks to... continue

Covenantal Worship and Christ's Authority

Article by   June 2012
In the various worship wars that continue to rage, there is one element (no pun intended) that is more dangerous than any other. I am not referring to the guitar vs. organ or the suit vs. casual debates. Nor I am referring to the debate about the role of women in worship. Rather I'm thinking of the duty vs. privilege debate. I was recently told that worship is not a duty of man, but a privilege. Man is therefore free to take or leave the worship of God as he pleases. continue

Review: Reformed Worship

Article by   August 2008
What makes Reformed worship distinctive? Johnson takes as his starting point John 4:24, where Jesus says, "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." continue

Rediscovering the Psalms

Article by   June 2008
Psalm singing is experiencing a renaissance. A national worship conference being held this year is entitled "Rediscovering the Psalms". Websites are providing resources for people who would like to learn more about psalm singing. Churches are making strategic plans to... continue

Worshipping with the Elders (in Heaven)

Article by   February 2008
Drawing too many conclusions from descriptive passages is hermeneutically perilous. Revelation 5 is descriptive of heavenly worship and not necessarily prescriptive of worship here on earth. continue

Singing and Making Music

Article by   July 2006
Paul Jones has performed an indispensable service for the church in the writing of his book Sing and Making Music. The chapters range from the highly practical to the more technical, but without losing the reader in the process. Dr.... continue

Flip-Flops in the House of God

Article by   June 2006
In an article in the Chicago Tribune this week, Jodi Cohen and Maegan Carberry discussed the case of Kate Darmody, a winning member of the National Championship Women's Lacrosse team from Northwestern University. She, along with her fellow players had... continue

Art For God's Sake

Article by   May 2006
I have quite a collection of books on the arts from a Christian perspective, but I was so eager for Dr. Ryken's new book, that I have had it on backorder since last December. The subtitle of the book... continue

Results tagged “worship” from Reformation21 Blog

Sobriety and the Gospel

Article by   October 2019
In my previous post, I discussed how patience (along with the closely-related virtues of endurance and perseverance) is one of the most valuable Christian virtues in connection to Christian maturity. However, there is another virtue of the Christian life which,... continue

A Heavenly Appetizer

Article by   October 2019
Many Christians today hold to the misconception that the Lord's Supper is nothing other than a memorial meal, a time where we "look back" and reflect upon the death of Christ. This is generally the view of mainstream evangelicalism, though... continue

Soul Food and Spiritual Drink

Article by   October 2019
Humans are complex creatures, consisting of body and soul. God formed us out of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7a). He gave us bodies, making us physical creatures. And He nourishes our bodies with physical things. The Lord provides... continue

Patience and Maturity

Article by   September 2019
Over the past several months, I've taken a break from regular writing and blogging because I've been pondering the importance of Christian maturity. The apostle Paul himself stated that one of the central goals of his ministry was to... continue

Reciting the Creed

Article by   September 2019
Why do we recite the historic creeds of the church in our worship services? There are a few ways to answer this question. First, we believe these creeds are really just recitations of the content of Scripture. All we are... continue

Worship That Smells: Calvin on Genesis 8

Article by   September 2019
Noah's first deed upon exiting the ark -- at least as recorded in Scripture -- was to build an altar and offer unto God sacrifices. He did this from the "clean" animals and birds which had accompanied him and his... continue

Ain't Just Putting On the Ritz

Article by   August 2019
Only a few days after Josh Harris told Instagram that he is no longer a Christian, Marty Sampson similarly announced that he is "genuinely losing [his] faith." To briefly summarize, the former Hillsong United lead singer is apparently the first person... continue

Loving the Church, For Better or Worse

Article by   August 2019
Something is terribly wrong when professing Christians do not identify with the church and love being a part of her. Something is wrong when professing Christians fail to be passionate about every aspect of the church and long to invest... continue

Praying for the Dead

Article by   May 2019
An individual dies and social media is flooded with sentiments about prayers for the deceased and their family members. Without doubt, it is altogether right and in keeping with a spirit of true Christian charity to pray fervently for the... continue

The Scripture's the Limit

Article by   September 2018
Worship is truly the greatest privilege of the creature and all of creation is morally obligated to worship the Creator. When the topic of worship is usually discussed today, however, so much of the discussion involves musical style and... continue

The Zwinglian Option

Article by   June 2018
You will have heard of the "Benedict Option" for coping with the culture wars. I would like to propose to Reformed Protestants the "Zwinglian Option" for ending the worship wars: eliminate all music from our public services. Zwingli, the... continue

A Psalm-Singing Resurgence

Article by   June 2018
We are experiencing something of a Psalm-singing resurgence in our day. Resources abound online for people who would like to learn more about psalm singing. Churches are making strategic plans to train their members in singing the psalms. Blogs buzz... continue

Everyone Plays a Part in Preaching

Article by   June 2018
Every Christian needs to understand the theology of preaching in Scripture because Christ designed every Christian to sit under sermons. Yet are there ways for all believers to participate in sermons? All Christians, and not the preacher only, should... continue

Considering Exceptions: Singing Psalms

Article by   May 2018
Often, potential exceptions to the Westminster Standards take this form: "If the Confession is saying 'x', then I must state my difference with that section." One particularly common example of this is found in WCF 21.5, which reads, If... continue

The Exception and the Rule

Article by   April 2018
Over the years, many have approached me in order to ask what I believe the Bible teaches on some particular theological or ethical subject. In many cases, no sooner have I finished answering them that I'm met with the reply,... continue

Martin Bucer and the Reform of Worship

Article by   February 2018
If Martin Bucer (1477-1548) is not an unsung hero of the Reformation, he is certainly an undersung hero. This particularly is the case when it comes to public worship. Bucer's fingerprints are all over Calvin's Form of Church Prayers... continue

How to Discourage Your Minister in the New Year

Article by   January 2018
I recently had someone come to see me who was struggling in their church. In all honesty it would have been hard to be more depressed by what they had to say. I had very little sympathy with their... continue

The Quest for Biblical Worship (Part 2)

Article by   September 2017
Reformed churches not only have the regulative principle worship (RPW) to guide them regarding elements and forms, but they also, throughout their history, have had liturgies and directories. The liturgies were the more restrictive (e.g. Strasburg, Geneva, Amsterdam), the... continue

The Quest for Biblical Worship (Part 1)

Article by   July 2017
Which is more likely today, liturgical sameness or liturgical strangeness? Which is more damaging to the integrity of Protestant denominations? Are we suffocating from liturgical uniformity--encountering the same old predictable things in the Reformed churches we attend? Or, are... continue

The Regulative Principle of "Liturgical Sameness?"

Article by   April 2017
In the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)--the denomination in which I serve as a minister of the Gospel--quite a number of ministers lament the fact that you can attend five of our churches (all within the same city) only to... continue

Redemptive History, Union with Christ and the Liturgical Calendar

Article by   February 2017
The word "liturgy" continues to be a trendy--yet often indeterminate--buzzword among young(er-ish) Christians. This is especially so with regard to those who have recently made the shift away from broad evangelicalism and toward historic worship practices of Christendom. Alongside this... continue

The Public Reading of Scripture--Presbyterian-Style

Article by   February 2017
In 2011, the session of the church that I pastor sought to educate and assist the members of the church regarding proposed changes that we had decided to make to an important aspect of our corporate worship services. Prior to... continue

Creation Calls For Wonder

Article by   January 2017
"The work of creation is, God's making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good." Thus the Westminster Shorter Catechism summarizes the Christian doctrine of creation (WSC... continue

When in Babylon...

Article by   December 2016
Regard for the Lord's Day is on a steep decline, and, sadly, has been for quite some time. Disregard for the Lord's Day is evidenced by the fact that many churches have decided to cancel their worship services this Sunday... continue

Diversity and Music: African Americans in Predominantly Non-Black Churches

Article by   October 2016
Properly understood, diversity highlights aspects of both the atoning work of Christ (Rev. 5:9) and the economic Trinity (John 3:34-35). The former, in part, underscores the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20). It is, therefore, incumbent upon Christ's Church to take... continue

The Psalms in Worship

Article by   August 2016
Too many churches never sing the psalms in public worship. Despite the fact the two direct injunctions that relate to singing in the New Testament place psalms at the head of the list of what Christians ought to sing as... continue

Hughes Oliphant Old: A Personal Remembrance

Article by   May 2016
Tomorrow the remains of Hughes Oliphant Old (April 13, 1933 - May 24, 2016) will be interred at the Christian Street Cemetery in White River Junction, Vermont. A prince in Israel has died, leaving behind mourners who will miss both his genteel... continue

Bringing Our Children to Jesus

Article by   May 2016
One of the most important things we will do at Second Presbyterian Church is disciple our children to a living, personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We live in a society that assumes that when children grow up they... continue

"Our God is a consuming fire" (part three)

Article by   March 2016
IntroductionHebrews 12.28 prescribes that Christian worship be grateful, awe-filled, and reverent. Hebrews 12.29 describes why Christian worship should be so: "our God is a consuming fire." In the preceding post, we paused to consider the significance of this imagery and... continue

Is Family-Integrated Worship the Historical Norm?

Article by   February 2016
Advocates of "family-integrated worship" -- a fancy term for keeping kids of every age in church services rather than shuffling them off to the nursery/crèche, Sunday School (UK), or Children's Church (US) -- generally claim their practice as the historical... continue

"Our God is a consuming fire" (part two)

Article by   February 2016
IntroductionAccording to Nicholas Wolterstorff, worship is the "Godward acknowledgement of God's unsurpassable greatness . . . whose attitudinal stance toward God is awed, reverential, and grateful adoration." As we saw in our last post, this definition aptly summarizes the vision... continue

"Our God is a consuming fire" (part one)

Article by   February 2016
In his book, The God We Worship, Nicholas Wolterstorff defines worship as the "Godward acknowledgement of God's unsurpassable greatness . . . whose attitudinal stance toward God is awed, reverential, and grateful adoration." According to Wolterstorff, worship is "Godward" in its... continue

The Death of the Evening Service

Article by   October 2015
At the church where I minister, we have a morning and an evening service, both of which are practically identical in their order and form. As far as I am aware, we are one of the few Presbyterian churches in... continue

New Calvinism, Trinitarian Worship, & American Flags

Article by   June 2015
One area where I think the so-called "new Calvinists" (and some PCA churches) need to perhaps give some more careful attention to in their retrieval of Reformed theology is in the area of worship, especially if they want to be... continue

Putrid vs. Perfumed Worship: Calvin on Gen. 8.20-21

Article by   December 2014
Noah's first deed upon exiting the ark -- at least as recorded in Scripture -- was to build an altar and offer unto God sacrifices from the "clean" animals and birds which had accompanied him and his family on his... continue

See It Publicly

Article by   September 2014
When I made arrangements to start blogging here, I told the fellows in charge that it was unlikely that I would blog more than twice a month at Ref21, but I'm about to only have posted once in my premiere... continue

Children's Church or Children in the Church?

Article by   September 2014
Where should your children be during corporate worship? What does the Bible say about it? Does church history help us answer this question?Over the years, I have tried to read various positions regarding the inclusion of children during Sunday service... continue

Another bite of the Apple

Article by   September 2014
How pleased and blest was ITo hear the people cry,"Come, let us seek our God today!"Yes, with a cheerful zealWe haste to Zion's hill,And there our vows and honours pay.The excitement is building and the tension is mounting. We have... continue

"Men were created to employ themselves": Calvin on Gen. 2.15

Article by   August 2014
We tend towards one of two extremes in our attitudes towards work: either we make too little of it, or we make too much of it. We make too little of work when we regard it with contempt, when we... continue

Alliance partners in the annual Reformation Worship Conference

Article by   August 2014
The Alliance is partnering with the annual Reformation Worship Conference outside of Atlanta, Oct. 23-26. We are so very happy to join with our friends at Midway Presbyterian Church, outside of Atlanta, who host the annual Reformation Worship Conference ( continue

Does Liturgy or Music Keep Minorities Away from Our Church? (Part 2)

Article by   July 2014
"Our call to worship comes from...", "If you have confessed your sins, I declare to you...", and "The Lord bless you and keep you" are statements frequently found on Lord's Day worship at Reformed and Presbyterian churches. Are these things... continue

Does Liturgy or Music Keep Minorities Away from Our Church? (Part 1)

Article by   July 2014
"Let's face it. It's music that keeps minorities out of our church," said a PCA layman during the question and answer section of my Sunday school class. I have heard many comments like this. Perhaps you have also. Is it... continue

Sunday Worship: What's On My Bookshelves

Article by   June 2014
Sunday worship is a sensitive issue. Advocates of the regulative and normative principles of worship each have a lens through which they look to subscribe to certain principles about worship. Which is right?Years ago I began reading on the topic.... continue

False Worship in the World by Jonathan Master

Article by   June 2014
If you look around the United States today (with apologies to our overseas readers), several things stand out. First, we are a military power. We face threats, but we have confidence in our military might.Then there is our economy -... continue

Defending Eutychus

Article by   April 2014
A recent book enjoys the witty title, Saving Eutychus. The book itself is intended to encourage and assist preachers to preach engaging sermons in the hopes of preventing their congregations tumbling out of windows to their death, or something along... continue

Concessions and contentions

Article by   January 2014
I may have fallen victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is, "Never get involved in a land war in Asia," but only slightly less well known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian when death... continue

Not so unlikely?

Article by   January 2014
Though Carl reports that the arrival of a formal liturgy at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs is considered a surprise, if I remember John Owen correctly, he would probably be expecting it.I cannot recall the precise place (I... continue

Asking the right questions

Article by   December 2013
At the risk of being trampled by the ireful in the latest slanging match over rap and hip-hop, I wonder if I might interject? It seems to me, watching from a distance and not trying to read every contribution, that... continue

All that Grace Does!

Article by   June 2013
This coming Monday evening, June 17, we begin our pre- PCA General Assembly conference, hosted at Second Presbyterian Church of Greenville by the Gospel Reformation Network.  The conference is titled, "What Grace Does."  Too often today, salvation is preached as... continue

Singing in worship

Article by   June 2012
Now that the news has broken that my album - tentatively entitled Funkier Than You Think - may be hitting the market before long, I feel marginally better qualified to speak to the issue of the sung worship of the... continue

This Lent I am giving up . . . reticence

Article by   March 2012
I will make no bones about it: I am an Old World (for which please read 'continental European') Christian, of Puritan inclination, and a Dissenter - specifically, a Particular or Reformed Baptist. That means several things. By conviction and heritage... continue

On Liturgical Gnats and Theological Camels

Article by   March 2011
I probably should begin this post by establishing my "traditional worship" bona fides.   My tastes in worship are decidedly traditional--my wife and I attend a church with a pipe organ where the organ is used . . . every Sunday... continue

The assembling of ourselves together

Article by   November 2008
While preaching recently on the twelve apostles, I focussed on John's statement about Thomas: 'Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came'. John, of course, does not tell us why Thomas was... continue

Why I Love an Ordination Service

Article by   July 2008
This past Lord's Day evening, our church saw the ordination of Rev. Gabriel Fluher.  Gabe is a recent graduate of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and has been a most outstanding intern at our church for the last few years.  We have... continue

The Woman with the Measuring Line

Article by   July 2008
I was alerted by Scott Clark's blog to a year-old article by Sally Morgenthaler in which she declares the worship-evangelism mega-church experiment, of which she was such a proponent, to be a failure.  After a generation of seeker-sensitive consumer-driven worship,... continue

Random Thoughts on Gender, Based on a Small Sample Size

Article by   June 2008
I had the privilege yesterday, along with the other elders of Second Church, of spending the afternoon and evening (before and after evening worship) hearing professions of faith from applicants for membership in our church.  As is usual for a city church,... continue

Did You Know that Pentecost is this Sunday?

Article by   May 2008
The Christian calendar practiced by most evangelicals today is extremely illuminating.  What it shows is our generally weak appreciation for the fullness of Christ's saving work.  Two big holidays occupy our minds completely: Christmas and Easter.  So we focus on... continue

The Family Worship Book

Article by   January 2008
Anyone who wishes to respond to Rick Phillips's stirring call to family worship will find a helpful resource in Terry Johnson's recent publication, The Family Worship Book.  In addition to a rationale for family worship and helpful hints for getting... continue

2008: A Year for Family Worship

Article by   January 2008
Returning to our editor's theme for the start of this year, I would make another suggestion for "the most important issue facing the church in 2008?"  Having already suggested a renewed passion for world missions and the support of the growing... continue
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