Is the Offering an Element, a Circumstance, or Neither?

The Reformed churches order their worship services according to the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) This principle says that we must do only that which God has commanded in his Word. When planning the elements (see below) of a service, the only . . . Continue reading →

Saturday Psalm Series: Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs, and Instruments in the Vulgate (Part 2)

The Latin Bible was a major formative influence on the way the Reformed theologians interpreted Scripture. The King James Version/Authorized Version (1611) particularly reflects the influence of the Latin Bible, but its influence reverberates in many English translations. It influenced their word . . . Continue reading →

Saturday Psalm Series: Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs, and Instruments in the Vulgate (Part 1)

We Reformed folk like to think that what we do now in public worship is what we have always done. This is especially easy to do when we are cut off from or unaware of the original sources and practices of our . . . Continue reading →

Saturday Psalm Series: Keith Getty’s Critique Of Contemporary Worship Music Is A Step In The Right Direction

In 2008, Mike Horton called attention to the phenomenon of a radically subjective turn in American evangelicalism, in Christless Christianity. Unfortunately, a single book diagnosing the deep sickness of American evangelical Christianity was not enough to turn the tide. In that volume, Mike . . . Continue reading →

The Antecedent To Worship

We all agree there should be truth in worship. But shouldn’t worship also be in truth? There’s a big difference between having truth in worship and worshipping in truth. Having truth in worship means you got some Bible in there. But worshiping . . . Continue reading →

Withholding The Chalice in Protestant Practice

Intinction And The Loss Of Symbolism

The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament the administration of which has been influenced by the health of the culture at the time. This past summer, I interned at a church and attended meetings where the staff discussed how to administer the Lord’s . . . Continue reading →

The Forgotten Gift Of Evening Worship

When I was a boy, my parents gave my siblings and me a big, round trampoline. That gift brought us and countless hours of fun, laughter, and exercise. So, when our children were old enough, Jordan and I decided to surprise them . . . Continue reading →

A Sunday Evening Bible Study Is Good But A Second Worship Service Is Better

Romans 10 On The Centrality Of The Official Preaching Of The Gospel

When I first began to become Reformed (c. 1980) I was familiar with the second service because my Southern Baptist congregation had an evening service. Indeed, we had a Wednesday evening service in addition to the Sunday morning service. Oddly, much to . . . Continue reading →

D. G. Hart To Speak At NW Atlanta Reformed Conference May 21, 2022

D. G. Hart, Distinguished Associate Professor of History at Hillsdale College is the featured speaker at the second annual Northwest Atlanta Reformed Conference Saturday, May 21, 2022 (9:00–Noon) to be held at Christ Orthodox Presbyterian Church (495 Terrell Mill Rd., Marietta, GA). The . . . Continue reading →

Five Reasons We Do Not Need Ken’s Doxology

In a recent essay I mentioned in passing that we do not need Bishop Ken’s seventeenth-century substitute (i.e., “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”) for the Psalms since there are five doxologies inspired by the Holy Spirit and included in the Psalter . . . Continue reading →

Keith Getty’s Critique Of Contemporary Worship Music Is A Step In The Right Direction

In 2008, Mike Horton called attention to the phenomenon of a radically subjective turn in American evangelicalism, in Christless Christianity. Unfortunately, a single book diagnosing the deep sickness of American evangelical Christianity was not enough to turn the tide. In that volume . . . Continue reading →

Reconsidering The Offering As An Element Of Worship After Covid

Introduction: The Hypothesis Tested Way back in 2008 I asked the question whether the offering is an element or a circumstance of worship or neither? I argued that the offering is neither an element nor a circumstance and thus raised the question . . . Continue reading →

Making Melody With Instruments Versus Making Melody In The Heart

The Ancient Christian church did not use musical instruments in public worship. They did not enter public worship in the West until the middle of the 8th century, i.e., well into the early medieval period. Further, that was one isolated instance, in . . . Continue reading →

Singing In Acts 16:25 And Plausibility Structures

In the English Standard Version Acts 16:25 says “[a]bout midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them…”. Several other translations (e.g., NASB, NIV, TEV, ASV, RSV, NLT, NKJV, HCSB) follow this or . . . Continue reading →