Worship as Moral Formation

Most discussions about worship focus on its liturgical expressions. While many scholars recognize that a church’s liturgical practice has implications for the community’s daily life, the majority leave those implications unexplored. While there has been some work in the intersection of worship and ethics, most of these studies still focus on the liturgical context. (Leiderbach’s … Read more

“Come Rest on Us:” The Epicletic Impulse of Contemporary Worship Music

The last decade has seen a number of CCLI chart-toppers whose lyrics that invite and invoke the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Most famously, “Holy Spirit” written by Bryan and Katie Torwalt prays: “Holy Spirit you are welcome here/Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere.” Similar petitions are echoed in Maverick City’s … Read more

The Heard Word: How Hearing Scripture Was the Catalyst for Worship

David Rhoades and Thomas Boomershine are examples of scholars who have widely promoted and demonstrated oral performances of books of the New Testament. Their goal has been to bridge the gap between ancient performances of Scripture and modern readings. Additionally, the seventeen volumes of “The Biblical Performance Criticism” series emphasize the orality of the biblical … Read more

Shared Comprehension in Public Worship: Paul, Modernism, and Susanne Langer

Paul gave directions for public worship in 1 Corinthians 14:6-19 to believers in an urban crossroads of trade, languages, religions, and ethnicities. He called for worship practices founded on shared comprehension, the ability of individual minds to apprehend the same truths. This ability was the key to loving one other and worshiping Christ in unity. … Read more

Exploring Theological Depth and Congregational Faith Expression in Hymn Lyrics

Hymns play a significant role in Christian worship, serving as a medium through which congregations express their faith and engage with theological concepts. This research seeks to delve into the theological depth embedded within hymn lyrics and its impact on congregational faith expression. By examining the intersection of scripture, doctrinal truths, and personal experiences in … Read more

Sound Theology in Worship Songs: The Formational Power of Lyrics

The popular song “Holy Spirit” (2011) urges the worshipers to invite the Holy Spirit to come and fill the atmosphere. The lyrics might be interpreted to be a sung prayer of epiclesis as we call upon the Holy Spirit for a special work in worship. Yet not only the language is ambiguous as it seeks … Read more

How Can I Keep on Singing: Beloved Hymns from Questionable Sources and The Hillsong Controversy

The theological and ethical controversies surrounding Hillsong, Bethel Music, Elevation, and Jesus Culture have led many church leaders (especially Southern Baptists) to discuss whether the controversies of the churches sourcing these worship songs should dictate their validity. While much of this discourse has taken place in popular theology circles (via blogs, magazine articles, and popular-level … Read more