Can We Worship God However We Want? (Ames)

Why are the worship services of Reformed churches different from the worship services of most evangelical churches?  Why won't you find props, balloons, skits, films, lights, projectors,* and rock/pop music at confessional Reformed churches? And why aren't worship services in Reformed churches a Sunday morning free-for-all where we can just wing it? It's not simply… Continue reading Can We Worship God However We Want? (Ames)

A Walk Through the Directory For Public Worship

The Directory for the Public Worship of God has a long history and important place in confessional Presbyterian churches.  In one form or another, the DPW has been around as long as the Westminster Standards (c. 1646).  The DPW does not at all have the same status as Holy Scripture and it is not part… Continue reading A Walk Through the Directory For Public Worship

American Hymnody: The Musical Dark Ages

Around the turn of the 19th century, Christianity (and religion in general) was undergoing a change: it was becoming more and more democratic (a religion of the people, for the people, and by the people).  Not only did this democratization affect doctrine, ecclesiology, and piety, it also affected Christian and religious hymnody.  Here’s how Nathan… Continue reading American Hymnody: The Musical Dark Ages

Reforming Worship: According to the Word

This is a great book.  I'm sorry I put off reading it for a few years!  Phil Ryken, Derek Thomas, and Ligon Duncan edited Give Praise to God together as a festschrift for J. M. Boice, as sort of a tribute to Boice's emphasis on worship according to the Word.  The structure of the book… Continue reading Reforming Worship: According to the Word

Ames on the RPW

In Reformed/Presbyterian confessionalism, the regulative principle of worship (RPW) is right there in the fiber of the discussions on worship (HC Q/A 96, WLC Q/A 108-9, etc). William Ames (d. 1633) defines it this way: "God must be worshipped only for the reason and by the means by which he has personally prescribed that he… Continue reading Ames on the RPW