Ours is an age of unparalleled excess in the realm of worship music. Just 60 years ago, many churches only had one hymnal from which to select their hymns for the Sunday morning service. Now, in the digital age, churches have access CCLI, which boasts of having over 300,000 worship songs from which they can select. If those tasked with selecting from ~500 hymns thought that was tiresome enough, I feel sorry for those tasked with choosing from over 300,000 songs! Yet choices must be made, for no church can sing every song. What then are the criteria for selecting songs to include in Sunday worship? Good criteria can dramatically reduce the number of songs to select from and help place the one selecting them on a firm foundation as he prepares to lead God’s people in singing His praises. Continue reading “Harmony in Cacophony: How to Select Biblical Songs for Corporate Worship”
Technology is a tool and as with any other tool the saying is true, “We make our tools and our tools make us.” Man makes hammers and hammers make callouses on man’s hand. Use a hammer too much and you’ll have blisters instead. We use our brains to create digital media and digital media shapes how our brains think.
French philosopher Jacques Ellul recognized the powerful effect of technology on the individual and the community and proposed 77 questions we should ask before adopting any given technology into our lives. If we were to answer these questions before accepting the use of a given technology into our lives…well it might have the potential to change our lives. At the very least we would be conscious of what kind of live we are choosing to live. As Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Continue reading “77 Questions to ask about Technology”
The prosperity “gospel” is perhaps the largest heresy of the church today. It is ubiquitous in, and growing on, every continent. There has been much written about the errors of the prosperity “gospel”, for they are legion. A whole volume could be filled with examples of how they rip Scripture out of context, downplay the promise of suffering in the New Testament, absolutize one Scripture at the expense of others, read physical prosperity into texts where it has no place, elevate the gift above the giver, distort the warnings about wealth etc. However, beneath all this there are two fundamental hermeneutical problems that I have encountered again and again in its adherents. They are a backwards reading of redemptive history and an over-realized eschatology. Continue reading “2 Hermeneutical Errors of the Prosperity Gospel”
Last week I wrote an article on pseudepigraphy in the New Testament canon. This article is the companion piece to that and is written by Gregory Dean Kabakjian. Greg has a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Messiah College and is pursuing a MAR from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Continue reading “When did the New Testament become Canon?”
In his essay, “Evil and Omnipotence,” atheist philosopher J. L. Mackie argues that the Christian belief in a wholly good, omnipotent God is incompatible with the existence of evil. Mackie’s argument takes the following form:
P1: God is wholly good.
P2: God is omnipotent.
P3: Evil exists.
P4: Good is opposed to evil in such a way that it always eliminates it as far as it can.
P5: There are no limits to what an omnipotent thing can do.
C: The existence of a being who is both good and omnipotent and the existence of evil are incompatible. Continue reading “What’s Wrong with the Problem of Evil?”
Many scholars adopt the view that many of the NT books are pseudepigraphal for a variety of reasons. Their reasons can be summed up under two broad categories: style and content. These are not hermetically sealed categories and inform one another, e.g. the style of an author will reflect the type of content he is writing (exhortation, warning, doxology, etc.). Scholars use these two categories to argue that certain books could not have been written in the lifetime of the claimed author but must have been written later.
T. G. Drummond
A few months ago I heard of a certain young gentleman, we shall call him “Sam”, who has advocated for 8 minute sermons in church, because that is the average attention span of Americans today. I have not heard Sam’s arguments personally, but I imagine they go along the lines of this: the average American attention span is 8 minutes (or less), therefore any part of a sermon that goes beyond 8 minutes will fall on inattentive ears and be useless, so why even preach it? It will do no good and might do much harm in frustrating the congregation by making them sit on uncomfortable pews for longer than they can pay attention to, and will ultimately turn people away from the church. Continue reading “Short Sermons?”