Doxology & Theology

Beyond the Bulletin

"Show me a church's songs and I'll show you their theology." -Gordon Fee

Grace Alone

One particularly curious interest of mine is the discovery of new words. There's something personally satisfying about learning to condense a sentence, or express a complex thought, or beautify a phrase with the use of a single new word. I distinctly remember finding the word 'pejorative' and delighting in using it in many instances where I could not before. Unfortunately, »

For the Cause

As spring approaches each year, ABEFC hosts an annual Missions Conference, a weekend focused on worship, teaching, and fellowship centered around our common goal to "go, and make disciples of all nations." (Matthew 28:19) Every gathering during those few days is an opportunity to place before our eyes Christ's commission, to be inspired by God's work in the nations »

Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor

Among the many familiar symbols of Christ in the Scriptures, one that might be missed is that of an anchor. A familiar word even to those who may never have stepped foot in a boat, this essential nautical device is only mentioned a handful of times in the New Testament (ἄγκυρα in the original Greek). Luke uses the word three »

All Glory Be to Christ

Quietly sitting behind glass on a bookshelf in my office is a little first edition hymn-book entitled The Christian Lyre. Compiled by Joshua Leavitt and published in New York in 1830, The Christian Lyre was the forerunner of the modern American hymnal. Prior to Leavitt's work, "hymnbooks" in America contained only lyrics (often compilations by a single author, like Isaac »

In the Bleak Midwinter

Some folks have the self-control to withhold listening to Christmas music until December. Pop culture dictates an early diet starting the day after Halloween. As a music pastor, Christmas music listening and service planning starts in September. Besides the advantage of avoiding pop Christmas music for at least the first two months, what usually keeps me upbeat (and sane) in »

Thanksgiving Hymns of Praise

I love to sing the Doxology. As in many churches, we sing it monthly at the close of Communion. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him, all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Doxology is actually the shared, final stanza of three separate hymns all written by Anglican »

Man of Sorrows

As I put fingers to keyboard, millions of pumpkins are making their way to landfills and the airwaves are already beginning to chime with the sounds of Christmas (in particular, 24/7 Christmas radio). For those who would take a moment to step back and survey the landscape of our culture, the malaise that usually precedes cynicism might settle in. »

The Love of God

I have a fascination with the history of hymns. I'm sure it has something to do with my upbringing and memories of singing out of a hymn-book every Sunday, or listening to four-part harmonies wafting over me week after week. I cut my musical teeth on hymns - even before learning to read notes on a page my ears were »

Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul

The Christian life is one of great contrasts - paradoxes, to be more specific. Skim the pages of the New Testament and you'll find this to be true: Find your life, you'll lose it; lose it, you'll find it (Matt. 10:39) Find your rest under a yoke (Matt. 11:29) The last will be first, and the first last »

A Thousand Generations

One of the great joys of worshipping with God's people each Lord's Day is seeing men, women and children lifting their voices to "sing praises to the Lord." The practice of praise is a reverberation of what has taken place throughout the history of God's people, and every generation brings with them a song, as it were, to offer on »