Church and State

The Christian cult [worship gathering] is a basically political action: it reminds the state of the limited and provisional character of its power.

—Jean-Jacques von Allmen, Worship Its Theology and Practice, 64



Call for Papers: ETS Biblical Worship Section

The steering committee for the Biblical Worship Section of the Evangelical Theological Society announces a call for papers for the 2018 Annual Meeting in November.

The paper proposal period will open March 1 on the ETS website through March 31. Please choose “Click here to submit a proposal for an open section session or discipline specific session” when submitting your proposal and then “Biblical Worship (Open Session)” under “Paper Category.”

The Biblical Worship Section welcomes paper submissions from full members and PhD student members that focus especially (although not exclusively) on corporate worship and the biblical-theological foundations for the theology and practice of worship.

For more information about the Biblical Worship Section and to read papers from past annual meetings, visit our website:

Bilingual Worship

Music is a type of language that worshipers used to communicate with God and one another. It helps us to sing the great themes of our faith as we tell the wondrous story of God in song. All believers share the language of music….

Musical style functions like a dialect within the language; it consists of the indigenous and natural musical idioms and expressions with which a particular subculture identifies…. Musical dialects (styles) are determined by who we are sociologically and spiritually. We discover them rather than choose them, for the most part….

Do we sing a dialect of our local context and contentedly sing that which is comfortable and familiar to us? Or should we enlarge our song base to reflect a sense of the whole family of God?…

Churches need to become bilingual in their worship voice. People who are bilingual have the vocabulary, the syntax, and the inflection to communicate in two languages effectively and can flow back and forth between the languages with ease in any given conversation. Both languages have become native tongues for them; they do not have to stop and analyze the grammar before speaking; they simply speak and listen. Musical style can be thought of as our first language—the language of origin, the language in which we feel most at home. At the same time, [we can learn] a second language—one that allows us to communicate beyond our familiar circles and our comfort zones, one that acknowledges the music of the whole family of God….

—Constance M Cherry, The Music Architect: Blueprints for Engaging Worshipers in Song, 187-88

Praise to Our Creator

A plain translation. Praise to our Creator.
[You may sing this to DUKE STREET, “Jesus Shall Reign”.]

Ye nations round the earth, rejoice
Before the Lord, your sovereign King;
Serve Him with cheerful heart and voice,
With all your tongues His glory sing.

The Lord is God; ‘tis He alone
Doth life, and breath, and being give;
We are his work, and not our own,
The sheep that on His pastures live.

Enter His gates with songs of joy,
With praises to His courts repair;
And make it your divine employ
To pay your thanks and honors there.

The Lord is good, the Lord is kind,
Great is His grace, His mercy sure;
And the whole race of man shall find
His truth from age to age endure.

—Isaac Watts (1674-1748), The Psalms of David, 1719