An Untruth Which Has Affected our Worship Landscape: The Holy Spirit was Forgotten but Rediscovered 100 Years Ago

Zac HicksUncategorized2 Comments

Justin Taylor brought to my attention a book I had read over a decade ago in my quest to know God better—Sinclair Ferguson’s The Holy Spirit.  Ferguson made this observation (links provided by Taylor): The assumption which became virtually an article of orthodoxy among evangelicals as well as others, that the Holy Spirit had been discovered almost de novo in the twentieth century, is in danger of the heresy of modernity, and is at least guilty of historical short-sightedness. It … Read More

Personal Piety is Not Enough; We Need Worship, Too

Zac HicksUncategorized3 Comments

Luke Stamps has blessed us with a fabulous post on the Gospel Coalition site.  He observes the historical reasons why evangelicalism has placed a lot of emphasis on personal piety, perhaps to the neglect of corporate worship as a primary means through which God shapes and forms us into the image and likeness of Christ.  He contrasts this with (perhaps a caricature, I would admit, of) Roman Catholic spirituality, with its lack of emphasis on personal piety, so he’s not … Read More

Review of “Come Away,” by Jesus Culture

Zac HicksUncategorized3 Comments

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that, even at the relative beginning of my career as a pastor and worship leader, I want to be a part of God’s work in mentoring and raising up the next generation of pastors and worship leaders.  Every other week, I meet with a bright young man, Robert, who I believe God is calling to ministry in some capacity.  Every once in a while, we have an assignment.  This … Read More

We’re Making Our Second Album

Zac HicksUncategorized7 Comments

I’m excited to give my readership a view into our second album, Without Our Aid, due out in September 2011.  Tracking, for us, will be a months-long process, hopefully completed in mid-spring.  Our first album, The Glad Sound, was a more studio-style, pop-produced worship record, complete with percussion loops and rhythmic synths.  Without Our Aid takes the same concept of old hymns to new music in a slightly different direction. THE SONIC GOAL In short, Without Our Aid is attempting … Read More

The Ancient Greeks Meet Worship Today: The Split of Head and Heart

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My former colleague and now President of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Don Sweeting, is married to a Greek woman.  Frequently, he would share stories about how his in-laws were quick to point out all the benefits we modern Westerners enjoy because of the Greeks (not unlike the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding).  And they’re right.  We owe a lot to the Greeks.  So much of modern civilization—everything from philosophy to science to engineering—is built on the backs … Read More

Why the Gospel Shines Brightest in Worship

Zac HicksUncategorized4 Comments

If you know me, then you know that I place myself in the camp of those folks who are big on the Gospel.  I’m one of those obsessed evangelo-philes that can’t get enough of the good news.  I’m convinced that evangelicalism has inadvertently over the years done some diminishing of the Gospel’s scope and depth, and I’m on board with those (like the Gospel Coalition) who want to reclaim it for all its power, beauty, and worth. What I don’t … Read More

The Theology and Background of the Hymn, “Of The Father’s Love Begotten”

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Kevin DeYoung recently posted a marvelous explanation of the background and theology of the ancient hymn we often associate with Christmas and Advent, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.”  We sing this song at our church frequently in its original, a capella, plainsong chant-setting (and not just during Advent and Christmas).  I’ve found that modern worship crowds love it!  The hymn is quite long.  DeYoung prints all nine verses.  Verse seven was a shocker to me: Righteous judge of souls departed, … Read More

Worship’s Unique Ability to Give People Spiritual Wisdom and Insight…Especially with Suffering

Zac HicksUncategorized4 Comments

Psalm 73 makes a shocking claim that often gets overlooked.  It is a raw psalm that is perhaps more honest than many Christians would dare to be before God.  Its first half is nearly bitter: I envied the arrogant      when I saw the prosperity of the wicked They have no struggles; …Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure;      in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.  (vv 3-4a, 13, NIV) The psalmist expresses being on … Read More

Why Right Theology is a Heavy Obligation for Worship Leaders

Zac HicksUncategorized3 Comments

In his opening chapter to The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer exposes the crux of what makes churches crumble: The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him…Perverted notions about God soon rot the religion in which they appear. The long career of Israel demonstrates this clearly enough, and the history of the Church confirms it. So necessary to the Church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept … Read More

Worship as Fasting & Prayer: Not Popular, But Powerful

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Some denominations have more “organizing documents” than others.  Presbyterians often get (many times lovingly) disparaged for being a little overkill in the organization-and-documentation department.  I guess, then, that my love of my denomination’s constitutional documents, like our Book of Order, makes me “one of those.”  Our Book of Order has a very helpful section on worship, and in Chapter 4 (“The Worship of God at Other Times”), it says this: Days of Prayer and Fasting: The Lord Jesus Christ set … Read More