Song, Pugs, and the Nature of True Worship
One thing you should know about me: I love pugs. I mean it, I’m crazy over these little guys. They’re the king of the toy dogs, if you ask me. One day (and I’m serious about this…so, yes, I’m a giant geeky nerd!) I plan to own at least one pug and to name him Cornelius Van Til (Torres). We’ll call him Van Til for short.
Just the other day I conducted a little experiment, I would count all the dogs I saw (long story…) At some point, just before noontime, I found myself singing a silly made-up song about pugs. If you think I’m alone in this, you’re wrong!
Then something a wee bit deeper than the pug song came to me. I recalled something C. S. Lewis said in his Mere Christianity. Compliments, adoration, and affections are the natural, and normal expression of love. I recall shortly after I began dating my (now) wife, I couldn’t help express how wonderful she was to all who would hear me. I still do this. Similarly, my love of pugs flows into song (albeit, a poor and corny song).
So the worship of God is natural for those whose hearts have been transformed by the gospel. Some have argued that for God to demand worship is wrong and self-centered. But this is misguided. God knows that the best place for us is in His presence. John Piper puts this quite well, “God is most glorified in us where we are more satisfied in Him.” This satisfaction with our Christ-anchored identity, as well as our gospel-grounded comfort, joy, peace, security, and forgiveness overflows, abounds, and expresses itself in praise and worship. Lewis and Piper are right. As Reggie Kidd says in his book, With One Voice, singing is important because it helps us own our faith better. There’s something about singing the gospel, and singing the praise of our great God that drives those truths into our hearts in ways that mere propositions rarely do.
PS: I did indeed get a pug, and I did indeed name him Van Til (that’s Van Til in the picture above). I’ve since added another pug named Kuyper. Yeah, I’m that guy.
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