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Jul 24

A Both/And Kind of Praise – Mini-Series Summary

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Ryan’s series through the Psalms, Pour Out Your Heart to Him, it was inevitable that he would weave in and out of the theme of praise. Even psalms of lament eventually turn to praise. The theme is everywhere because, as we’ve been saying, the LORD is great and greatly to be praised (Psalm 145:3).

Because the Psalms have so much to teach us about praise, Ryan spent his last four sermons on the subject in a miniseries called, A Both/And Kind of Praise. Like the title suggests, praise in the Psalms reflects the breadth of our great God. So, on the one hand praise is to be heavy, but on the other hand it should also be happy. God can be praised with shouts, but also with silence. Praise is about giving to God, but it is also about getting from God.

In Sunday’s sermon, “A Both/And Kind of Praise: The Aim,” Ryan quoted Tim Keller about the mingling of head and heart in our worship of God:

In order for us to worship, our mind, emotions, and will have to be moved. They’re all organically connected. Merely learning a truth about God is intellectual education, not worship. For example, I can know intellectually that God is good but still be worried silly about something that’s coming up this week. If the morning’s sermon is on the sovereignty and goodness of God, I haven’t worshiped unless that truth descends from my mind and touches my emotions and my will.

I worship, then, when I realize I’ve been trusting in my own abilities, not the sovereignty and goodness of God. When I pull my affections off the other things I’ve been trusting in—which is why I’m anxious—and put them on God, I will be touched emotionally. I may cry; I may not. It depends on what kind of personality I have. But the truth will affect my emotions.

My will is also affected when I decide to change the way I handle that threat next week. Worship is grasping a truth about God and then letting that truth strike you in the center of your being. It thrills you, comforts you. That’s when the truth has moved from left to right brain—from mind to heart. On the spot, it will change the way you feel. The whole brain, the whole person, is affected.
–Tim Keller, “Worship Worthy of the Name: Worship is Seeing what God is Worth and Giving Him What He’s Worth,” in, Changing Lives through Preaching and Worship

In the course of Ryan’s four messages, he worked through twenty-two pairings. In case you missed one of the sermons, or if you wanted to work through them again, here are Ryan’s twenty-two pairings in his four-part miniseries, A Both/And Kind of Praise:

Part 1: “The Basics

  • Constant and Corporate
  • Bible-Formed and Bible-Filled
  • Revelation and Response
  • Greatness and Grace
  • Historical and Heavenward

Part 2: “The Ingredients

  • Head and Heart
  • Tasting and Telling
  • Emotional and External
  • Authentic and Aspiring
  • Heavy and Happy

Part 3: “The Form

  • Pastoral and Participatory
  • Formed and Free
  • Past and Present
  • Skillful and Simple
  • Awe-filling and Not Amusing
  • Shouts and Silence

Part 4: “The Aim

  • Giving and Getting
  • Exalting and Edifying
  • Teaches and Transforms
  • Covenantal and Contagious
  • Summons and Sends
  • Sung and Spoken