Ordering the Word

With the work of Robert Webber, Cherry Constance, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, and the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, there has been an increase in popularity for understanding the church’s Sunday morning worship as follows:Read More »

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Journeys in Worship: Seasons of Faith, Pt. 1

The Bishop's Corner

Last week I discussed some things I have learned over the years regarding the journey that is the corporate worship service.  This week I would like to continue the conversation and look at larger view of the journey, namely the one through which we walk during the year: the Church calendar.

We live in a world that is run by different calendars: chronological, fiscal, academic.  Each month sees the celebration of birthdays, weddings, anniversaries of various kinds, and civic holidays; each month also sees the remembering of those who have passed, the recalling of demarcating events in history, both good and bad.  Interwoven in all of this is the Church calendar.Read More »

Journeys in Worship: The Service

Last week I shared about my first experience leading a worship service.  This week I want to turn our attention to a few specific things of the many I have encountered and learned in the intervening years.  I am couching them as the “journeys in worship”: things that can, to paraphrase The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, lead us “further up and further in” to a relationship with God and his Church.  These journeys not only lead the congregation on a “journey within a journey” (i.e. the Christian faith), they also ask the Church to live within a constant rhythm of God’s loving, salvific story.Read More »

Understanding Liturgy, Pt. II: An Evangelical Definition

Holy_Eucharist_Rite_2In my last article I offered an evangelical perspective on liturgy. While not a conversation that evangelicals have often participated in for some time, the work of numerous theologians, including Robert Webber and Simon Chan has stirred an interest in knowing our Christian history, and therefore an understanding of how those who have gone before us have worshiped. With this uncovering of the past, learning the language of liturgy has become a necessity.

Deterred by the word “liturgy”, many evangelicals are unable to take the time to grasp liturgy and all that it means and encompasses. This article seeks to present a working evangelical definition of liturgy as influenced by its historical definition. I am comfortable offering a working definition for two reasons: one, theology is concerned with uncovering the best human language possible for God and His work, and two, I am more than willing to concede my thoughts to another who appears to use “more right” language than myself (although probably not without a stubborn discussion).Read More »

Understanding Liturgy, Pt. I: An Evangelical Understanding

CommonWorshipBooksThanks to the work of evangelical scholars, particularly Robert E. Webber, there has been a renewed interest in evangelical circles on the history of our faith. The rise in interest in our Christian history has primarily peaked concerning the historic Church’s worship. In this pursuit, “liturgy” has made an appearance within North American evangelicalism

Plenty of scholarship outlines the origination of the word “liturgy”, or leitourgia, so I will not spend time describing its entrance into the Church. Often understood as “the work of the people”, some scholars offer an extended definition, that liturgy is primarily “the work of Christ”, as well as “the work of the people”. The latter definition offsets the tendency to see the liturgy as a good work performed by the Church.Read More »

“Ancient-Future Worship”

I remember writing book reports growing up and I always thought that it was a peculiar practice. What value was there in regurgitating what the author said? Now a little bit wiser I can assure there is some value to this practice, as it ensures (or not) that you understand the author’s purpose for writing the book and the thesis therein. It also gives the one writing the review an opportunity to affirm or critique the author.

174px-Zoso_John_Paul_Jones_sigil_interlaced_triquetra_overlaying_circle.svgThis is my first book review here on TalkingWorship.com and it will come from arguably the most influential book on my worship ministry. Influential in that it was the first book I read that truly explored what worship is and how it is enacted and in that it has provided avenues to other authors and books to read in my pursuit of worship and liturgical studies.

Here is Baker Publishing Group’s summary of the book:

“God has a story. Worship does God’s story.Read More »

What Is “Biblical” Worship?

The purpose of this website is primarily for myself. It is an outlet where I can translate the thoughts and ideas in my head to writing. This will be achieved in several ways: writing my own original articles, writing book reviews (coming soon), and writing article reviews. I read published academic material so the articles will frequently appear from peer-reviewed journals. It is important to interact with other authors of the same academic field so that is what I intend to do here today.

Crop_Book_of_Isaiah_2006-06-06Michael A. Farley is an adjunct professor of theological studies at St. Louis University. His article “What Is Biblical Worship? Biblical Hermeneutics and Evangelical Theologies of Worship” appeared in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. This article brings up an important topic that evangelical worship leaders must study and be able to articulate their own theology and philosophy. How do we discern what is biblical worship and therefore our theology of worship?Read More »