"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What Is Worship?

My temptation is not to tell you who is in this video (though some, I presume would know) because for some who says it might ruin what is said. From what I know of Brian McLaren's theology, I disagree with some with him on what I would consider core doctrines. With that said:

As a new believer, I remember listening to a sermon about worship and righting a question in the notes I was taking, "What is worship?" I did not come up with a great answer then, and now over 20 years later I'm still not sure I can give a great answer. I'm also convinced I'm not alone. Part of the reason, I think, is what McLaren is addressing. Worship in many churches is as much about putting on the right face, if you know what I mean, as it is about declaring the glory of God.

So, given that, whatever you think of Brian McLaren, watch the following and answer this: What do you agree and/or disagree with? Also, what is true worship?

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Blogger Miguel said...

A good topic of discussion. And one that has been in dialogue for ages. Churches have split over "worship" issues ranging from the use of instruments, the modes of baptism, the Lord's table of fellowship, and of course views on the role of man and God in salvation. This context always remains the same..and it serves to provoke us in the church to ask, "what is worship?"

I have been mulling, wrestling, probing and analyzing the contours of this subject for a few years now and I always find it difficult to engage in this discussion without reflecting first on the churches history of worship/spirituality/Christ-Formation.

A fascinating subject. "Subject"....that sounds funny.

But I agree with Brian. I believe what he said is true. We cannot help but be in the place we are right now within our culture. It has to do with the maturation not just of the individual soul but of the entire body. Our expressions of love, adoration, joy and the spirit of celebration is and should be manifold. As diverse as are the tongues of man...as diverse as are the cultures and ethnicities of our world so is our own expressions of affection for what we love the most.

In his book "Desiring God", John Piper develops the idea of worship with a qoute from C. S. Lewis. I cannot qoute it now but I know the essential affect of the communication was something like..."we make much of that which we love most. We praise...we worship...we speak most about what we enjoy, savor and delight in most....whatever it is that occupies our hearts delights and longing is what we worship."

This is true. So the question becomes, how does the church worship in one accord as we gather together for the Lord's Table, for the hearing and speaking of the Word? This I believe is a question that cannot be answered with the application of some formula or regulative principle....but one that is defined, shaped and appropriated by reflecting on Our history.....the history of the church. Inherent within the diverse expressions and forms of "worship" I believe we can see the ecclectic character of God's design within His people...His creation.

Guarding our hearts is what matters most I suppose. The foxes run through the vineyards of our marriage to God in Christ and often distorts our covenantal bond with Him. Worship is in here. We remind one another of this Love story...in it's varied communicated forms found in the biblical text and we creatively adapt who we are today in a communal dance of love and artistic expression.

Sounds vague and perhaps ambigous. I believe that is intentionally inevitable. Thank God for His mystery.

12:03 PM EDT  
Blogger HeavyDluxe said...

More thoughts later, Lord willing. In the meantime, here's that C.S. Lewis (via Piper) quote:

"But the most obvious fact about praise -- whether of God or anything -- strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless (sometimes even if) shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. The world rings with praise -- lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game -- praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians and scholars… My whole, more general difficulty, about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can't help doing, about everything else we value.

I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are, the delight is incomplete till it is expressed." (Reflections on the Psalms, pp. 93-95)

12:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Miguel said...

Nice one HeavyD.

1:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Taliesin said...

Thanks for the comments. I agree that in all things related to God there remains an element of mystery. God is greater and more grand than we can comprehend. The old Christians and theologians knew this and proclaimed it (he acknowledgment that He is incomprehensible) the starting point of any study of God.

We can know something about Him, but only because He has chosen to reveal Himself (in creation and in His word). But we will never know Him comprehensively.

One teacher put it this way, "What we know about God should cause us to trust Him for what we do not know." Or, and I think this is someone else via Piper again, but I don't recall who, "All theology must end in doxology." Eventually I must put aside my desire to understand (difficult for me) and worship.

8:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Miguel said...

Well said.

Duet. 29:29

10:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Even So... said...

Becoming like Him...

10:33 PM EDT  

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