According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Doctrine & Worship - Worship & Doctrine

I couldn't help but notice the same styles mentioned in the article below and thought its discourse may help distinguish our biases, prejudices and preferences based upon our beliefs, views and opinions about God.

- skinhead


Why do conservatives and moderates/liberals worship the ways they do?

by Roger Olson
Posted February 16, 2011

I have worshiped in many different kinds of churches. Here I’ll focus only on Protestant ones.

I’ve noticed a puzzling pattern. Conservative Protestant churches (especially evangelical ones) tend to worship creatively, experimentally, enthusiastically, using contemporary styles of music. The sermons are often illustrated or partly acted out. A lot of technology is used depending on the church’s resources. Often there are drums and guitars and even saxaphones (!) accompanying the music. Seldom is an organ used. There seems to be an emphasis on feeling and emotion–stopping short of fanaticism in most cases.

At the same time, these churches that worship in such contemporary ways often have very conservative, traditional doctrines and practices: no women deacons or elders, only men taking the offerings, proud proclamation of the inerrancy of the Bible, young earth creationism, etc., etc. At least they think this is all traditional and any hint that they should update their beliefs and practices in these areas is met with icy rejection.

More moderate to liberal Protestant churches, on the other hand, seem more than willing to relativize and contemporize doctrine and practice–except worship. Their worship seems most often to be planned traditionalism–by whatever standard of tradition the particular church believes in. Moderate to liberal Protestant churches, even those in very low church traditions, tend to use liturgy, hymns (old and new), eschew “praise and worship” chorus singing, use pipe organs, turn to readings from ancient sources, etc., etc.

These churches see nothing wrong with updating everything except worship. Oh, they many engage in some degree of “liturgical renewal,” but that often means turning the clock back to ancient sources and patterns of worship. Worship in these churches tends to become more and more formal as their doctrinal revisions (or rejections) become more and more accommodated to contemporary culture.

Why does this pattern seem to be so prevalent and pronounced?

   Responses to Why do conservatives and moderates/liberals worship the ways they do?
  1. Steve C says:
    Perhaps [the conservative] group is desperately trying to experience the God that their theological framework has very specifically required them to believe in. [While the more moderate/liberal group], having somewhat less specific requirements about the exact nature of God, is more satisfied to simply recognize and worship God for whatever their experience with God already is.
  2. David Rogers says:
    Here’s a speculation based on no sociological info whatever.
    Conservatives believe that spirituality/religion is the content. The form is adaptable to the sub-culture (culture is too large; the selected sub-culture usually conforms to that of the age of the leadership; their life-situation changes, the form changes) and doesn’t affect the content. They are wrong.
    Liberals believe that spirituality/religion is the form. Content is supplied by the ever-changing culture and sub-cultures. They are wrong.
    Form and content are intertwined, and there is no such things as separation. Form always affects the content, and content always affects the form. The important thing to ask is to determine how each affects and “effects” the other. Also, one should ask, “What am I losing by using this form or centralizing this content?” Most people never ask such a question.
    • David Rogers says:
      Let me clarify:
      Conservatives believe that spirituality/religion is found in the content.
      Liberals believe that spirituality/religion is found in the form.

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