The Richness of Biblical Liturgy and A Humble Appeal for Living Worship

On Sunday, August 22 the following messaage was presented as part of the Christian Heritage Conference at Christ Covenant Church, Matthews, NC

 

The Richness of Biblical Liturgy and a Humble Appeal for ‘Living Worship’[i]

John 4.20-26, Psalm 84.1-4

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D., President and James M. Baird Jr. Professor of Pastoral Theology,

Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina

Introduction to the Gospel Reading, Psalm 84.1-4; John 4.20-26

C.S. Lewis said,

“As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don’t notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be the one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.”[ii]

And the now very familiar and enduring quote from John Piper:

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.”[iii]

How shall we worship God? This is the great question of man in the religious world. It remains a question, also, in the Church. Well, how shall we worship? This morning, we read about a woman who put this question to Jesus, and we hear His answer in the Psalms and in the fourth chapter of John:

Psalm 84.1-4

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah

John 4.20-26

Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.  But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

Introduction to the Sermon

A family was on a European vacation. They were to go to a great cathedral on a given day. The parents told their son that they were going to “the house of God” and that he should be very quiet. They went in and found a seat near the rear of the cathedral. Most of the people there seemed to be like them—tourists. The mother whispered to their son, “See the chancel with the decorative sacramental screen. It is absolutely beautiful.” Then, in another moment, the father said to the mother, “Did you see those magnificent stain glass windows? Tiffany, I believe.” She nodded her head. They went on like this for some time. Then the clergy entered, and the choir and the organ piped out a tremendous note, and the service began. It was about then that the little boy appeared quite confused. “Mom, Dad, I see the preacher, I see the choir, I hear the organ…but exactly where is God?”

Good question. It is possible to focus on worship and never really come to truly worship God. Perhaps, like the little boy, you have been in churches where there are prayers and singing and nice buildings and lots of music, but you missed the presence of God in your life. You couldn’t explain it, but you just knew. Something was missing, and you left thinking to yourself, “Where is God in the worship service?”

Today we come to a passage about worship. The context for Jesus’ teaching on worship is a Samaritan woman who has met the Lord at the well. In that meeting, Jesus shows her sin. So, like any squirming sinner under the conviction of God, she changes the subject. And she begins to talk about the “worship wars” of her day. Today, people argue about traditional versus contemporary worship style, or liturgy versus spontaneous form, about instruments or no instruments, and so forth. I have read and studied and listened to many people talk to me about worship. But, I must say that much of it sounds like this woman at the well. Much of it misses the point of the worship Jesus was talking about.

In fact, Jesus here teaches on a vibrant, “spirit and truth” worship, and he even uses the phrase “true worshipers,” indicating that there is a true worship and a false worship.

A great Puritan named Jeremiah Burroughs wrote a great book called Gospel Worship,[iv] and that is certainly a name for the worship Jesus was describing. In the last century, A.W. Tozer wrote about this kind of worship being the “Missing Jewel” of the Evangelical church.[v] A worship service that focuses on the presence of Jesus Christ is most definitely a Missing Jewel in many of our churches. But, some years ago I came across a quote of John Stott’s in which he referred to this sort of worship as “Living Worship.”[vi] Living Worship is genuine heart-felt posture of the soul, which moves beyond questions of mere form to expecting an encounter with the Living God.

In John 4, Jesus teaches about “Living Worship.Living worship incorporates not only the living story of the richness of Biblical liturgy, but finds its meaning and its goals in the living Christ.

I find here five defining features of Living Worship and will also seek to discuss the development of a liturgy that would lead us to see the rich tapestry of liturgy, both its good and bad, and seek to develop of Biblical liturgical model that will focus on the living worship we need in Jesus Christ.

1. Living Worship is not about a prop, but a Person.

In verse 20 we read:

“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”  – John 4.20

Jesus then responds to her by telling her that a day is coming, and now is, when true worshipers will not worry about locating a mountain, but locating a Person. And I think we may say that our first point on Living Worship could be that “Living Worship is not about a prop, but a Person.”

The Samaritan woman seems to be using worship as a diversion in order to avoid the person of Jesus. Arguing about worship is nothing new. In Jesus’ day, it went on as well. The Samaritans believed that true worship had to happen on Mount Gerizim, which is where Abraham and Jacob had built altars (see Genesis 12.7; 33.20; Deuteronomy 27.4-6). The Jews didn’t like that restriction, and so when the Samaritans built a temple on Mount Gerizim in 400 BC, the Jews destroyed it in 128 BC. Today we hope that a guitarist won’t go over and sabotage the organist, but you can see that worship wars are nothing new. And neither is the tactic of arguing about worship rather than worshiping in spirit and in truth.

The writer to the Hebrews wrote of living worship when he wrote:

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels. – Hebrews 12.22

Living worship is not concerned with mountains or cities. Mount Zion is the place of God wherever God’s people are gathered. The City of God is no longer just Jerusalem, it is the place of God’s habitation, and He inhabits the praises of His people.

Campbell Morgan preached,

Worship…is not a question of locality…It is not a question of intellect merely. To worship, men must get down to the deepest thing in their personality, spirit and truth. There must be honesty; there must be reality-by tearing off the mask and compelling you to face your own life. (G. Campbell Morgan, The Gospel According to John [Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, n.d.], 76)

This is the Gospel principle of worship. Worship is not about a prop, but the Person of Christ.

Worship has principles and elements and expressions. Most of the time, like this woman, we don’t talk about the principles and elements, we talk about the expression. A key principle is that our worship is centered in the Person of Jesus, not in some prop or lack thereof. It is not on a mountain, not in Jerusalem, but in the hearts of people who confess Jesus as Lord. Jesus didn’t let this woman off of the hook by getting bogged down into this or that way of worship. He led her to the principle of worship. Jesus will not let you off of the hook by talking about worship expressions only. He is always pointing us to the principle of worship: the Lord Himself. Jesus Christ is our Worship.

2.   Living Worship is set in Living History.

We can locate a second definition of Living Worship when we read:

You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. – John 4.22

Here we see that “Living Worship is set in Living History.”

Now when I say “Living History,” I mean to say that Jesus is teaching that worship happens in the context of real life events, which happen under the direction of God. We cannot worship outside the Story of what God is doing in history.

Jesus was telling her that true worship is not accepted just because it is motivational, or makes the worshipper feel religious, or anything of the sort. Jesus is telling her that true worship, a living worship, is set in the history of God’s redemption. There must be clear, objective truths tied to worship. God is sovereign. God created us. Man fell into sin and rebellion and misery and is on his way to eternal punishment and separation from God, unless something is done. Something was done, and God Himself initiated it. God came down and took upon Himself flesh and became Man in order to save Man. Jesus will reveal Himself as that God-Man.

Now, we cannot worship unless our worship is set in that historical-redemptive context. It doesn’t matter how good it makes you feel, how motivated you are, Living Worship is tied to a Living History of God’s Plan of Salvation, centered in Christ.

Let me digress for a moment to talk about the tapestry of worship that has led to where we are today and I would call this time a significant time of liturgical renewal in the Reformed churches. The word, “Liturgy” is from the Greek Biblical word meaning the “service of the people.” Thus our worship is liturgical. As JI Packer once remarked, “It is not a question of whether you have liturgy or not it is whether your liturgy is Biblical.” He is right. But how did we arrive at a liturgy in the Christian church? And what must we think of the variances? I would first point to the threads in the tapestry and then consider a way to look at it:

1) Old Testament Foundations in Liturgical Practice[vii] [viii]

a)   There were Old Testament influences that included God-ordained forms of worship from Abraham to Moses to David and Solomon and Ezra and the prophets down to the desecration of the second Temple (2000 BC to 586 BC [Captivity of Babylon]; 586-515 [Dedication of the Second Temple] and 515-164 [re dedication by Maccabaeus in 164 BC after desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes]:

b)    Sacred assembly

c)    Elder oversight

d)   Clerical leadership appointed by god and not man

e)    Prayer

f)    Confession

g)    Redemptive acts

h)   Assurances from god

i)     Vows

j)     Holy place

k)   Holy time

l)    Holy leadership

m)  Participation by the people

n)   Word centered, not image  centered

  • o)   Rituals that form entrance into the community and mark salvation remembrances

p)    Expository preaching (as in Nehemiah 8 [a study of which is worth to review, in the ordering of public worship])

q)   Poetic response and other literary devices in the presentation of the word (use of psalms as common prayer in worship)

2) Inter Testimental development (164-33 AD)[ix]

a)   The wide spread use of the synagogue (place of teaching or assembly of learning)

b)    Word centered and teaching centered

c)    Lectionary based

d)   Holy Days continue

e)    Rabbinical Judaism emerges of the kind we see in the life of Jesus

3) New Testament (c. 50-95 AD)[x]

a)   Reforms of the Sabbath

b)    Christ-centered interpretations of synagogue worship

c)    Greek influences

d)   Reforms and regulations by Paul concerning dealing with order, holy days, and the lord’s supper

4) Early Church (95-476 AD [sack of Rome in 410 is followed in 476 by rule of Gothic king)[xi]

a)   The Didache (AD 100?) And early letters

b)    Development of a clear liturgy of the word and liturgy of the table

c)    § preaching and sacramental balance

d)   Ad 70 and the destruction of the temple solidifies synagogue worship: elements, principles and expressions now governed by the gospel interpretation of the old and new testament writings and liturgical traditions

e)    Christian missions in the early church

f)    Eastern worship begins to form its own traditions of a more heavenly focus in liturgy

g)    Coptic and Indian liturgies adopt both western and eastern liturgies

h)   Celtic liturgies focus on holy time and holy space and a missional, outward, “doxological” tradition of worship

i)     Syncretism begins to emerge, uniting biblical and Greek and other pagan practices in order to “accommodate” to the culture

j)     Emergence of a special class of “saints” equal to the indigenous deities, making worship more comfortable

k)   Emergence of a clericalism in liturgy

5) Medieval Excesses (476-1384, the death of John Wycliffe)[xii]

a)   Clericalism

b)    Elite language of the clerics and the educated

c)    Iconoclasm

d)   Unbiblical attachments and the emergence of the cult of the mass

e)    Elaborate liturgical practices that overwhelmed the simple elements, principles and expressions of worship

6) Pre Reformation (1384-1415, from the death of Wycliffe to the death of John Hus)[xiii]

a)   Wycliffe in England John Hus in Bohemia

i)     Reform of the Bible in the common language of the people

ii)   Rejection of Roman excesses in ecclesiology, theology and practices

iii) Advance of expositional preaching

iv)  Sending of preachers to bring the Gospel to the people

v)    Liturgy returns to the people

7) Reformational (1415-1643 [June, 1643 marked the opening of the Westminster Assembly])[xiv]

a)   Zwingli, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Cranmer: all reject transubstantiation

b)    All adopt biblical reforms in re focusing at least a balance of preaching with the Eucharist

c)    All reject clericalism

d)   All restore worship to the language of the people

e)    Luther and his reforms: “only that which is strictly forbidden” otherwise the mass is amend only in certain points; the lord’s supper is “in, with and under”

f)    Hymnody emerges in a new way under Luther, vestments remain, the liturgical order is switched from mass to ministry of the word and table, with little change in the western liturgy developed under Rome

g)    The printing press begins to impact public worship

h)   Zwingli and his reforms: “radical overturning of the mass and the lord’s supper as remembrance only”; created a radical rejection of singing by the people, and a once per year remembrance of the lord’s supper, and it is a “memorial only;” simple, black robe replaces the vestments; the word centered liturgy removes involvement of the people

i)     Calvin:: a “middle way” of retaining the forms of the western liturgy; placing preaching at the center, liturgical responses and singing to the people (although with psalms and without instrumentation) in his  Form of Prayers and Administration of the Sacrament According to the Custom of the Ancient Church (under the influence of Martin Bucer in Strasbourg); the lord’s supper is “spiritual presence” and he prefers weekly communion (which he never gets from the Geneva consistory); Calvin rejects roman vestments for an academic robe and the minister as a “teaching elder;”

j)     Knox and his Geneva service book, book of common order bring reforms to Scotland and participates in the formation of the book of common prayer; Zwingli influences emerge because of a lack of clergy to administer the lord’s supper

k)   Cranmer, a genius of organization of liturgical material, with the aid of Bucer and Calvin and Knox, creates a unifying liturgy of time, space, doctrine and ministerial and laity balance with the book of common prayer, which has influenced all English-speaking Christian churches since then:

l)    Faithful to the early church’s balances

m)  Adaptable but unified

n)   Reverent but joyful

  • o)   Suspect by some (Scots)

i)     “The Bible became the norm, and according to its spirit our worship would always be judged; the Word of God read and preached became the indispensable and initiatory thrust of the act of worship and the dynamic principle of the Church’s life; and the congregation’s response to this declaration of the word-in prayer, praise, sacraments, in short, in faith-completes the dialogue of the sanctuary in which the whole Christian community rises to its new status as the body of Christ…” (Donald Macleod, Presbyterian Worship: its meaning and method [John Knox Press, 1952], 20).

8) 17th Century Puritanism (1643-1735 [the conversion of George Whitefield at Oxford])[xv]

a)   Prayer book becomes a focus of contention over roman influences of archbishop laud and the protestants’ desire for deeper reform in the English church (Scottish, welsh and Irish liturgies are affected in the English civil war; excesses abound on both sides)

b)    The Westminster Directory for worship

c)    Provides elements, principles and expressions are guides by the two but adaptable

d)   “regulative principle of worship” to worship according to the scriptures and to reform and be always reforming on biblical study

e)    Worship emerges in Protestantism, affecting the Book of Common Prayer as well, as reverent, simple, biblical, preaching centered, table, because of abuses, is not as balanced as Calvin’s desires and the early church’s model

9) 18th Century Revivals in America and England (1735-1800)[xvi]

a)   Whitefield and the first great awakening

b)    18th century British and continental revival

c)    Wesleys, watts

d)   Asbury and the Methodists, the Baptists and the western movement of the Church to the new American frontier and impacts on church life and liturgy

e)    The “Big Three” (Episcopalians, Congregationalists and Presbyterians) “huddle” on the east-coast and continue to adapt their own models of liturgy to the new American democratic way of life

f)    New Light and Old Light controversies impact liturgy

i)     Positively infusing new life into old forms

ii)   Negatively, perhaps, in that, according to Edwards himself, the movement brought theological and practical innovation to sacred services

10) 19th Century Revivalism (1800 [Rev. James McGready, a Presbyterian minister and the first camp meeting at Red River PC in Logan County, KY]-1945)[xvii]

a)   “Gospel hymnody” and fanny Crosby

b)    Charles Finney and his Lectures on Revival of Religion (1835)

i)     Invitation system

ii)   Use of emotionalism to seek to influence decisions for Christ

iii) Zwinglian reforms to liturgy

iv)  Overwhelming Baptistic influences in view of Sacraments in worship

c)    The Oxford Movement In England (1833-1841)

i)     Rise Of Sacerdotalism In The Church Of England

11) 20th Century American Influences Over Western Christianity (1945-2001 [the 9/11/2001 attacks and the convergence of disparate liturgical directions over loss of modernity])[xviii]

a)   Democratization of worship

b)    Mass media influences

c)    Entertainment

d)   Image based influences

e)    American popular music

f)    “accommodation” as worship becomes focused as “revivalist” rather than “worship for the people of god” that is also doxological for the “god fearers”

g)    Post WWII stagnation in liturgy and “traditionalism” over tradition

h)   Vatican II (1962-65) modernization of the Western Liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church impacts mainline Protestants as well

i)     “The Charismatic movement” begins in an Episcopal church in California (Rev. Dennis Bennett in Van Nuys, CA in 1960)

j)     Rejection of traditionalism with the Jesus movement; western liturgy deconstruction

k)   Popularization of “contemporary forms” and “egalitarianism” with Christian media influences

l)    Postmodernity influences emerge

m)  “Worship wars” create divided congregations, styles, conferences for clergy to deal with consumer-based desire for privatized worship styles

n)   Post denominational churches arise (Willow creek)

  • o)   The age of the Mega Church

p)    Technological inn vocation and liturgy

12) “Ancient-Modern” Liturgical Renewal (2001- )[xix]

a)   Emergence of conservative Anglicans; renewed awareness by younger generation of the need to connect to church history in worship and hymnody; vestments, or at least pastoral robes and stoles make a return, use of holy space and holy time (the church year) returns to many churches

b)    Crisis over modernity’s inability to meet the deeper needs drive a new study of liturgical studies in seminaries

c)    Despair over loss of continuity in “liturgical tapestry”

d)   Leads to “roads to Canterbury” and Rome and Constantinople

e)    Settling of some of the “worship wars” in north American Christianity through liturgical insights, desire to “blend,” strengthening of reformed worship in books, conferences, and new church plants

f)    Abuses always

i)     Postmodernity syncretism with liturgical renewal

ii)   Liturgy pushes out expository preaching

iii) Reformed worship rejects Zwingli, but ignores insights of Puritans and Scots and American frontier contributions

iv)  Spiritual pride in all camps

13) A Modest Proposal For Understanding The Tapestry Of The Richness Of The Liturgy

a)   Principles: simple, reverent, biblical, intentional tension between order and spontaneity, liturgically shaped to emphasize the gospel story

b)    Elements: regulated by scripture, orders informed by the church over time (basically the western liturgy of the early church)

c)    Expressions: Regulated by the Word and informed by and governed by the principles and elements of Scripture (joy and awe, transcendent and immanent, order and spontaneity, liturgical and free, culturally connected but not accommodating, retaining the sense of the “great other” that is attractive, already and not yet, eschatological, doxological) yet varied and adaptable according to custom, giftedness of the minister and director of music and people, and other factors, yet never accommodating to the sensate culture of the age.

Dr. Bryan Chapell, the President of Covenant Seminary, says that worship must be a week-to-week re-telling of the Gospel story.[xx] I think his statement is reflective of what the Bible is teaching us:

Remember His covenant forever,

The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,

The covenant which He made with Abraham,

And His oath to Isaac,

And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,

To Israel for an everlasting covenant. – 1 Chronicles 16.15-17

Beloved, our worship should be a week-to-week renewal of the covenant in our lives. Each Lord’s Day, we should come before the Lord and not leave until we have thanked Him and praised Him for His salvation wrought in Jesus Christ.

3. Living Worship requires a Living Faith.

Now, note a third defining feature of living worship.

In verses 23 and 24, Jesus speaks of true worship as being in “spirit and truth.” Focus on spiritual worship, first. This tells us that “Living Worship requires a Living Faith.”

Not only does spirit speak of the fact that our worship is not bound by props and buildings and such, but it shows that only those who are filled with God’s Spirit can relate to God in Worship, for God is a Spirit. To have this Spiritual Worship, this Living Worship, you need a Living Faith.

Paul would write in 1 Corinthians 2 an important passage for this consideration:

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.1 Corinthians 2.14

You cannot worship aright unless the Spirit of God has moved upon you and you have repented and received Jesus Christ by faith. Only then can you relate to God in worship.

Today, there may be some of you who are going through worship and doing it quite nicely. You sing nicely and know the words and so forth, but if your spirit is not transformed by Christ, then your worship is not Living Worship, but dead. God will not accept worship from a person who is not coming to Him in the Name of Christ.

Today is the day for some of you to move from pretentious worship to Living Worship by yielding your life to Christ.

4. Living Worship must be based on the Living Word.

Now in verse 23, the Lord teaches us to worship not only in spirit, but also in truth. This leads us to see the fourth feature of a true worship, a living worship, that “Living Worship must be based on the Living Word.”

Our worship should be grounded in the Word of God. There is much talk about worship today, about preferences and what I like and what you like and so forth. But, we err if we do not begin by asking—not “What do I like?”—but “What does God require?” Now again, expressions vary, and we have seen that the argument need not rest there—but, we should move to ask, “How Biblical is our worship?” Is it filled with Scripture? God’s Word is Truth, and this must be the basis for worship.

I mentioned in a previous message that I hope that our worship is healing. I hope that some are saved, some are encouraged, and the Spirit of God convicts some, before we ever get to a sermon. Why? Because there should be sufficient Scripture in our Worship services to bring about healing. God’s Word is Truth and the Truth will set you free, so we should expect healing to come from every part of our worship services.

5.   Living Worship leads to a Living Lord.

In verses 25 and 26,

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

Here, we note the fifth and final feature of Living Worship: “Living Worship leads to a Living Lord.”

Jesus’ teaching on worship leads to His revelation of Himself as the Son of God. Worship that is alive always does. This revelation, which comes after teaching on worship, leads not only to this woman’s salvation, but also to revival and reformation in Sychar. Living Worship is all about a Living Lord.

I was once at a church, National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., where the pastor is Dr. Craig Barnes. Mae and I were touched as he related his philosophy of ministry concerning their children’s worship ministry. Parents who want their children to attend the “Children in Worship” ministry are assured that each child will begin to learn about the worship service, preparing each child to participate with understanding in public worship. But, at the end of each Children in Worship service, the children’s director and volunteers invite the children to gather their belongings and sit in a leader’s lap. The leader then whispers to each child, “The Lord loves you.” Dr. Barnes said that it was his dream that every child would grow to be a worshiper who heard the whisper of God’s love in each service.

That is my vision, not only for our children, but also for you. That is my vision because that is God’s idea. Either our worship is dry and dead, and you leave without the whisper of God’s love—or it is a Living Worship, which invites you to come to Your Lord and to hear His whisper: “I who speak to you am He.”

Oh, may you be led to know Him this day! Oh, may this message and these hymns and our prayers and confessions all lead you to see that Jesus is Lord and invites you to know Him. May you hear His whisper this day.

Conclusion

In God’s Word, nothing is more important than worship, and in the Bible, worship is not a noun. Worship is a verb. In Jesus’ teaching, God will not allow us merely to talk about worship, or think about worship, or study about worship, or argue about worship styles or props. He is calling us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. He is calling us to a Living Worship, an invitation to be transformed by His grace. From this passage, we have seen that Living Worship:

  1. Is not about a prop but about a Person,
  2. Is set in Living History,
  3. Requires a Living Faith,
  4. Is based on the Living Word,

and

  1. Leads to a Living Lord.

We have noted the development of the “tapestry” of liturgy that brings a Biblical richness to our public worship.

But the question remains: Where does worship fit in our lives?

Evelyn Underhill, a brilliant professor and writer on worship at Oxford earlier in the twentieth century, wrote in her book Worship:

There is a sense in which we may think of the whole life of the universe, seen and unseen, conscious and unconscious, as an act of worship, glorifying its Origin, Sustainer and End. (Worship, p.1)

I think she is right. The Bible says that the very heavens declare the glory of God. Isaiah wrote of that day when the earth and its inhabitants will break out in worship in a Paradise Regained:

For you shall go out with joy,

And be led out with peace;

The mountains and the hills

Shall break forth into singing before you,

And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. – Isaiah 55.12

The Shorter Catechism states, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

Clearly, the worship of God is a priority for each of us. But we will never prioritize worship, or for that matter truly come to love worship, until our hearts are changed, until we come to experience His love and see that worship is the response of love.

This is what happened to a young woman who was sent away from her mother at a very young age. The little girl’s mother had been burned severely and had to give up the child as an infant. The little girl was placed in the home of the mother’s sister who lived in another part of the country. The mother had to go through operation after operation and was finally placed in a home. The girl grew up and one day found where her mother was. She went to her. Her aunt who had reared her had shown her pictures of her mother as a beautiful young woman. The girl so looked forward to seeing her mother. She was so nervous the day she entered the convalescent home and was led to the room. The nurse tried to warn her, but the girl was so excited, she couldn’t get through to her. She walked in, and the woman in the room was in a wheelchair with her back to her. Then, she turned around. The girl screamed. She had never seen such a face. Distorted and scarred, barely recognizable as a human face, much less the portrait she had seen, the young woman ran from the room in tears. A nurse followed her and found her in a lounge weeping. The nurse told her the story of how when the young woman was an infant, there was a fire and the girl had been trapped in her room sleeping. But the mother risked her own life, going through the flames and the smoke to rescue the baby. She got the baby to safety, but was herself trapped by a fallen, burning piece of the roof. The burns were so terrible that even after so many surgeries, there was little more to do. The nurse told the girl, “Those wounds are wounds of love for you.” The young woman recognized her hard heart, repented of it, and ran to embrace this woman who had saved her.

This story is a picture of Christ’s love for you. You may have a picture of worship in your mind. That picture may be of stained glass windows and Prayer Book language flowing forth with rich choral anthems. Or the picture you are holding may be of a projector screen with cool, contemporary strains pulsating from a praise and worship band. “Do we worship on this mountain or in Jerusalem?” Both of those are expressions of worship, not the principle of worship. And the pictures of worship we often carry around with us cannot tell the story of worship. The true image of worship is a Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief, bearing your sins on a Roman cross, on a forsaken hill where criminals go to die.

Until you come to see Jesus Christ as Your Savior, who died for you and who rose again from the dead, and until you believe that the One who loved you to death and back again is here today, you will not worship in spirit and in truth. Until you come to worship and say with Evelyn Underhill, “I come to seek God because I need Him. I come to adore His splendor and fling myself and all that I have at His feet” (Worship), you have not truly come to worship.

But, when hardened hearts are broken by His wounds of love, they are free to worship in spirit and in truth.

This is Living Worship. It is connected to the fullness of the Church of Jesus Christ through years of Biblical, liturgical richness—a living heritage. It is alive with expectancy through the presence of a Christ—a living Savior. It is moving towards us towards heaven—a living hope.

Do you attend worship? Or do you worship?

This manuscript may be quoted or reproduced with proper citation.

References

Abba, Raymond. Principles of Christian Worship. New York,: Oxford University Press, 1957.

Adams, Doug. Meeting House to Camp Meeting: Toward a History of American Free Church Worship from 1620-1835. Saratoga: Modern Liturgy Resource Publications, 1981.

Bateman, Herbert W. Authentic Worship : Hearing Scripture’s Voice, Applying Its Truth. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, c2002.

Bechtel, Carol M. Touching the Altar : The Old Testament for Christian Worship The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2008.

Bonar, Andrew Redman, Directory., Presbyterian liturgies., and Assembly of divines directory for the public worship of God. Presbyterian Liturgies, with Specimens of Forms of Prayer for Public Worship as Used in the Continental, Reformed, & American Churches, Ed. By a Minister of the Church of Scotland [A.R. Bonar]. With the Directory for the Public Worship of God Agreed Upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster; and Forms of Prayer for Ordinary and Communion Sabbaths, and for Other Services of the Church. Edinb. &c., 1858.

Borchert, Gerald L. Worship in the New Testament : Divine Mystery and Human Response. St. Louis, Mo.: Chalice Press, 2008.

Bradshaw, Paul F. The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship : Sources and Methods for the Study of Early Liturgy. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

________. The New Westminster Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship. 1st American ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, c2002.

Brueggemann, Walter. Israel’s Praise : Doxology against Idolatry and Ideology. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, c1988.

________. Worship in Ancient Israel : An Essential Guide. Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press, c2005.

Burroughs, Jeremiah, and Don Kistler. Gospel Worship, or, the Right Manner of Sanctifying the Name of God : In General, and Particularly in These 3 Great Ordinances: 1. Hearing the Word, 2. Receiving the Lord’s Supper, 3. Prayer. Morgan, Pa.: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1990.

Calvin, Jean, Ford Lewis Battles, and John T. McNeill. Calvin : Institutes of the Christian Religion. 2 vols. Library of Christian Classics. London: S.C.M. Press, 1961.

Carson, D. A. Worship by the Book. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2002.

Chapell, Bryan. Christ-Centered Worship : Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2009.

Cowell, Henry John. The Coming of the English Bible; Biographical Notes Concerning John Wycliffe, William Tindale, Miles Coverdale, John Rogers, William Whittingham, and Others. London: The Epworth Press, 1944.

Davies, Horton. Christian Worship : Its Making and Meaning. Wallington, Surrey: Religious Education Press, 1946.

________. “The Worship of the English Puritans.” “Produced as a historical thesis for the degree of doctor of philosophy in the University of Oxford “, Dacre Press,, 1948.

Davies, Horton, and University of Oxford. Faculty of Theology. “The Worship of the English Puritans During the Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries.” Thesis (D Phil ), University of Oxford, 1944., 1944.

Dawn, Marva J. Reaching out without Dumbing Down : A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1995.

________. A Royal Waste of Time : The Splendor of Worshiping God and Being Church for the World. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 1999.

Dearborn, Tim, and Scott Coil. Worship at the Next Level : Insight from Contemporary Voices. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, c2004.

Dix, Gregory. The Shape of the Liturgy. [New ed. London ; New York: Continuum, 2005.

Fountain, David G. John Wycliffe : The Dawn of the Reformation. Southampton: Mayflower Christian, 1984.

Gerstner, John H., Douglas F. Kelly, and Philip B. Rollinson. A Guide : The Westminster Confession of Faith : Commentary. 1st ed. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Summertown Texts, 1992.

Hague, Dyson. The Life and Work of John Wycliffe. [2d and enl. ed. London: Church Book Room, 1935.

Hahn, Ferdinand. The Worship of the Early Church. Philadelphia,: Fortress Press, [1973].

Hill, Andrew E. Enter His Courts with Praise : Old Testament Worship for the New Testament Church. [2nd paperback ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996.

Hus, Jan. De Causa Boemica. (Tractatus I. Hus De Ecclesia). [Hagenau, 1520.

Hus, Jan, and Samuel Harrison Thomson. Magistri Johannis Hus Tractatus De Ecclesia : E Fontibus Manu Scriptis in Lucem Studies and Texts in Medieval Thought. [Boulder]

Cambridge [Eng.]: University of Colorado Press ;

W. Heffer & Sons Ltd., 1956.

Jasper, Ronald Claud Dudley. The Development of the Anglican Liturgy, 1662-1980. London: SPCK, 1989.

Johnson, Lawrence J. Worship in the Early Church : An Anthology of Historical Sources. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2009.

Jones, Cheslyn, Geoffrey Wainwright, and Edward Yarnold. The Study of Liturgy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Kidd, Reggie M. With One Voice : Discovering Christ’s Song in Our Worship. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, c2005.

Klauser, Theodor. A Short History of the Western Liturgy ; an Account and Some Reflections. 2d ed. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Kuyper, Abraham, and Harry Boonstra. Our Worship The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2009.

Lewis, C.S. Letters to Malcom: Chiefly on Prayer. New York: Harcourt, 1992.

Maag, Karin, and John D. Witvliet. Worship in Medieval and Early Modern Europe : Change and Continuity in Religious Practice. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, c2004.

MacLeod, Donald. Presbyterian Worship: Its Meaning and Method. Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1952.

McFarlane, K. B. John Wycliffe and the Beginnings of English Nonconformity. New ed. London: English Universities Press, 1972.

Mitman, F. Russell. Worship in the Shape of Scripture. Cleveland, Ohio: Pilgrim Press, 2001.

Molnar, Enrico C.S. “The Liturgical Reforms of John Hus.” Speculum 41, no. 2 (1966): 297-303.

Old, Hughes Oliphant. The Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship Zürcher Beiträge Zur Reformationsgeschichte. Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 1975.

________. Worship That Is Reformed According to Scripture Guides to the Reformed Tradition. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1984.

________. The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1998.

Olst, E. H. van. The Bible and Liturgy. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, c1991.

Piper, John. Let the Nations Be Glad! : The Supremacy of God in Missions. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1993.

Rayburn, Robert Gibson. O Come, Let Us Worship : Corporate Worship in the Evangelical Church. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1980.

Robertson, Edwin Hanton. John Wycliffe : Morning Star of the Reformation. Basingstoke: Marshall, 1984.

Ross, Allen P. Recalling the Hope of Glory : Biblical Worship from the Garden to the New Creation. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, c2006.

Scotland free church publ. worship assoc. A New Directory for the Public Worship of God, Founded on the Book of Common Order and the Westminster Directory. 2nd ed. Edinb., 1898.

Sell, Alan P. F., and Anthony R. Cross. Protestant Nonconformity in the Twentieth Century. Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 2003.

Stott, John R. W., and Timothy Dudley-Smith. Authentic Christianity : From the Writings of John Stott. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1995.

Thompson, Bard. Liturgies of the Western Church. 1st Fortress Press ed. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980, c1961.

________. A Bibliography of Christian Worship Atla Bibliography Series. Philadelphia

Metuchen, N.J.: American Theological Library Association ;

Scarecrow Press, 1989.

Tozer, A. W. Worship: The Missing Jewel in the Evangelical Church. Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications.

Underhill, Evelyn. Worship. Cambridge England: James Clarke & Co., 2010.

Vajta, Vilmos. Die Theologie Des Gottesdienstes Bei Luther. Stockholm,: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelses bokförlag, [1952].

________. Luther on Worship, an Interpretation. Philadelphia,: Muhlenberg Press, [1958].

________. Luther and Melanchthon in the History and Theology of the Reformation. Philadelphia,: Muhlenberg Press, [1961].

Vogel, Cyrille, William George Storey, Niels Krogh Rasmussen, and John Brooks-Leonard. Medieval Liturgy : An Introduction to the Sources Npm Studies in Church Music and Liturgy. Washington, D.C.: Pastoral Press, c1986.

Wainwright, Geoffrey. Doxology : The Praise of God in Worship, Doctrine, and Life : A Systematic Theology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.

Webber, Robert. Worship Is a Verb : Eight Principles Transforming Worship. 2nd ed. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1996.

________. Ancient-Future Faith : Rethinking Evangelicalism for a Postmodern World [Ancient-Future Faith Series]. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1999.

________. Ancient-Future Time : Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year Ancient-Future Faith Series. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2004.

________. Ancient-Future Worship : Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative Ancient-Future Series. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2008.

________. The New Worship Awakening : What’s Old Is New Again. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, [2007].

________. In Heart and Home : A Woman’s Workshop on Worship, with Helps for Leaders. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Lamplighter Books, c1985.

________. Worship Is a Verb. Waco, Tex.: Word Books, c1985.

________. Celebrating Our Faith : Evangelism through Worship. 1st ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, c1986.

________. The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship. Hendrickson Publishers’ ed. The Complete Library of Christian Worship. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, c1993.

________. The Ministries of Christian Worship. Hendrickson Publishers’ ed. The Complete Library of Christian Worship. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, c1993.

________. The Renewal of Sunday Worship. Hendrickson Publishers’ ed. The Complete Library of Christian Worship. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, c1993.

________. The Sacred Actions of Christian Worship. Hendrickson Publishers’ ed. The Complete Library of Christian Worship. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, c1993.

________. The Services of the Christian Year. Hendrickson Publishers’ ed. The Complete Library of Christian Worship. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, c1993.

________. Music and the Arts in Christian Worship. 2 vols. Hendrickson Publishers ed. The Complete Library of Christian Worship. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, c1994.

________. Twenty Centuries of Christian Worship. Hendrickson Publishers’ ed. The Complete Library of Christian Worship. Nashville, Tenn.: Star Song Pub. Group, c1994.

________. Worship Old & New : A Biblical, Historical, and Practical Introduction. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, c1994.

________. Planning Blended Worship : The Creative Mixture of Old and New. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, c1998.

________. Journey to Jesus : The Worship, Evangelism, and Nurture Mission of the Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press, c2001.

________. Ancient-Future Worship : Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative Ancient-Future Series. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, c2008.

Westminster Directory of the World. London,: Tamar Publishing Co. Ltd., 1968.

White, James F. Introduction to Christian Worship. 3rd ed. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, c2000.

Willimon, William H. A Guide to Preaching and Leading Worship. 1st. ed. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.


[i] This lesson is an adaptation of the sermon, “Living Worship” especially written for the Christian Heritage Conference at Christ Covenant Church, Matthews, North Carolina

 

[ii] C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcom: Chiefly on Prayer (New York: Harcourt, 1992), 4.

[iii] John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad! : The Supremacy of God in Missions (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1993).

[iv] Jeremiah Burroughs and Don Kistler, Gospel Worship, or, the Right Manner of Sanctifying the Name of God : In General, and Particularly in These 3 Great Ordinances: 1. Hearing the Word, 2. Receiving the Lord’s Supper, 3. Prayer (Morgan, Pa.: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1990).

[v] A. W. Tozer, Worship: The Missing Jewel in the Evangelical Church (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications).

[vi] In John R. W. Stott and Timothy Dudley-Smith, Authentic Christianity : From the Writings of John Stott (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1995).

[vii] See especially Carol M. Bechtel, Touching the Altar : The Old Testament for Christian Worship, The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2008); Walter Brueggemann, Israel’s Praise : Doxology against Idolatry and Ideology (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, c1988); Walter Brueggemann, Worship in Ancient Israel : An Essential Guide (Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press, c2005); Andrew E. Hill, Enter His Courts with Praise : Old Testament Worship for the New Testament Church, [2nd paperback ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996); Allen P. Ross, Recalling the Hope of Glory : Biblical Worship from the Garden to the New Creation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, c2006).

[viii] For an overview of liturgical studies see the thorough bibliography online by the Institute for Worship Studies: http://www.iws.edu/IWS/Pdfs/Bibliography.pdf; see also Raymond Abba, Principles of Christian Worship (New York,: Oxford University Press, 1957); Paul F. Bradshaw, The New Westminster Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship, 1st American ed. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, c2002); D. A. Carson, Worship by the Book (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2002); Horton Davies, Christian Worship : Its Making and Meaning (Wallington, Surrey: Religious Education Press, 1946); Marva J. Dawn, Reaching out without Dumbing Down : A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1995); Marva J. Dawn, A Royal Waste of Time : The Splendor of Worshiping God and Being Church for the World (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 1999); Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy, [New ed. (London ; New York: Continuum, 2005); Cheslyn Jones, Geoffrey Wainwright, and Edward Yarnold, The Study of Liturgy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978); Donald MacLeod, Presbyterian Worship: Its Meaning and Method (Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1952); F. Russell Mitman, Worship in the Shape of Scripture (Cleveland, Ohio: Pilgrim Press, 2001); Hughes Oliphant Old, Worship That Is Reformed According to Scripture, Guides to the Reformed Tradition (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1984); Hughes Oliphant Old, The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1998); E. H. van Olst, The Bible and Liturgy (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, c1991); Bard Thompson, A Bibliography of Christian Worship, Atla Bibliography Series (Philadelphia

Metuchen, N.J.: American Theological Library Association ;

Scarecrow Press, 1989); Evelyn Underhill, Worship (Cambridge England: James Clarke & Co., 2010); Geoffrey Wainwright, Doxology : The Praise of God in Worship, Doctrine, and Life : A Systematic Theology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980); William H. Willimon, A Guide to Preaching and Leading Worship, 1st. ed. (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008).

[ix] See Paul F. Bradshaw, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship : Sources and Methods for the Study of Early Liturgy, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).

[x] See Gerald L. Borchert, Worship in the New Testament : Divine Mystery and Human Response (St. Louis, Mo.: Chalice Press, 2008).

[xi] See Ferdinand Hahn, The Worship of the Early Church (Philadelphia,: Fortress Press, [1973]); Lawrence J. Johnson, Worship in the Early Church : An Anthology of Historical Sources (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2009); Hughes Oliphant Old, The Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship, Zürcher Beiträge Zur Reformationsgeschichte (Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 1975).

[xii] See Karin Maag and John D. Witvliet, Worship in Medieval and Early Modern Europe : Change and Continuity in Religious Practice (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, c2004); Cyrille Vogel and others, Medieval Liturgy : An Introduction to the Sources, Npm Studies in Church Music and Liturgy (Washington, D.C.: Pastoral Press, c1986).

[xiii] See Henry John Cowell, The Coming of the English Bible; Biographical Notes Concerning John Wycliffe, William Tindale, Miles Coverdale, John Rogers, William Whittingham, and Others (London: The Epworth Press, 1944); David G. Fountain, John Wycliffe : The Dawn of the Reformation (Southampton: Mayflower Christian, 1984); Dyson Hague, The Life and Work of John Wycliffe, [2d and enl. ed. (London: Church Book Room, 1935); Jan Hus, De Causa Boemica. (Tractatus I. Hus De Ecclesia) ([Hagenau: 1520); Jan Hus and Samuel Harrison Thomson, Magistri Johannis Hus Tractatus De Ecclesia : E Fontibus Manu Scriptis in Lucem, Studies and Texts in Medieval Thought ([Boulder]

Cambridge [Eng.]: University of Colorado Press ;

W. Heffer & Sons Ltd., 1956); K. B. McFarlane, John Wycliffe and the Beginnings of English Nonconformity, New ed. (London: English Universities Press, 1972); Enrico C.S. Molnar, “The Liturgical Reforms of John Hus,” Speculum 41, no. 2 (1966); Edwin Hanton Robertson, John Wycliffe : Morning Star of the Reformation (Basingstoke: Marshall, 1984).

[xiv] See especially Jean Calvin, Ford Lewis Battles, and John T. McNeill, Calvin : Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 vols., Library of Christian Classics (London: S.C.M. Press, 1961); John H. Gerstner, Douglas F. Kelly, and Philip B. Rollinson, A Guide : The Westminster Confession of Faith : Commentary, 1st ed. (Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Summertown Texts, 1992); Ronald Claud Dudley Jasper, The Development of the Anglican Liturgy, 1662-1980 (London: SPCK, 1989); Abraham Kuyper and Harry Boonstra, Our Worship, The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2009); Old, Worship That Is Reformed According to Scripture; Old, The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church; Scotland free church publ. worship assoc., A New Directory for the Public Worship of God, Founded on the Book of Common Order and the Westminster Directory, 2nd ed. (Edinb.: 1898); Vilmos Vajta, Die Theologie Des Gottesdienstes Bei Luther (Stockholm,: Svenska kyrkans diakonistyrelses bokförlag, [1952]); Vilmos Vajta, Luther on Worship, an Interpretation (Philadelphia,: Muhlenberg Press, [1958]); Vilmos Vajta, Luther and Melanchthon in the History and Theology of the Reformation (Philadelphia,: Muhlenberg Press, [1961]); Westminster Directory of the World,  (London,: Tamar Publishing Co. Ltd., 1968).

[xv] See Horton Davies, “The Worship of the English Puritans” (“Produced as a historical thesis for the degree of doctor of philosophy in the University of Oxford “, Dacre Press,, 1948); Horton Davies and University of Oxford. Faculty of Theology., “The Worship of the English Puritans During the Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries” (Thesis (D Phil ), University of Oxford, 1944., 1944).

[xvi] See Doug Adams, Meeting House to Camp Meeting: Toward a History of American Free Church Worship from 1620-1835 (Saratoga: Modern Liturgy Resource Publications, 1981).

[xvii] See Andrew Redman Bonar and others, Presbyterian Liturgies, with Specimens of Forms of Prayer for Public Worship as Used in the Continental, Reformed, & American Churches, Ed. By a Minister of the Church of Scotland [A.R. Bonar]. With the Directory for the Public Worship of God Agreed Upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster; and Forms of Prayer for Ordinary and Communion Sabbaths, and for Other Services of the Church (Edinb. &c.: 1858).

[xviii] See Alan P. F. Sell and Anthony R. Cross, Protestant Nonconformity in the Twentieth Century (Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 2003).

[xix] While the standard on this period remains the works of Webber, as in Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Faith : Rethinking Evangelicalism for a Postmodern World, [Ancient-Future Faith Series] (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1999); Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Time : Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year, Ancient-Future Faith Series (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2004); Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Worship : Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative, Ancient-Future Series (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2008). see also the classic work by Robert Gibson Rayburn, O Come, Let Us Worship : Corporate Worship in the Evangelical Church (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1980).

[xx] Herbert W. Bateman, Authentic Worship : Hearing Scripture’s Voice, Applying Its Truth (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, c2002); Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Worship : Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2009); Tim Dearborn and Scott Coil, Worship at the Next Level : Insight from Contemporary Voices (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, c2004); Reggie M. Kidd, With One Voice : Discovering Christ’s Song in Our Worship (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, c2005); Theodor Klauser, A Short History of the Western Liturgy ; an Account and Some Reflections, 2d ed. (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 1979); Bard Thompson, Liturgies of the Western Church, 1st Fortress Press ed. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980, c1961); Robert Webber, Worship Is a Verb : Eight Principles Transforming Worship, 2nd ed. (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1996); Robert Webber, The New Worship Awakening : What’s Old Is New Again (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, [2007]); Robert Webber, In Heart and Home : A Woman’s Workshop on Worship, with Helps for Leaders (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Lamplighter Books, c1985); Robert Webber, Worship Is a Verb (Waco, Tex.: Word Books, c1985); Robert Webber, Celebrating Our Faith : Evangelism through Worship, 1st ed. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, c1986); Robert Webber, The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship, Hendrickson Publishers’ ed., The Complete Library of Christian Worship (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, c1993); Robert Webber, The Ministries of Christian Worship, Hendrickson Publishers’ ed., The Complete Library of Christian Worship (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, c1993); Robert Webber, The Renewal of Sunday Worship, Hendrickson Publishers’ ed., The Complete Library of Christian Worship (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, c1993); Robert Webber, The Sacred Actions of Christian Worship, Hendrickson Publishers’ ed., The Complete Library of Christian Worship (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, c1993); Robert Webber, The Services of the Christian Year, Hendrickson Publishers’ ed., The Complete Library of Christian Worship (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, c1993); Robert Webber, Music and the Arts in Christian Worship, Hendrickson Publishers ed., 2 vols., The Complete Library of Christian Worship (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, c1994); Robert Webber, Twenty Centuries of Christian Worship, Hendrickson Publishers’ ed., The Complete Library of Christian Worship (Nashville, Tenn.: Star Song Pub. Group, c1994); Robert Webber, Worship Old & New : A Biblical, Historical, and Practical Introduction, Rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, c1994); Robert Webber, Planning Blended Worship : The Creative Mixture of Old and New (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, c1998); Robert Webber, Journey to Jesus : The Worship, Evangelism, and Nurture Mission of the Church (Nashville: Abingdon Press, c2001); Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Worship : Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative, Ancient-Future Series (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, c2008); James F. White, Introduction to Christian Worship, 3rd ed. (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, c2000).

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About Michael Milton, Ph.D.

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D. (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David's College), is an American Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and author. He is, also, an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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