I was reading this article yesterday http://phillipjensen.com/articles/evangelical-worship/ and as it has often been the case, Phillip Jensen’s writing resonated with me. I decided to share it on that social media whose share tanked badly and like flies to a heap it attracted a couple of testy comments. I did however extract a small part of the article in the comments section as I shared it. I wonder if the comments were in response to the extract or the article. I suspect the former.
I wonder though, why the responses were of the “stronger” shades. It was just (to me anyway) an innocuous (because it is objective) article about how worship ought to be consistent with theology and is often a reflection of that. It touched on how worship should be an overall lifestyle response to God and His revelation through His word, as opposed to a narrower sphere within the confines of the arts.
The responses were telling I think of how pervasive the arts and things aesthetics have become in contemporary church scene. The edification aspect of worship has taken on a back seat and certainly the lifestyle (i.e. life changing) response issue has not just disappeared into the background, it has become an irrelevance. It has evolved now to a stage where when a specific song evokes an emotional response leading to behavior which conveys abnormal stirrings, that becomes the measurement of effectiveness, not of the church but of that specific part of that day’s program. A form of spirituality takes precedence over Godliness as taught in the scriptures. The experience of the moment – one that I often term a sugar fix – becomes the focus. In this regard, less is more, I think. We should strive not for more performing arts type of contribution but less, because in reducing this input, I believe we would be minimising what I consider to be extraneous factors.
- Worship Worksheet: Designing Worship with Positive Tensions (voiceinworship.com)
- Worship and worshipping (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- “Everybody Worships” (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Do you dread Sundays? (Part 2 of 2) (sermonnotesforkids.com)
- Mystery Worship Eleven: A Missed Opportunity (barefootpreachr.org)
- What It’s All About (aaronwmusic.wordpress.com)
- Worship and a Troubled Conscience (christiantheology.wordpress.com)
- Gospel Centered Worship: Don’t fall prey to “good intentions” (aaronwilliamsblog.com)
- Worship Philosophy Intro (onelifeworship.wordpress.com)
- Led to Worship (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)