Tag Archives: liturgy

Worldly Liturgies

Worldly Liturgies

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Our aim over the past several weeks has been to discover how Christians can cultivate higher inclinations toward what is true and good, but we must recognize that the reverse also happens—deformation of our inclinations. Again, our actions are not always the outcome of rational choices, and this is true of sinful behavior as well. Sometimes… Continue Reading

The Form of the Liturgy

The Form of the Liturgy

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Behavior is shaped by liturgies because, as Lewis stated, our inclinations are organized through trained habits, and habits are formed through rituals. And it is the shape of those rituals that cultivates the habits, because the form of the liturgy embodies certain values. Allow me to illustrate. Imagine a dense forest separating two cities. In… Continue Reading

A Thousand Throwaway I Love Yous

A Thousand Throwaway I Love Yous

In a healthy marriage, there are a thousand throwaway I love yous. This demands explanation, and there’s probably a better wording to make this point. But there’s also a certain rhetorical power to stating it this way, and so it stays for now. I’ll illustrate what I’m after this way. Imagine this scene: I am at… Continue Reading

The People’s Work

The People’s Work

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Practice Makes Perfect You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Perhaps one of the best ways to help us contemplate how behavior is shaped in the way that I have been explaining over the past several weeks is by considering the nature of behavior as we discussed it a few weeks back. I have suggested that culture is the behavior of a people. It is the ergon… Continue Reading

How Liturgy Shapes Preaching

How Liturgy Shapes Preaching

This entry is part of 2 in the series The Symbiosis of Preaching and Liturgy You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The Free Church tradition typically devotes more thought to the way preaching shapes liturgy than vice versa.  This is an unfortunate imbalance that overlooks the importance the New Testament places on liturgy for spiritual instruction (cf. Ephesians 5:18-20, Colossians 3:16). Liturgy trains Christian affections to love biblical preaching. The approach advocated here distinguishes between feelings… Continue Reading

The Liturgical Worship Trend

The Liturgical Worship Trend

As I mentioned last week, liturgy is becoming more cool. This recent study seems to support this, indicating that preference for contemporary worship among 20 somethings is declining in favor of “blended” (whatever that is) and “liturgical” (again, whatever that is) worship. In some ways, of course, I think this is a good thing. I,… Continue Reading

How Preaching Shapes Liturgy

How Preaching Shapes Liturgy

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Symbiosis of Preaching and Liturgy You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Every church follows a form of liturgy, whether intentional or not.  Unfortunately, some churches tend toward two extremes in this matter.  Some traditions take liturgy very seriously, but treat it as if it exists independently from preaching.  Others uphold the priority of preaching as if necessary liturgical choices are only marginally important.  Instead, we must… Continue Reading

Liturgy is cool

Liturgy is cool

Carl Trueman recently addressed the phenomenon within Millennial evangelicalism that is increasingly regarding ancient liturgical practices (especially Ash Wednesday and Lent) as cool. He’s right: it has apparently now become “hip” to add to (otherwise band driven contemporary) worship elements from ancient liturgical practices. Trueman and others over the past several years have dealt well… Continue Reading

How I order corporate worship

How I order corporate worship

Although there is no prescribed liturgy1 in Scripture, we do have clear commands that our corporate worship be “decent and in order” (1 Cor 14:40). Furthermore, since we are shaped by doing things over and over, our weekly corporate gatherings for worship are formative in shaping the worship in the rest of our lives, and… Continue Reading

Simplicity Is Beautiful

Simplicity Is Beautiful

I agree with Wilson; we must learn to distinguish between simplicity and triviality, and often simple is best. Both with architecture and with liturgy, there are some who assume that “if one’s good, two must be better.” The liturgy gets cluttered up with bright colors and shiny objects, and the architecture of the church looks,… Continue Reading

Gospel-Shaped Worship: A Review of Recent Literature

Gospel-Shaped Worship: A Review of Recent Literature

This article first appeared in Artistic Theologian 2 (2013). Books reviewed: Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice, by Bryan Chapell (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009); Story-Shaped Worship: Following Patterns from the Bible and History, by Robbie F. Castleman (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2013); Rhythms of Grace: How the Church’s Worship Tells the Story of the Gospel, by Mike Cosper (Wheaton:… Continue Reading

Where did all that pomp and circumstance come from?

Where did all that pomp and circumstance come from?

Have you ever wondered how Christian liturgy developed from the simple meetings we see in the book of Acts to the smells and bells of Roman Catholicism? Here’s a brief snapshot of what happened: Stage 1: Word + Table Most scholars would agree that the earliest church services began as a natural extension of Jewish… Continue Reading

Lewis, liturgy as dance, and the regulative principle

Lewis, liturgy as dance, and the regulative principle

Some time ago, I posted a link here to one of my favorite quotes from the eminently quotable C. S. Lewis. Lewis offers a comparison between liturgy and dance: both must be learned, he suggests, so that when they are employed, they needn’t be thought about. When dancing (I suppose, not having any experience here myself),… Continue Reading

What the Hijabi Witnessed (and What She Didn’t)

What the Hijabi Witnessed (and What She Didn’t)

A compelling look by Carl Trueman at the beauty and gospel benefit of Scripture-rich liturgy. Here’s a snippet: Yet here is the irony: in this liberal Anglican chapel, the hijabi experienced an hour long service in which most of the time was spent occupied with words drawn directly from scripture. She heard more of the… Continue Reading

On the Assumption that the New Testament is Vague on Worship Practices Because God Wants Freedom

On the Assumption that the New Testament is Vague on Worship Practices Because God Wants Freedom

I agree with Zach that Castleman’s new book is very good. I also agree with this: In conversations about a “biblical theology of worship,” evangelicals, even pretty heavy-hitting scholars, too easily downplay the patterns of worship assumed and incorporated from Jewish practices that would have been etched into the doxological habits of the first Christian… Continue Reading

“If people want ‘play’ and ‘merriment’ in liturgy, it can only be because they’ve lost Joy.”

“If people want ‘play’ and ‘merriment’ in liturgy, it can only be because they’ve lost Joy.”

This piece is packed full of great tidbits. Here are some of them: Why are traditional liturgies traditionally performed (I mean normal and usual) considered unfit for children?  We don’t pave children’s streets, build children’s houses and construct children’s airplanes?  They seem to do just fine.  Children always aspire to be adults.  They like to approach… Continue Reading