Sunday, September 17, 2006

Worship in Spirit and Truth

I am finishing the book “Worship in Spirit and Truth” by John M. Frame. This is probably not a book that will interest the average churchgoer, but it is a good book that is a simple and quick read. In it John Frame gives an apologetic for some of the liturgies/practices of reformed worship found in measure within conservative Presbyterian and Reformed denominations. A few years ago I took a graduate course in “Liturgics” at the University of Iowa and the course was devoid of anything in terms of the historical perspective of this tradition, which was greatly influenced by the reforms of John Calvin. If you are curious about “The Regulative Principles” of worship (and other related principles) then you may enjoy Frame’s perspectives/adoptions of these principles.

There were no eureka moments in this book, but I feel like I have a clearer theology of Biblical worship from reading it. If you are a Worship Pastor/Director or would just like a better basic understanding of Reformation thinking on worship, this would be a worthy read.

I’ll close with a few memorable quotes:
  • The leadership of worship is a spiritual responsibility. It should e given only to those who are mature in their faith, who understand the Biblical view of worship, and who can in their words and actions model the truth and the love of Christ.
  • We live in a “sacramental universe” for God has created the whole world as a means of revealing himself.
  • Worshipers should not take a passive attitude toward worship… this perspective should make us less concerned about what we “get out of” worship and more concerned about what we contribute to God and to our bothers and sisters.
  • Determining the most intelligible form of worship requires us to ask what people in a particular culture most easily listen to and understand; and that question certainly overlaps the issue of taste. But we are not asking that question to satisfy anybody’s taste; we are asking it so that we may be more faithful in communicating God’s word clearly.
  • The function of (congregational) music is to glorify God by investing His word with the vividness and memorability that by His grace drives that Word into the heart.

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