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Worship: From the Frying Pan Into the Fire

April 25th, 2006
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It is always interesting to read perspectives on issues that concern me as a Lutheran, written by non-Lutherans. This is a great post pointing out the vapidity of many so-called contemporary hymns. Any congregation that permits these sorts of songs to be song as the main fare of its worship service has automatically put its members on a starvation diet. It is appalling anyone who claims to be a Lutheran is in any way clamoring for this kind of stuff. Here is a great pull quote from the piece:

Returning to Worship by the Book, Carson makes an analogy
between a person who watches a sunset and another person who stands
before the same sunset but becomes fixated on watching himself watch
the sunset. The first person delights in the beauty of Creation, while
the second person can see no further than the act of watching it. In
this way he misses the sunset altogether. What folly it is to miss the
beauty of the sunset by fixating on ourselves. And what a tragedy it is
if we go no further than asking God to touch us or speak to us, but do
not use what He has given us to accomplish that end. We would be better
off not singing at all than engaging in "worship" that unintentionally
focuses on us and commends us for our act of worship.

Link: Challies Dot Com: Worship: From the Frying Pan Into the Fire.

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  1. Brian
    April 25th, 2006 at 23:02 | #1

    Richard John Neuhaus, in his new book “Catholic Matters”, has a great line about certain modern worship ditties being so bad as to even make young children embarrased. How true.

  2. Rev. Allen Bergstrazer
    April 26th, 2006 at 10:08 | #2

    Here we have Luther’s lament, the people know about Christ, but don’t know Christ. “Colliers faith,” I believe is what he called it.
    In some circles what happens on Sunday morning has devolved into a metaphor of a facsimilie of a synonym of worship.
    The fevered enthusisam of the Charismatic, and the mind numbing pulse of the Rock concert have been left by the wayside as the worship engineers seek to out do the previous week’s efforts. The end result is facile nattering about their intentions to worship.
    What Carson discusses is a symptom of what Rev. McCain refers to in a previous post about Catechesis.
    Worship is the primary means by which we corporately declare the church’s doctrine.
    If your church has no formal or material principles to guide it, or it has eschewed it’s docrine because it intimidates the seeker, then you end up in ‘the fire’ as Carson puts it, the fire of muttering sweet nothings to each other as we attempt to self actualize in God’s name.

  3. April 29th, 2006 at 09:52 | #3

    I clicked on the link for the original article and spent some time reading not only the article, but the copious comments which followed. No one, it seems, who reads that blog has any sort of commonality with us Lutherans regarding the content or purpose of worship. In spite of many protestations to the contrary I still got the distinct impression that for most of them worship is still something WE do instead of that time when we come to God’s house to receive His gifts of life and salvation in Word and Sacrament.

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