The Worship Quote of the Week for (08/01/2000):

Empty Religion
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is another from John Stott, author of the best-selling
BASIC CHRISTIANITY, and rector emeritus of London's All Souls Church.

Today, August 1, is my first official day in my new job at Southern Seminary
in Louisville. The search for my replacement at the Chapel Hill Bible Church
has begun. For details of that opening, please go to

We need to listen again to the biblical criticism of religion. No book, even
by Marx and his followers, is more scathing of empty religion than the Bible.
The prophets of the eighth and seventh centuries BC were outspoken in their
denunciation of the formalism and hypocrisy of Israelite worship. Jesus then
applied their critique to the Pharisees of his day: "These people . . . .
honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Is. 29:13; Mk.
7:6). And this indictment of religion by the Old Testament prophets and by
Jesus is uncomfortably applicable to us and our churches today. Too much of
our worship is ritual without reality, form without power, fun without fear,
religion without God.

- John Stott, THE CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN, InterVarsity Press, 1992, p. 228.

[Lord, direct our individual and corporate worship. As we sing and pray and
open our hearts and minds to the power and truth of your holy Word, may we
find you and respond to you. Amen!]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky