The Worship Quote of the Week for (04/09/2002):

Todayís WORSHIP QUOTE looks at Christian worship in the light of the "big
picture" of Godís ultimate purposes in creation and redemption. Author Larry
Hurtado is professor of New Testament language, literature and theology at
the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


WORSHIP AND THE BIG PICTURE
Christian worship could be re-enlivened and enriched by remembering the
larger picture of Godís purposes, which extend beyond our own immediate
setting and time to take in all human history and which promise a future
victory over evil and a consummation of redeeming grace. Apart from a hope in
Godís triumph over evil, apart from a confidence that Jesus really is the
divinely appointed Lord in whom all things are to find their meaning,
Christian acclamation of Jesus as Lord is a stupid thing, refuted and mocked
by the powerful, negative realities of our creaturehood: the political and
economic tyrannies, religious and irreligious forces, and social and cultural
developments that make the Christian faith seem trivial and our worship
little more than a quaint avocation.

óLarry W. Hurtado, AT THE ORIGINS OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP: THE CONTEXT AND
CHARACTER OF EARLIEST CHRISTIAN DEVOTION, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999, p.
116. ISBN 0-8028-4749-8


[How shocking to read a paragraph of enlightened Christian scholarship and
find the word "stupid" lurking in the lines; but author is right, isnít he?
Without a larger perspective of Godís redeeming grace in Christ, the
Christian practice of worship IS stupid. This is why Marva Dawnís recent book
on worship is entitled A ROYAL "WASTE" OF TIME (Eerdmanís, 1999)óbecause the
unbelieving world sees the endeavor of Christian worship as a waste, a
silliness, a stupid and foolish illusion. Perhaps this is what the Apostle
Paul was thinking when he wrote to the church in Corinth. Take a look at 1
Corinthians 1:18-31, ". . . but God has chosen the foolish things of the
world to shame the wise."]


The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Have a great week!


Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky
www.carlstam.org
www.sbts.edu