The Worship Quote of the Week for (09/17/2002):

Traditions and Idols
Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is by Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian
Church, a large congregation in the heart of New York City.

Any proponent of "historic" corporate worship will have to answer the
question, "Whose history?" Much of what is called "traditional" worship is
very rooted in northern European culture. While strict contemporary worship
advocates may bind worship too heavily to one present culture, strict
historic worship advocates may bind it too heavily to a past culture.

. . . A refusal to adapt a tradition to new realities may come under
Jesus’ condemnation of making our favorite human culture into an idol, equal
to the Scripture in normativity (Mark 7:8-9). While contemporary worship
advocates do not seem to recognize the sin in all cultures, the historic
worship advocates do not seem to recognize the amount of (common) grace in
all cultures.

— Timothy J. Keller, "Reformed Worship in the Global City," chapter four of
WORSHIP BY THE BOOK, edited by D. A. Carson. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002,
p. 196. ISBN 0-310-21625-7. Other chapters in this book are by D. A. Carson,
Kent Hughes, and Mark Ashton. Highly recommended!

[If you are looking for a thoughtful and challenging book on faithful
biblical worship in today’s world, I suggest you find a copy of WORSHIP BY
THE BOOK. While you are at it, get one for your pastor and your director of
music and worship.]

Have a great week,

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