The Worship Quote of the Week for (01/20/2004):

Worship Through the Ages
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is from a wonderful new book written in honor of the legacy of James Montgomery Boice. As senior minister of Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church from 1968 until his death in 2000, Dr. Boice consistently emphasized the priority of biblical worship. This selection is by Nick Needham, a Baptist minister in Scotland who teaches at the Highland Theological College.

If we ask, “How should we worship God?” a healthy Christian and Protestant instinct will be to respond with another question: “What does the Bible say?” Rightly understood, this is a necessary and indeed a sufficient response. We must not, however, presume that we alone know what the Bible says on this or any other issue. Wisdom and humility conspire to lead us to a broader attitude and to ask, “What have Christians down through the ages understood the Bible to say about how we should worship God?” Unless we wish to make a virtue of solipsism, any serious consideration of worship must take into account the history of worship, as a sort of running commentary on Scripture, a commentary embodied in practice and preserved in literary monuments, especially liturgies.

—Nick R. Needham, from GIVE PRAISE TO GOD: A VISION FOR REFORMING WORSHIP, edited by Philip Graham Ryken, Derek W. H. Thomas, and J. Ligon Duncan III, Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R; Publishing, 2004, p. 375. ISBN 087552-553-9

[The authors of this highly recommended book include an impressive list of pastor-scholars: Eric Alexander, D. Marion Clark, Edmund Clowney, Mark E. Dever, J. Ligon Duncan, William Edgar, Robert Godfrey, Michael Horton, Terry Johnson, Paul Jones, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Nick Needham, Hughes Oliphant Old, Richard Phillips, Philip Graham Ryken, R. C. Sproul, Derek Thomas, and Donald Whitney.]

To be honest, I had to look up "solipsism." I'm glad I did.
Have a great week,

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

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