The Worship Quote of the Week for (06/22/2004):

Worship Planning Chagrin
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in Louisville, Kentucky.

Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is from the introduction to a new book on worship. The general editor and the author of today’s passage is Paul Basden. The six contributors are Paul Zahl, Harold Best, Joe Horness, Don Williams, Robert Webber, and Sally Morgenthaler.

To the chagrin of many Christians, nowhere in the New Testament can we find a full description, detailed order, or divinely ordained style of worship. Instead what we find are pointed reminders to gather together as believers in order to engage in several practices that summarize worship: praying, singing, reading and preaching and teaching Scripture, collecting offerings, baptizing, and observing the Lord’s Supper. But no prescribed approach is sanctioned as God’s favorite. Instead we see diversity early on.

When we read about the early church in Acts, we discover that the
first believers in Jerusalem gave priority to the apostles’ teaching,
Holy Communion, prayers, and communal living;

When we turn to Paul’s earlier letters, we find him correcting—not
rejecting—the charismatic impulses of Corinthian worshipers,
encouraging them to speak in tongues, interpret tongues, sing in
the Spirit, and perform miracles;

When we look at Paul’s prison letters, we notice that worship
in the Asia Minor churches of Ephesus and Colossae consisted
primarily of singing, teaching, and thanksgiving.

Whoever looks to the New Testament for liturgical uniformity meets just the opposite. Within thirty-five years of Jesus’ death and resurrection we can discern at least these three distinct patterns of worship in the early church.

—Paul A. Basden, general editor, EXPLORING THE WORSHIP SPECTRUM: SIX VIEWS. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004, pp. 14-15. ISBN 0-310-24759-4.

[FAVOR: Please consider forwarding the following paragraph to pastors or church musicians who might benefit from a wonderful WORSHIP WORKSHOP this summer.]

WORSHIP TO THE GLORY OF GOD (July 12-16, 2004 in Louisville) will feature lectures by Harold Best and Bob Kauflin of Sovereign Grace Ministries. The five-day event is available as a two-credit course at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary or simply as a workshop for interested participants. You can expect an intensive experience combining both theological reflection and practical guidelines for planning and leading authentic biblical worship in today’s church. All lectures and materials will be relevant to both traditional and contemporary expressions of corporate Christian worship. If you have questions, please call 1-800-626-5525 (Ext. 4115). This and other summer offerings can be seen at Click on “2004 Summer Workshops”.]

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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