How Should We Introduce Evangelicals to Liturgy?

I have been following the resurgence of interest in ancient liturgies and have read your two part article on Theopolis as well as several podcasts where you speak about this topic. As a lifetime evangelical who has been awakened and inspired by the depths of church history, sacramental theology, and liturgy in the past year, I am incredibly excited to see more and more evangelicals looking into what worship truly means Biblically and how it forms us as worshipers through liturgy.

I am wondering in what ways you could see the “liturgically opposed” churches such as the ones I was raised in embrace some of these historical forms and practices while avoiding the pitfalls you pointed out in your articles? I am a worship leader with a deep desire to shape our services into a more Biblical, liturgical form but don’t really know where to start.

Any other resources you could recommend to me would be greatly appreciated!

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Transcript for Is There Meaning to Be Found in the Ordering of the Books of the Bible

One of my supporters has very kindly transcribed this video, in which I discuss the rationales for different orderings of the books of the Bible. I don’t have time to transcribe my videos myself, so anyone willing to volunteer to transcribe one video every week or fortnight would be greatly appreciated! The transcript is very lightly edited at a few points for the purpose of comprehension.

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Theopolis Podcast: The Eros of Theology (Song of Songs)

In this episode of the Theopolis Podcast, Peter Leithart and I continue our discussion of the Song of Songs, considering the significance of eros in our theology and interpretation.

You can follow the Theopolis podcast on SoundcloudiTunes, and on most podcast apps. You can read show notes over on the Theopolis podcast website. You can also see past episodes I have contributed to by clicking the ‘Theopolis Podcast’ link in the bar above.

Richard Rohr on Scripture

I came across this post from Richard Rohr on how Jesus interpreted scripture ( Here is a quote from the post:

“Jesus consistently ignored or even denied exclusionary, punitive, and triumphalistic texts in his own inspired Hebrew Bible in favor of passages that emphasized inclusion, mercy, and honesty. He read the Scriptures in a spiritual and selective way. Jesus had a deeper and wider eye that knew which passages were creating a path for God and which passages were merely cultural, self-serving, and legalistic additions. That becomes self-evident once you know enough to see the “comparative meaning” of an incident or statement.

When Christians pretend that every line in the Bible is of equal importance and inspiration, they are being very unlike Jesus. This is precisely why Jesus was accused of teaching “as one who had authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:29, RSV), and why they hated him so much. Jesus even accused fervent and pious “teachers of the law” of largely missing the point. “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?” he asked them (Mark 12:24, RSV). We cannot make the same mistake all over again—and now in Jesus’ name.”

How would you respond to the idea that Jesus read the scripture in a spiritual and selective way and that he emphasized some while ignoring or denying others?

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Did the Scriptural Authors Intend their Figural Meanings?

I’m wondering to what degree you believe that the original authors of the text(s) were deliberately employing [analogies, types, themes, metaphors, “word pictures”, etc.]? Was the intellectual complexity that you perceive present in the original authorship context, or has the Spirit has orchestrated a significantly bigger picture than those authors could have ever intended?

For example, on your recent answer to the Pool of Bethsaida question, you draw attention to and relevance from the 38-year infirmity of the healed man, and offer a many-minutes-long unpacking of the significance of that number and how it fits the oft-employed water theme in the book of John, etc. My question(s), as applied to this particular situation, would be something like the following:

– Was the man really suffering for exactly 38 years, or did John just pick a number that fit the metaphor he intended to convey?

– Did John know the significance of 38 years. Was he intentionally communicating as deeply as [you believe], or is that depth something the Spirit applies “at a layer above”, that is, across the larger biblical narrative?

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