What Makes Gathered Worship Different?

A brother challenged me after reading my book, where I talk about how sacred space and time are transformed through the Lord Jesus from being temple- and sabbath-oriented, to being person- and whole-life-oriented. He suggested that I am inconsistent to simultaneously hold that attending church is worship per se, and that we enter the heavenly court during this time (a view I briefly argue for here).

He linked me to the work of a brother of yours, Tony Payne of the Sidney Anglicans, who argues for a view in which attending church is not any more worship than any other part of life, but merely an embodiment and acting-out of the communion we have at all times in the Lord Jesus—a view he dubs the “gathered in heaven” model of church.

I’m sympathetic to Tony’s view, but I equally find it hard to abandon the idea that meeting on the Lord’s Day is especially worship in some sense (perhaps something like ritual worship as opposed to mundane worship). Similarly, although I agree that we are, at all times, in the presence of God through his Spirit, there does nonetheless seem something significant about the symbolic representation of drawing near to his throne, which actually does draw heaven and earth together in a way that isn’t true during the ordinary course of life. One possible avenue of relieving this tension that has occurred to me is in the threefold intensification of sacred space in the temple itself; can we perhaps correlate the “mundane” worship of Rom. 12:1 to service in the courtyard, while the “ritual” worship I see hinted at in Acts 13:2; 1 Cor. 14:25 is service in the Holy Place, with Jesus’ everlasting service being in the Holy of Holies?

Continue reading “What Makes Gathered Worship Different?”

Theopolis Podcast: Rituals and Epistemology with Dr Dru Johnson

Peter Leithart and I are joined by Dr Dru Johnson, with whom we discuss the connection between ritual and epistemology.

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. If you would like to leave a question for us to answer, please do so on our Curious Cat page.

Theopolis Junior Fellows Program

For more information on this program and application.

Since 2013, the Theopolis Institute has been training imaginative, courageous Christian leaders to meet the challenges of our time. We have erected scaffolding for the work of rebuilding the house of God.

And this summer, we are making it easier for you to join this band of dedicated leaders, when we inaugurate our revised Junior Fellows Program.

Theopolis will admit up to thirty men and women as 2019-2020 Junior Fellows. Junior Fellows will meet in Birmingham, Alabama, for a two-week session in July, and regather for a week-long session the following January.

Junior Fellows will learn how to read the Bible, master the fundamentals of liturgy, and engage with critical cultural problems and thinkers. Each day will be punctuated by worship and Psalm-singing.

Theopolis Podcast: The Tabernacle (Leviticus)

Peter Leithart and I continue our series on the book of Leviticus and are joined by Dr David Field and … James Jordan! This week we discuss the significance of the tabernacle.

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. If you would like to leave a question for us to answer, please do so on our Curious Cat page.

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!

Continue reading “How Should We Introduce Evangelicals to Liturgy?”

Spirit and Sacrament: An Invitation to Eucharismatic Worship

Mere FidelityOn this week’s Mere Fidelity, the whole cast gets together to discuss Andrew’s new book, Spirit and Sacrament: An Invitation to Eucharismatic Worship.

You can also follow the podcast on iTunes, or using this RSS feed. Listen to past episodes on Soundcloud and on this page on my blog.

If you would like to support the production of the podcast, you can do so over on Patreon.

Transcript for Should We Sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus at Christmas

One of my supporters has very kindly transcribed this video, in which I address the novel practice of singing Happy Birthday to Jesus at Christmas time. 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.

Continue reading “Transcript for Should We Sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus at Christmas”