I am struck at how so much of our faith and practice finds itself locked up in matters that are purely “spiritual”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that the spiritual element is of vital importance. But I think, often, we don’t regard the work that we do on this earth as anything more than spiritual.
“…Consequently, conservative Christianity concentrates on snatching the soul from the body to save it from hell. This kind of Christianity is another kind of separation of creation and redemption that leans toward Gnosticism, an early Christian heresy that opposed belief in the incarnation and redemption of the whole world.”
Modern evangelicals are really good at separating matter, time, and space from anything that would have to do with our spiritual lives. We resist table worship because it is misunderstood. We scoff at environmental movements as being part of the “liberal conspiracy” and not part of the gospel’s reclamation of the whole earth, and it’s faithful preservation until the end. The church fought Gnosticism in the early days, and continues to fight its prevailing haze as it sits over her people now.
So, what should the church do when she gathers in worship? If worship is not a mere “stationary evangelistic rally” as some would see it, what story must the church tell as she gathers? Webber proposes this:
“Worship-daily, weekly, yearly-is rooted in the gospel. And when worship fails to proclaim, sing, and enact at the Table the Good News that God not only saves sinners but also narrates the whole world, it is not only worship that becomes corrupted by the culture, it is also the gospel. Not only has worship lost its way, but the fullness of the gospel, the story which worship does, has been lost.”