As some of my more observant readers have noticed, I have quietly alluded to the fact that I am going to be pursuing a Doctor of Ministry from Covenant Theological Seminary studying Christian Worship. I hope to blog more in the next few days about some of the things that made that program exciting, and I think, the most logical step for my continued study and maturation as a minister of the Word and a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (not to mention a practitioner of worship).
The following are excerpts from “A Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future” (emphasis added in parts), and have been some of the more moving and convicting things that I have read on the present day necessity to understand what we are doing as we lead God’s people in worship week in and week out.
“We call for the Church’s reflection to remain anchored in the Scriptures in continuity with the theological interpretation learned from the early Fathers. Thus, we call Evangelicals to turn away from methods that separate theological reflection from the common traditions of the Church. These modern methods compartmentalize God’s story by analyzing its separate parts, while ignoring God’s entire redemptive work as recapitulated in Christ. Anti-historical attitudes also disregard the common biblical and theological legacy of the ancient Church…
“We call for public worship that sings, preaches and enacts Gods story. We call for a renewed consideration of how God ministers to us in baptism, Eucharist, confession, the laying on of hands, marriage, healing and through the charisma of the Spirit, for these actions shape our lives and signify the meaning of the world. Thus, we call Evangelicals to turn away from forms of worship that focus on God as a mere object of the intellect or that assert the self as the source of worship. Such worship has resulted in lecture-oriented, music-driven, performance-centered and program-controlled models that do not adequately proclaim Gods cosmic redemption. Therefore, we call Evangelicals to recover the historic substance of worship of Word and Table and to attend to the Christian year, which marks time according to Gods saving acts.”