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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Webber’


Yes, it has been since before my vacation that I’ve read any of Recovering the Reformed Confession. I’ve been quite busy since I’ve been back.  But I’m picking up with Recovering Reformed Worship.

Immediately he is lamenting the changes to worship liturgy in the last 30 years, including the loss of the Psalter.  He quotes D.G. Hart:

“… more congregations in the PCUSA are likely to follow the Genevan order of service than those in the OPC or PCA.”

My initial response is that the Genevan order of service isn’t getting them too far.  I’d rather keep Calvin’s theology than his order of service.

We actually utilize a fairly traditional liturgy or structure to our worship (Call to Worship, Invocation, Confession of Sin, Confession of Faith, Pastoral Prayer, Scripture Reading & Sermon, Benediction).  We want the heritage to inform us, but not enslave us.  Clark is alarmed that Calvin, the Heidelberg Reformers and others would not recognize our worship services.  Neither would the Apostles.  For that matter, they wouldn’t recognize the services of Calvin and the others either.

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Bryan Chapell is not content to let history speak in Christ-Centered Worship.  He sees the historical pattern in many places in Scripture.  He points to such places as Isaiah 6.  There Isaiah sees the exalted God, which makes him aware of his sinfulness.  God provides for his forgiveness which results in his commitment to serve.  God then instructs him in service and essentially sends Isaiah off with blessing.

The pattern we see is one that reflects the gospel’s work in our lives.  We behold the glory of God in some of His attributes.  Struck by His glory, we apprehend our sinfulness.  But God has invited/called us into His presence to bless us, not curse us.  He makes known His mercy and graciousness toward us in Christ the Substitute.  As redeemed people, we express gratitude and commit ourselves to follow Him.  We hear instruction to help us to follow, and receive God’s blessing that we might be able to walk in His ways.

“Understanding worship as a love response to the truths of the gospel does not merely shape the contours of the worship service; it also shifts the focus of our hearts in worship.”

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