Friday, 18 September 2015

Theology in charismatic worship

The faithandscripture blog has been a personal journey that dips into theological research, personal reflection and cultural observations about why I believe what I believe. For instance, some of the important details like what I believe about the creation of the universe have been way too fuzzy to either satisfy myself or anyone smart enough to ask me the right questions. Theologically, and especially in my paper Trinitarian Interpretations, I have explored why it should no longer be crucial to take on creedal lenses for a believer who places ultimate authority on the Scriptures themselves. Where I have been less adventurous is my previous area of service to the local church, which is worship.

Worship is not a creature you can dissect and put under a microscope. It is a beautiful moment when the faith community lay down their distractions and ownership of their own lives and lift up God and His Son in prayer and song. It is a time when, as believers, we see the Spirit of God also directing this time.

One thing, however, is very important to note. It is filled with WORDS. Theological statements fill the room and people's minds for significant periods of time, while these minds are hopefully in a more surrendered and less analytical state. It can be a vulnerable time when people can be more exposed and less critical of what might be true and what might be more speculative. This should be a time when good biblical teaching finds expression, purpose and outworking in the congregation.

But that is sadly not the case. Part of this responsibility lies with the teaching team in local elderships. But they too are at a disadvantage, for they must struggle against a culture of worship theology that could be described as lacking on many fronts, the most significant being clarity over who "you" or "God" refers to. Please refer to my four-part "No such thing as a tradition-free church" to get a bit more context, starting here, then here, then here and finally here.

So in the next post we will take a look at a worship song featuring in's top 20 songs of 2014. This group state that "Our criteria are biblical faithfulness, singability, and congregational use". Brace yourselves. 

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