Showing posts from January, 2012

A Theology of Worship

It is a reality of life that we all make assumptions. There’s no getting past that fact. What is important is to identify our assumptions and test them using an appropriate theological method. Before moving on to more specific issues relating to Christian worship, which I’ve previously identified as something I intend to write upon this year, I need to summarise a significant theological assumption of mine. I recognise that this impacts much of my thinking and my own approach to worship, but having thought through many of the implications of this assumption I would like to suggest that I find it appropriate. Here it is: I assume that the purpose of life is to live in relationship with God, humanity and all of creation . This is based on an understanding of God as primarily a relational God. This is observed  both in the Trinity and in the way God has revealed himself throughout history. The Triune God created from within the Divine relationship in order to extend that relationshi

Hope in the ruins

Last year I had the opportunity to visit Ireland . It was a fantastic few days that I spent with a friend of mine, Robert Birnie. Robert’s a minister in the Wesleyan church and we’d met during our studies at Nazarene Theological College in Manchester . There’s something about Robert’s Irish sense of humour that just seemed to ‘click’ with my own Australian one that meant that we became immediate (and I’m sure lifelong) friends. I’ve been to England a few times now for study and I love visiting cathedrals and old churches there. Maybe it’s because I love to think of worship as transcending time and space. It’s bigger than me and the 100 or so people physically present with me in one given moment. When we gather for worship we join with Christians throughout all places and all ages (past, present and future) to worship one God. Visiting these historic buildings just gives me a very tangible reminder of that theological viewpoint on worship.

What is going on in worship today?

“What is going on in worship today?” This is the question with which Constance Cherry begins her 2004 article “My House Shall Be Called a House of… Announcements” . It’s a question that I frequently ask myself as well. Cherry’s article is challenging reading, not just because of the provoca tive title, but because of the evidence that she presents. No, it’s not a comprehensive study, and so we shouldn’t build an entire thesis upon it. However, it’s possible to ponder its conclusions seriously and so apply ourselves to some serious “worship reflection”. Cherry makes it clear that she is operating on the assumption that “the way we spend our time is an indicator of what we consider to be important.” I think it’s a fair assumption. If we enjoy reading, then we will spend a fair portion of our time reading. If we think time with the family is important, then parents will spend time with their children. You get the picture.

Faster, Higher, Stronger

Happy New Year! 2012 is, of course, an Olympic Year and so I’d like to issue an challenge in this first post of  2012. It’s inspired by the Olympic motto – “Citius, Altius, Fortius” which is translated “Faster, Higher, Stronger”.