lament with thanksgiving

Lament and thanksgiving are two entirely valid modes of prayer. Both are biblical and practical.  Like God’s people in every time and place, it is a healthy practice to offer to God both our ‘why’ and our ‘thanks’.  In my survey of local Baptist worship in Aotearoa New Zealand, I considered the extent to which… Continue reading lament with thanksgiving

‘media’ and liturgical formation

James K. A. Smith has written and spoken much about liturgical formation; that is, how humans are formed, shaped and influenced by ‘liturgical’ actions, rites or practices.  For Smith, all of life can be seen with a ‘liturgical’ lens, as the human species (‘homo-liturgicus’) engages in various patterns of repeated activity. One colourful example is… Continue reading ‘media’ and liturgical formation

worship: all of the above

If the options are: a) “Worship needs to be more theologically sound!” b) “Worship needs to be more bodily participative!” or c) “Worship needs to be more emotionally authentic!” Then I choose d) “Yes.” Kirsten Guidero critiques James K.A. Smith’s push (summarized here) for ’embodied’ forms of worship.  Both her and Smith (count me in… Continue reading worship: all of the above

the psalm 8 balance

One of my favourite Psalms is the eighth. I’m using it – very briefly – for a baptism sermon this Sunday, which will have absolutely no room to even begin to extol the kind of technical beauties this gem has. First of all, there’s the structure.  Check this out: A Lord how majestic is your… Continue reading the psalm 8 balance

corporate worship for the catholic corpus

Another way of talking about corporate worship is to say that it is worship that is enacted by the whole body – the catholic (universal) corpus (body). In an ultimate, truly catholic corporate worship is not possible until the Age to Come, when every tongue, tribe and nation expresses it.  But Jesus’ prayer in John… Continue reading corporate worship for the catholic corpus

on corporate worship

Two words: corporate and worship.  A few thoughts on each of those words that have been rattling around in my head. Worship.  Worship is a thoroughly metaphysical and thus qualitative activity – and it is in between the lines of all that we choose to do.  What’s more, what is sometimes called the ‘rule’ of… Continue reading on corporate worship

worship: the most divisive topic in church life

Because it is. There’s the infamous ‘hymns’ versus ‘choruses’ debate that still echoes around the church.  But I think the new issue will be ‘liturgical’ v. ‘non-liturgical’ (or ‘free’?) debate. I just preached a sermon which discussed ‘worship’ and suggested that we (Baptists) may need to review our approach.  I made reference to some ‘liturgical’… Continue reading worship: the most divisive topic in church life

wright on liturgy

There is nothing wrong with spontaneous worship, just as there’s nothing wrong with two friends meeting by chance, grabbing a sandwich from a shop, and going off together for an impromptu picnic.  But if the friends get to know one another better and decide to meet more regularly, they might decide that, though they could… Continue reading wright on liturgy

theory & practice

They’re meant to reinforce one another. I just had lunch with a friend, and we talked about how much fun it was learning the 5 different fretboard patterns of pentatonic (five-tone) scales on the guitar.  When his practice was less developed, music theory had seemed boring and irrelevant to him, but now it was exciting… Continue reading theory & practice