Reading Excerpts

In Search of Healthy Christian Worship

Healthy Christian worship must always share [a passion for the gospel and for the “outsider”]. But communal actions are not just neutral, capable of bearing any idea. If a Christian worship is, say, much like television entertainment in its format and style, one must seriously question whether any idea of God’s grace, which might indeed be mentioned in the talk of the leader or in the song of the musical group, will be communicated. Or, if a congregation sets out to church-shoppers a “menu” of “worship opportunities,” distinguished on the basis of style preference, one must seriously question whether anything other and style and choice will finally come across. In such cases, we have to wonder whether any idea will be heard as strong as will the values of the entertainment industry: the values of celebrity, or a marketing response to human needs, and of our ability to choose between the things the show is offering us.

Gordon W. Lathrop, Central Things: Worship in Word and Sacrament (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2005), pp. 11-12. ISBN: 978-0-8066-51637

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