Michael Horton, professor of apologetics and theology at Westminster Seminary California, believes that "churches across the denominational landscape regard themselves as department stores in a shopping mall that must sell a product to choice-obsessed consumers." In response, Horton sets out to develop biblical foundations for understanding worship.
"We have to develop a theology of worship that avoids biblicism on one hand," he writes, "and on the other a dogmatic traditionalism that justifies its positions by saying 'that's the way we've always done it.'"
But is worship style neutral? Style matters, Horton says--especially the extent to which it not only reflects but shapes content. "We cannot praise God as he is while emptying the form of its corresponding seriousness."
Horton discusses Christ-centered reading and preaching, music ("we need new hymns"), and communion and baptism. He also presents what he believes should be the order of service in "new covenant worship."
Although his perspective is limited (Horton, editor of Modern Reformation magazine, is unabashedly Reformed), and mining the pertinent material is sometimes heavy going, his ideas should appeal to those favoring a more liturgical service.
Copyright © 2004 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
Worship Style Matters
This slideshow is only available for subscribers.
Please log in or subscribe to view the slideshow.