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Can You Engage Both Heart and Mind?

There's an old joke among Meyers-Briggs users. Question: what happens when a passionate, hyperexpressive, exquisitely emotional feeler meets a logical, hyperrational, Mr. Spock-type thinker?

Answer: they get married.

What that means for pastoral counseling we must leave for another time. But too often deep thinking and profound feeling never meet in the one place they are most needed: in worship. How can we worship in ways that both engage the mind and touch the heart?

Some churches specialize in generating emotion. The platform people are expert at moving worshipers to laughter or tears. Attenders gradually learn to evaluate the service in terms of the emotion they feel.

In time, however, the law of diminishing returns sets in. Prayers are offered in highly emotive style and bathed in background music. Stories have to get more dramatic, songs more sentimental, preaching more histrionic, to keep people having intense emotional experiences.

Such worship is often shallow, sometimes ...

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From Issue:Spring 1999: Real Worship
July/August
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