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Reducing God to Music?

Recently a worship leader said to me: "Face it. Bob, for the first 1,500 years of Christianity, it was taught the presence of God was in the Eucharist. The Reformers moved the presence of God from the Eucharist to the Word. Today, the new revolution in worship is locating the presence of God in music."

Perhaps this is why worship in many contemporary churches amounts to 30 minutes of music-driven activity. It raises the question anew: Where do we encounter God's presence in worship?

Biblically, the concept of God's presence is first located in creation. God is everywhere and is identifiable in all things for those who know how to see. Through the tabernacle and temple, we learn God is intensely present through sign and symbol, since the place of worship was to be "q dwelling place for God."

In the New Testament, the full presence of God was humanized in Jesus of Nazareth (Col. 2:9). And Jesus himself said, "Where two or three come together in my name, I am with them" (Matt. 18:20). So we ...

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From Issue:Spring 1999: Real Worship
January/February
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