Friday, May 02, 2008

Of diversity and the use of statistics in worship:

A very nice article by David O. Berger. Very much worth reading.

He concludes:

The historic liturgies of the Christian Church are based on the fundamental spiritual needs of sinful mankind.  They are and remain, in the best sense, counter-cultural.  They are part of our identity as Christians – as Lutherans.  Their content is the very content of our faith. The content may change slowly over time, absorbing contributions of the highest order of each age, but always passing these contributions through the fine-meshed sieve of the chronological communion of saints.  The Lutheran hymn / chorale is a prime example of such absorption.  The person-centered song tradition of Revivalism, including CCM, pales in comparison to the miraculous marriage of teaching Word and elevated music in Lutheran hymnody.  O. C. Rupprecht’s, “The Lutheran Chorale in the Life of the Child” (Valparaiso Church Music Series, no. 3, 1946) should be read by every church music director and pastor.*  If the Divine Service is constantly re-fashioned and adapted to attract seekers / shoppers or fulfill some other “felt need,” it is being used for the wrong purpose.  Creating faith is the work of the Holy Spirit, using the biblical means of baptizing –– yes, infants too –– and sound teaching.  In our worship, God provides us with His gifts of Word and Sacrament.  Thorough catechesis (the historic liturgy also teaches) and reverent Word and Sacrament worship centered on the gifts of God to His people are the visible manifestations of a living church and the means by which He builds it.

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