If you missed my recent presentation for the C.S. Lewis Institute, then you can find it here. This was the second half of a two part lecture series titled, “The Form of Christian Faith,” and the focus was catechesis.
If you missed Part I of our two part lecture series for the C.S. Lewis Institute, “The Form of Christian Faith,” you can listen to a recording here.
Evangelical Christians are often confused about the nature and purpose of worship. Some of the young people that I encounter hear the word and their minds go to dark, crowded rooms with a praise band performing emotionally charged songs before a swooning audience. They imagine their own role in terms of conjuring up feelings of praise and then expressing those feelings through gestures such as raised hands and closed eyes. I know from many conversations with “worship leaders” that praise bands feed off of those gestures, often interpreting them to mean that God has shown up – the “Spirit” is moving. Worship is equated almost entirely with music and emotionally-laden praise in response to it.
This essay has been slightly edited and was originally published in the C.S. Lewis Institute’s online quarterly, “Knowing and Doing.” You may find the original article at this link.
If you were asked to articulate the greatest weakness of the church in the United States, what would you say? Would you argue that Christians have become too captive to political platforms and secular ideologies? Perhaps you would mention the prosperity gospel or the multi-billion-dollar Christian entertainment industry rendering so many churches chronically shallow. Perhaps you would mention the widespread confusion, even within the church, about human identity and sexuality? Others have made these arguments, and I am in many ways sympathetic. However, I believe there is a deeper, more foundational problem that is too often overlooked. I suggest that the decline and neglect of catechetical ministry has weakened the church’s witness in profound ways.
I have a confession to make, and its one that an Anglican priest should probably not be making.
I tend to be very skeptical when I hear about miracles. In fact, when I hear stories about Christians being healed, I often think of TV preachers and faith healers who pretend to cast the Holy Spirit about so that people might be “slain in the Spirit.” If you have no idea what I am referring to, then follow this link.
It really is a three-ring circus, and I don’t believe any of it. However, my skepticism puts me in danger as a Christian, and if you are like me, a skeptic when it comes to miracles, then you are in danger as well. You see, Jesus is a miracle worker, and we should seek him expecting miracles to happen.