Occasional Thoughts and Links of Interest

Tag: book of common prayer

Pandemic and “The Prayer of Humble Access”

Just recently, I read an essay in First Things by a Presbyterian theologian named Carl Trueman. The essay was titled “A Protestant Apocalypse?’ Trueman has been talking to protestant pastors and church leaders, and they are concerned about the long-term effects of this pandemic season. Some of them are making dire predictions and may have some reason to be concerned. 

One denominational leader said they expected perhaps a third of their churches to close in the coming months (he did not mention which denomination this was). Another predicted that as many as 30% of Protestant churchgoers may not return to church gatherings, after all, is said and done. 

“Death on the Pale Horse,” painted by the American artist Benjamin West in 1796.

People seem to have figured out that it’s much easier to do church at home. You switch on the Livestream, get an hour’s worth of uplifting music and inspirational teaching, and you don’t even have to take a shower or get dressed. 

On Post-Biblical Protestant Evangelicalism

rocknroll_worship_circus

What has happened to evangelical Christian worship? Several years ago, I had an honors class conduct a research project. We broke students into groups of four and sent them into churches of their own choosing in order to examine biblical content in worship services. All of the groups chose to attend services at large, contemporary churches, which are quite typical (in terms of worship culture) of christian churches across the country.

Although I did not ask them to do this, the students took recording devices and produced complete transcripts of the services. Then, they produced reports describing both the quantity of scripture and the way that scripture was used in hymns, praise choruses, readings, sermons, etc. They asked questions such as: was the bible presented in long sections or in bits and pieces? Was scripture read in context, and did the various passages read in the service have an obvious thematic coherence, etc?

An Introduction to Anglican Worship

I am working with a great group of people to plant an Anglican church in Canton, Ohio where many Christians are unfamiliar with liturgical forms of worship.  The following is thus a very brief introduction for those who are unfamiliar with classic liturgy. It may also serve as a helpful refresher for those who have worshiped this way for some time.

In my mind, these four characteristics of Anglican worship are especially noteworthy.

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