April 2012

High liturgy: the art of worship...

Considering the movement towards employing art for an experience of trascendance among Reformed types today, it may help to study what others have done in a similar vein.

A quarter century ago, the world’s greatest tightrope walker, Philippe Petit, requested permission to display his prowess high above the nave of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City. The performance was described as follows:

Presbyterians and social class...

When William T. Manning, a former Bishop of New York, was asked whether salvation could be found outside the Episcopal Church, he replied, "Perhaps so, but no gentleman would care to avail himself of it."

- Jervis Anderson, Profiles, "STANDING OUT THERE ON THE ISSUES,"The New Yorker, April 28, 1986, pp. 46 ff.

 

On liturgy as formal recitation...

The aim and effect of the liturgical system is to make the mass of worshippers as independent as possible of the individual minister; the aim, if not the effect of our system, is to make individual ministers as valuable as possible to the worshippers, for their instruction and edification.

The one system may secure a uniform solemnity and decency, but the other system tends to secure the more important qualities of fervor, energy, and life; and we believe, whatever fastidious critics may allege, it does to a considerable extent secure them.

At lowest, the non-liturgical method secures that the worship of the church shall be a true reflection of her life, and therefore, however beggarly, at least sincere.

- A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve; n., p. 58.

(TB)

Oprah's largesse in RSA...

(TB: this just in from our American-African correspondent.)

Cream...

I'm not sure there's ever been a better band than Cream. Listening to White Room just now. Loud.

Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Clapton? Nothing and no one else.

And best album?

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Missional, Gospel-centered music...

Here's a video of Hiding Place being sung in suport of missional preaching before and after the song. (TB, w/thanks to Nate and Phil)

"Most of (Redeemer's ministry leaders) were women..."

Feminists are masters of stratetgic incrementalism.

Sexual orthodoxy was repudiated about two decades ago in the Dutch Christian Reformed Church but some of the denomination's classes (presbyteries) still refuse to seat women who have been ordained. This causes CRC leaders to fulminate against this insult to their woman officers. In the midst of an in-house CRC discussion of the problem, one CRC leader commends Tim Keller's practice...

RUF signs Vandy nondiscrimination policy: "It has nothing to do with compromising the Gospel," says RUF Coordinator Rod Mays...

Here's some good and bad news.

The good is that "World" magazine reported it.

The bad is that the PCA's national coordinator of RUF, Rod Mays, says he agrees with the decision of Vandy's RUF chapter not to join all the other campus ministries who have united in refusing to sign Vanderbilt's new nondiscrimination policy. RUF will sign the new policy, justifying their signature by saying they don't have student leaders and they don't want to lose their institutional influence.

Under the new policy, Vandy has required one ministry to remove the words "personal commitment to Jesus Christ" from its requirements of its leaders. Another ministry got into trouble for disciplining a member for his sexual immorality...

Vanderbilt University's totalitarianism: your tax dollars at work...

(TB: This post is submitted by a calm and reasonable man who is himself the product of a large public research institution's school of law.)

As if breathing the breath that comes from their Heavenly Father’s hand weren’t enough, as if the fruit of the Holy Spirit and centuries of Christian spiritual capital deposited into education weren’t enough, Vanderbilt University leadership takes money from Christians hand over fist and then gags the Christian conscience. The money I’m talking about isn’t tuition paid by Baptist or Episcopalian students. It’s the nearly half billion dollars of federal money that Vanderbilt has steam-shoveled into its coffers. In 2009 alone. Vanderbilt even brags that it broke the Top 25 varsity ranking in its haul of federal collegiate pork. You can find more details on the webpage maintained by Vanderbilt’s “Office of Federal Relations.” Some relations.

So why is federal largesse (i.e., tax receipts and U.S. sovereign debt) Christian money? The vast majority of Americans who pay federal income, capital gains, excise, and a motley assortment of other federal taxes identify themselves as Christians. Further, it’s likely that our descendants...

It's Chelsea...

Barca up 2-0 and Chelsea down a man, Chelsea equalized and is moving on to the final. Watch Ramires chip it. Then Torres at 90:48. And if you have the stomach for it. (TB)

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Chuck Colson on the Resurrection...

(TB: Chuck Colson gave himself to many works lots of us praise God for. Beyond his prison work and efforts to reform sentencing laws, there's his writing. One year Mary Lee and I gave one of his books to the other staff members of our congregation as a Christmas gift. Also I've recommended or given away his book Born Again any number of times. It's that rare bio that bears some resemblance to Augustine's Confessions. What a wonderful testimony of God's grace to recommend to unbelievers. Here's another piece of his writing that's meant a lot to me. I've used it in Easter sermons and commend it to you.)

“Watergate” and the Resurrection of Christ” by Chuck Colson

One of those involved in “Watergate”

After I became a Christian, my lawyer’s mind demanded evidence regarding the Bible. Was it legend, or could it really be taken as God’s revelation?

I read some excellent books. But ultimately it was my experience in Watergate, strange as that will sound, that convinced me the Bible is the authoritative, inerrant revelation of God. Let me explain...

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