A Fresh Word on Worship (from 1954)

From Ilion T. Jones, A Historical Approach to Evangelical Worship (Abingdon Press)

The liturgical movement is one of the significant movements of our time.  (Not only) is it creating a revival of interest in worship but it is bringing about changes in church architecture, in the arrangement of sanctuaries, in the use of symbols, in the attire of ministers, and in the elements of the order of worship… Conceivably, in time it could change the course and even alter the nature of that Protestantism.

Unfortunately there has not been on the part of a sufficient number of ministers and laymen enough discriminating thought about the long-range results of the movement. Instead there has been a hasty, almost blind acceptance of the current trends as things that ought to be done because everybody else is doing them.

First and foremost: He wrote this in 1954!  This assumes I’m reading the Roman Numerals correctly, of course.

I’m still chewing on this, and we’re only to page 7.  The thought that grabs my attention:  Instead there has been a hasty, almost blind acceptance of the current trends as things that ought to be done because everybody else is doing them, and it’s because he could’ve written these words in 2017 just as easily as 1954.  Am I criticizing anything?  Only while including my own practices as a minister.  As for right now, it’s intriguing to me and gives me something to chew on, mixed with wisdom from the true ancient:

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.  – Ecclesiastes 1:9

In an effort to span the ages, I try to seek out what the old ones said and did in church ministry.  And when I say old ones, I don’t mean the original Hillsong band.  I mean guys like Mr. Jones here, as well as sister Phoebe Palmer, brother Augustine, and the martyred ones whose worship drove them to radical sacrifice.

Thinking.  Pondering.  And truly amazed at our new experiences in worship whose separation in time doesn’t remove all synoptic values per se.  In other words, I’m not as cool as I thought I was, and probably neither are you.  Unless you’re Bono, but that goes without saying.

 

 

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