Tuesday, February 03, 2004

I don't want the last post to read as necessarily an indictment of "contemporary worship." It's not at all. What I am saying is that the church's strangeness to the wider culture is not the most pressing problem we face. In many contexts, that is her strength. Only true revival, from God Himself, will make our message fresh and exciting. Most proponents of "contemporary worship" who understand the true place of worship know that what is contemporary today may be old hat in 50 years. If someone ministers to a population wholly unfamiliar with Christian history and hymnody, those kinds of choices make sense. But some do not even think of the church catholic when deciding how to worship. As with many things, they reap what they have sown; namely, notions of growth and piety centered around emotion and the senses, and a lack of appreciation for the saints who have gone before. Therefore, as we write new songs and new liturgies, we must ask, "Will those after me be edified by what I leave them?" Will they look fondly upon our efforts to sing, to pray, and confess Christ? I hope a lot of pastors in the future say, "Man, this is an old melody, but these are great words. Great words from great saints of the past."

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