Perspectives on Christian Worship: Five Views is a 2009 publication from Broadman & Holman Publishers, edited by J. Matthew Pinson.
Its contributors are: Timothy C.J. Quill (Liturgical Worship), Ligon Duncan (Traditional Evangelical Worship), Dan Wilt (Contemporary Worship), Michael Lawrence and Mark Dever (Blended Worship), and Emerging Worship (Dan Kimball).
I found the contribution by Dan Kimball particularly interesting, and that’s the one I’m going to focus on here.
Kimball, like all the other contributors, lives in the US. …
Kent Dobson, who succeeded Rob Bell as pastor of influential Mars Hill Bible Church, has recently announced his decision to step down.
He had begun, he says, with a desire to follow Paul by offering the traditional gospel in culturally-relevant dress. But he had come to question not only the packaging as traditionally offered by the church, but also the message.
“I have always been and I’m still drawn to the very edges of religion and faith and God.
I’ve been listening to a pair of recent episodes of Premier Christian Radio’s Unbelievable show.
The first was a discussion between Rob Bell and Adrian Warnock. Rob Bell was being quizzed about his recent book Love Wins, which, rather notoriously, appears to entertain a doctrine of universalism. Unusually for a presenter who is usually very even-handed Justin Brierley, seemed rather keen to side with Adrian Warnock against Rob Bell. And both of them seemed rather too keen on trying to work out whether Rob Bell is ‘in’ or ‘out’, ‘one of us’ or ‘one of them’, an ‘evangelical’ or a ‘liberal’. …
Brian MacLaren’s previous books (A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, and others) have probed away at prevailing evangelical beliefs and practices. These writings have been long on questions, but short on answers. Now, in A New Kind of Christianity, he has told us more directly, more systematically, where his thinking has taken him.
Dave Hopwood thinks that it is not, and offers some interesting thoughts about this in a recent article in Church Times.
Dave argues that Sunday-morning church worship, as conventionally experienced, simply doesn’t work for many men. He urges us to a radical re-think of how we do church for men, based on the example of Jesus himself.
This is one of those articles that provokes excitement and alarm in me in roughly equal proportions.…
We must distinguish between what God has done, Carson argues, and what we must do as a response to that. But only the first of these can properly called ‘the gospel’.
If the gospel is the (good) news about what God has done in Christ Jesus, there is ample place for including under “the gospel” the ways in which the kingdom has dawned and is coming, for tying this kingdom to Jesus’ death and resurrection, for demonstrating that the purpose of what God has done is to reconcile sinners to himself and finally to bring under one head a renovated and transformed new heaven and new earth, for talking about God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, consequent upon Christ’s resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Majesty on high, and above all for focusing attention on what Paul (and others—though the language I’m using here reflects Paul) sees as the matter “of first importance”: Christ crucified.
A year or so ago, Trevin Wax suggested that the Emerging Church was in the early stages of decline, offering a number of reasons for this opinion. I summarise:-
1. The Emerging Church does little evangelism.
It’s not the only segment of the Christian Church that fails in this regard. But it has to be said: The Emerging Church isn’t making many converts. It is reaching young, disillusions Christians, but not the unchurched. And part of the problem is its lack of clarity about what the gospel actually is. …