February 27, 2009

Following Jesus-Part III

This is the third day of my posting about the session at Dallas Theological Seminary hosted by the Center for Christian Leadership entitled Following Jesus In a World Like Ours.

We have covered Assessing Ourselves in Our Cultural Climate and Engaging One Another in Community. Now, Barry Jones will take us through Engaging God in Worship. Dr. Jones began with a very basic premise: we worship God because He deserves it. Our worship has that one purpose but many consequences as you candle God's faithfulness against the faithlessness of people. Jones noted that as a culture we deal less with theological concepts of spirituality and more with psychic well being. We are interested as a culture with feeling good more than we are with feeling God.

Jones covered four acts in the drama of worship:
  • Gathering: the coming together in worship and attending to God. We need to pay attention to God. We need to pay attention to what is said about God. The concept of lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi (The law of prayer is the law of belief is the law of life; or as the church prays and worships, so she beleives, so she lives life). We need to pay attention to the Christian past. Do not just ask is it relevant, ask if it is ancient, has it passed the test of time.
  • Word: we need to recover a robust theology of preaching, to focus on the importance of the sermon. We need to make the Gospel the center of the sermon. We need to preach by naming the idols we follow after in life. Bold, robust preaching.
  • Table: we need to reconsider the weight of history, to note the spiritual nourishment in partaking in the Lord's Supper, to counter the logic of consumerism, of giving to get. Our spirituality has to be holistic, embracing our minds and bodies.
  • Sending: worship has to be at the heart of our missionary zeal. Worship that doesn't result in mission is abortive, it does not give life from the sending out of the church.
Jones concluded by noting that worship should lead to living transformed lives serving others in mission. Tomorrow I will wrap up with Engaging our World in Missions.

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