Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Liturgy, forms, and "everyone is wrong but me"

Jeremy Walker reports on the Reformation 21 blog that, in essence, the reason for the resurgence of interest in liturgy is because of the absence of spiritually substantial religion. In other words, the only reason why people might prefer a more formal liturgy is, he says, that they hope it might "fill the void" in their spiritually-empty lives.

That's interesting. I don't know Mr. Walker, nor am I aware of what congregation he is a member of—but in the circles I've moved in, it's actually the inverse of this: the people I know who are the most mature, spiritually, seem to have a growing interest in liturgy.

Mr. Walker's fellow Ref21 blogger, Carl Trueman, took him to task for his misunderstandings just 45 minutes later. He takes apart most of Mr. Walker's post better than I could.

All but one key idea. Mr. Walker concludes with this:
"The only thing that arrests the swing is when the anchor drops in the Word of God and simple, unaffected worship enlivened by the Holy Spirit is known and felt by saints who are satisfied with pursuing and enjoying God's promised ends by God's appointed means."

The great irony here is that Mr. Walker is under the impression that "simple" and "unaffected" worship is not, itself, a "form" and a "liturgy" of itself. He is welcome to his preference for a simple and plain form of worship—but let's not pretend that a plain form is anything other than exactly that.

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