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April 01, 2007

Comments

Theisens

Great explanation and paper. In our children's minstry, we've undergone the shift back to observing the church year through the curriculum. We're using an Anglican curriculum and adapting it...it's really great stuff.

One thing we've discovered is that while the adults claim this hints of catholicism, the kids seem to understand that God has reached out into time and has established a pattern and a structure HERE AND NOW...and that there are some great historical celebrations that Christianity has forgotten -- they are so meaningful. They really love it.

Andrew Richardson

Theisens,

Can you point me to a link for the Anglican children's curriculum? I'd love to take a look at it.

Cheers,
Andrew

Theisens

Andrew --

I'm sorry. What we use is Episcopal, not Anglican. We're adapting some of the stuff to our PCA theology, but most of it's pretty right on.

It's called Godly Play, and it's written by an Episcopal Pastor named Dr. Jerome Berryman. The website is www.godlyplay.com

The curriculum can be purchased at Amazon at a discounted price. That's where we got ours...and we just had some crafty people in our church make some of the hands on lesson materials instead of purchasing them.

Blessings!
Theisens

Andrew Richardson

Episcopal/Anglican, potato/potahto.

Thanks for the lead!

Cheers,
Andrew

Jon

Brett,

The paper is well done. But how would you prevent further augmentation of worship? In other words, on what basis would you keep other things out of worship like liturgical dance or journaling? Or do you?

Boneman

Hey Jon,

Before I attempt an answer I want to start by observing the orientation of your question... "How would you prevent further augmentation of worship?"

While I understand your posture in light of the insane abuses to the right (Rome / Constantinople) and to the left (pop-Evangelicalism) - I think it reveals a minimalist-liturgical trajectory that concerns me. If we really hold to the regulative principal of worship, we should be liturgical maximalists. Rather than being concerned about what we should "prevent," I think we should be concerned about what we should "promote" according to Scripture. So for example, having a mime do the sermon is out, but you can make a strong Biblical case for liturgical vestments. I can't see dance per so, but I absolutely see congregational processionals / recessionals / kneeling / hand-raising. I don't think mini-skits have a place, but the bigger the choir / orchestra is, the better.

Each one of the above is rooted in Scripture. The deal is that instead of reducing worship to bare "elements" that we shuffle like a deck of cards, we see that worship is done in a Heavenly (temple) context (Heb 12), and strive to augment accordingly.

Does that help? Or did I just make things worse?

Best,

Boneman

Jon

Brett,

I agree. We should seek to promote Biblical worship. And promoting Biblical worship may indeed include expanding our current practice. But it may also mean repealing certain things.

It's been many years since I read Frame on the RPW but he comes to mind as I read your post. Am I way off in seeing an influence?

Another question: How would you (generally) seek to define what we may incorporate into worship? For instance, how would you make a case for congregational processionals/recessionals?

I'm interested in your methodology.

Thanks.

Garrett

Hi Brett and Jon,

I'm wondering why we feel the neccessity of being stuck in a distinctly Puritan view of the church's use of time via the RPW. As RJ Gore makes clear in his book "Covenantal Worship" Calvin and the other Magisterial Reformers were much more broad in their use of sacred time. In fact, the Westminster divines we're not monolithic on the subject w/ definite differences manifested between the English Puritans and the Scots. Furthermore, there is a whole continental Reformed trajectory out there that falls outside the realm of British presuppositions not to mention the broader historic church.

Back to your paper Brett, well done. The one thing you might want to add is that in Gen 1:14 the word "moed", rendered "seasons" likely refers to religious festivals and seasons. In fact the BDB says "moed" "in particular" is a "sacred season, set feast, or appointed season." So, God himself created a church calendar above our heads which points forward and back to Christ.

Jon

Garrett,

It's not a matter of being slavishly wedded to the Puritans or being stuck. I simply believe that the RPW, notwithstanding some differences in application, to be Biblical. And as I read Calvin, I don't see a break in hermeneutic from him to the Puritans concerning worship. Application perhaps, but not basic methodology.

Can you affirm WLC 108-110 as they have been historically understood, that is as a fairly strict view of the RPW?

Also, am I wrong in perceiving an anti-Puritan bias among many associated with the FV?

Boneman

Hey Jon,

I really didn't like Frame's book on worship. I would not claim him as an influence in this area - although I think he is a brilliant systematician / apologist.

Tell you what - as I write this, I think this is worthy of a blog post. I'll start working on it now and we can pick it up from there.

Pax,

Boneman

Garrett

Jon,

As I'm sure you've guessed, I'm not a big fan of the Puritans on worship and I think they went over the rails in this area. That's not an FV or non-FV thing (I believed that when I was Reformed Baptist long ago). As far as WLC 108-110 being "historically understood" goes, I think a strict interpretation of them is unworkable, unbiblical, and anti-historical. And since I am not a strict subscriptionist (nor were the standards designed to be strict since the divines didn't agree with them all as individuals) I feel no obligation to uphold a particular application of them that might be randomly drawn from Presbyterian history, ie; Samuel Miller refusing to sit during prayers in the mid-19th Century. How this this plays into the idea of a church calendar I am unsure of your point. The church calendar was created by God via His Word. His commanded festivals correspond to the great events of the NT. The point of much of the trajectory of the Westminster Standards is freedom FROM the tyranny of enforced church-wide worship practices not freedom TO engage in reasonable worship practices.

But on a more germaine application of the Second Commandment itself, either we remember the main point of the Second Commandment, "You shall not bow down to them or serve them" or we dismiss as commandment breaking all works of art, the appointments of the tabernacle, the Temple, the synagogues, and the historic Christian church.

BTW did you know that the term "Regulative Principle of Worship" was unknown until the 20th Century? (RJ Gore, "Covenantal Worship", p.38)

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