Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Standard for the Debate

N.T. Wright makes the following critical comment about true worship:
Worship and mission are conjoined twins. They share a heart: the heart that loves God the triune creator and that loves, for his sake, the world he made and (particularly) the creatures that bear his image. (After You Believe, pg. 220)
So, all true worship leads outward. It doesn't stop with me, especially not inside of me.

If you follow his logic, that means if I have really been worshipping God other people, including strangers, should be able to tell. They should be able to tell because my character and countenance is different from those who are not worshippers of God. I should be reflecting Jesus to others in all kinds of ways.

If this becomes our standard, the worship debates have really changed. We have moved far away from the debates about music style, sermon length and dress codes, haven't we?

What do you think about all this?

What would it look like if we measured a worship service by the quality of love and mission for others it produced instead of some other measurement about how we feel or the things we prefer?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Here is a powerful illustration I have been thinking about lately in regards to faith.
Imagine you are on a high cliff and you lose your footing and begin to fall. Just beside you as you fall is a branch sticking out of the very edge of the cliff. It is your only hope and it is more than strong enough to support your weight. How can it save you? If your mind is filled with intellectual certainty that the branch can support you, but you don’t actually reach out and grab it, you are lost. If your mind is filled with doubts and uncertainty that the branch can hold you, but you reach out and grab it anyway, you will be saved. Why? It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you. Strong faith in a weak branch is fatally inferior to weak faith in a strong branch . . . It is not the depth and purity of your heart but the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf that saves us. (Tim Keller, The Reason for God, 244-245)
What do you think of it?