We are not in a worship war. Well, yes we are, but not the one some commentators like to refer to. There is only one worship war, and it is between God and Satan, each the supreme object of someone’s worship, either redeemed or lost. We are self-absorbed when we use the “war” word as a working term for the petty and overly self-indulgent skirmishes that we enter, almost always over transient, not eternal things.
–Harold Best, “Traditional Hymn-Based Worship,” in Exploring the Worship Spectrum: 6 Views, 60
Word must always precede, and also create, sacrament and praise, confession and blessing.
—Paul F. M. Zahl, “Formal-Liturgical Worship,” in Exploring the Worship Spectrum: 6 Views, 34
Even as the gathered assembly was a visible symbol of unity, the sound of singing is an audible symbol of unity.
—Constance Cherry, The Music Architect, 221
Pastoral musicians must learn to love the sound of a singing congregation above any other musical sound.
—Charles Gardner, “Ten Commandments for Those Who Love the Sound of a Singing Congregation,” in The Singing Assembly, 103 (quoted in Constance Cherry, The Music Architect, 212)
As much as I love music . . . we have placed far too much faith in it and not nearly enough in the power of the Word, the authority and sweep of fearless prophecy and earnest, yet hope-filled, intercessory prayer. I have often wondered what would happen if we got music out of the way, especially in its upfront dress, and spent abundant time in interceding prayer, reading and searching the Scriptures, sitting in silence, prophesying and perhaps only then singing and making music.
—Harold M. Best, Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts, 140
[Sorry for the gap in posting. Have been overseas.]
All Christian worship is basically our offering of obedience and gratitude to God’s giving in Christ our Lord, foretold in the Old Testament, fulfilled in the New Testament, remembered and received anew in Divine Worship, in sermon and sacraments. That response to the Gospel of God is given by the Body of Christ in prayer and praise and dedication. In stately cathedral or in hillside chapel, in parish church or in meeting-house, in whatever tongue, whether with ceremonial or with only the barest minimum, in set liturgy or in freer forms of worship (or in silence, occasionally broken by the devout meditations of the obedient servants of Christ, as in the case of the Society of Friends), it is the mighty acts of God in the redemption of the world through our Lord Jesus Christ that are represented, and the benefits which are appropriated.
—Horton Davies, Christian Worship, Its Making and Meaning, 101
The worth and excellency of a soul is determined by the object of his love.
—Henry Scougal (1650-78)