This ought to add not a little to our respect for the Gospel, that we must think of it as told not so much by men themselves as by Christ with their lips.
—Noel Due, Created for Worship: From Genesis to Revelation to You, 165
[Hebrews 2:12b; Romans 10:17; Colossians 3:16]
The proclamation of God’s praises is always promoted by the teaching of the gospel; for as soon as God becomes known to us, His boundless praises sound in our hearts and in our ears.
—John Calvin on Hebrews 2:12
As liturgical architects, when we invite people to worship through this [gospel] story, we aren’t merely asking them to observe the gospel structure we’ve built. We’re inviting them to inhabit it.
—Zac Hicks, The Worship Pastor: A Call to Ministry for Worship Leaders and Teams, 159
The Christian church is deeply divided into communities that rehearse different histories and embody divergent aesthetic preferences. Any lasting cease-fire in these worship wars is not likely to emerge from a resolution of the so-called culture wars which feed them, or from large-scale conversions of taste, or from carefully buttressed historical arguments about ancient liturgical precedents. Finally, such a cease-fire can only issue from the depth and mystery of the gospel which Christians proclaim. Christian worship is strongest when it is integrally and self-consciously related to the person and work of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. The study of Christian worship is most helpful to Christian communities when it demonstrates how this has happened in the past and how it might happen in the future in more profound ways.
—John D. Witvliet, “The Trinitarian DNA of Christian Worship: Perennial Themes in Recent Theological Literature,” 18
The gospel ought never to be entirely at home in any culture. If gospel and culture fit together as easily as hand-in-glove, then the likelihood is that the gospel has capitulated to the values of the culture.… There must always be some tension between gospel and culture. The trick is to tune that tension just right, so that gospel and church can play a transforming role in its host culture. The gospel doesn’t carry with it a culture of its own. It must always find its place in the culture of the time and place. Nevertheless, it always questions the local culture and holds it accountable before the cross.
—Ronald P. Byars, Christian Worship: Glorifying and Enjoying God, 110
Jesus beckons all the thirsty:
Come and taste, and drink, and live!
He will quench their deepest longings,
Life abundant He will give.
Praise the One with living water,
Praise the One who saves the soul;
Praise the One with grace sufficient,
Praise the One who makes us whole!
–Ron Man, 2014
This story is the good news (evangelion). In worship we signify it (leiturgia); in evangelism we proclaim it (kerygma); in fellowship we experience it (koinonia); in our ministry to each other and in our service to others we live it (deaconia). It is the very heartbeat of who we are.
–Robin Parry, Worshiping Trinity: Coming Back to the Heart of Worship, 20