Traditionalism (6)

The search for worship that is gospel-true, heart-resonant, and culturally relevant has taken several turns over the last half century. Some movements have sought release from formalism and traditionalism; others have found renewed appreciation for ancient forms of worship that link the contemporary church to its primitive roots. Each has sought to unchain the church from cultural norms that keep the worshiper from experiencing the reality of Christ. The norms that some want to escape are what they consider anachronistic traditions that have deadened church culture. The norms that others want to escape are the secular consumer values that they think have invaded church culture.

—Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Worship, 69

Traditionalism (4)

There are two ways in which a tradition can be abused—either by neglect or by a slavish subservience. The Church which worships a God who was incarnate in human history cannot afford to neglect the heritage of that event; and a Church which worships the God who is a living Spirit cannot allow that heritage to become a dead letter of bondage. 

—Rev. D. H. C. Read, “The Reformation of Worship,” Scottish Journal of Theology 8:1 (March 1955):79

Traditionalism (3)

Tradition hands on from one generation to another those things found useful. Tradition doesn’t attempt to suppress new experience or insight. Tradition is a treasury of experience from which we may draw for our benefit. Traditionalism, on the other hand, is rigid and exclusive, insisting on conformity even when no one any longer remembers what value a practice is meant to represent. Tradition is a gift of earlier generations.  Traditionalism is narrow and oppressive—not a gift, but an imposition. People’s negative associations with tradition may be based on their revulsion against traditionalism. Traditionalism gives tradition a bad name–unfairly, and unfortunately. Scorn for traditionalism may encourage indifference to precious things we might learn to value from tradition.

—Ronald P. Byars, Christian Worship: Glorifying and Enjoying God, p. 20

Worship & Culture 12

Nevertheless, the church has been sent to all ages and nations and, therefore, is not tied exclusively and indissolubly to any race or nation, to any one particular way of life, or to any set of customs, ancient or modern. The church is faithful to its traditions and is at the same time conscious of its universal mission; it can, then, enter into communion with different forms of culture, thereby enriching both itself and the cultures themselves.

—Margaret Mary Kelleher, “Vatican II and the LWF Project: Points of Convergence,” in Worship and Culture  Foreign Country or Homeland?, ed. Gláucia Vasconcelos Wilkey, 62-63