Primary Theology

The life of worship embodies what is called primary theology. Believers express their fundamental beliefs, in the first instance, not be explaining them in propositions but by embodying them in devotional acts—prayer, praise, Bible study, and so on. Theological reflection developed by theologians and studied in theology classes is secondary theology, which usually takes the shape of a critical and systematic reflection on the worshiping life of God’s people as they read Scripture together. If this is true, the teaching of the church, what is called doctrine (literally, “what is taught”), finds its first and fundamental expression in the liturgy—in the worship of God’s people.

—William A. Dyrness, A Primer on Christian Worship, 74

The Miracle of Worship

The miracle of worship is that ordinary actions like shaking hands, bowing heads, singing, and speaking words can become vehicles of the presence of God—they are made into prayers, blessing, and instruction. God is willing to take our common actions and words, bless them, and multiply their effects. Similarly, worship incorporates the most ordinary physical elements of our daily lives and elevates them into the architecture of the Kingdom of God. As Christ changed water to wine for a wedding feast and blessed the bread beside the sea and distributed it to the many gathered there, so, in worship, we take water, bread, and wine and declare a new creation.

—William A. Dyrness,  A Primer on Christian Worship, 133