Quotable Quotes From Around the Blogosphere
Abide In My Word
Pastor Tom Messer
Contemporary Worship Came from Others
…Those who led the charge to turn worship into an experiential, enthusiastic, emotional-manipulating, feel-good, fun-fest do not believe Jesus is Present in their "worship experiences." That's the whole point, the whole basis for this genre of worship. Jesus is "up there," not here. We need to reach Him. We need to let Him know how much we love Him. We experience His love in return as we feel Him touch our hearts. And, if the worship is powerful enough, then that experienced love we feel in our hearts will lead us to commit ourselves to Jesus, make Him our personal Lord and Savior, and leave with the intent to live for Him in this world. It's all about you. Your feelings. Your emotions. Your decision. Your choice. Your commitment. Your life. Jesus is nothing more or less than the object of your affection and the arbiter of your feelings. It is little wonder that the vast majority of contemporary Christian praise songs focus on feelings and employ heart-language, since, well, they are simply the subjective experience and shared feelings of their authors put before others in the hope that they, too, will share that experience and those feelings.
Pastor Larry Peters
Who is best equipped to change or adapt the liturgy?
It follows then that for whom the liturgy feels like an ill fitting garment, whose memory needs ever to be prompted by the appropriate response, for whom the church year is alien to their sense of time, and who seek to remove the liturgy as if it were a shackle or chain should not or cannot engage their discretion in adapting or changing the liturgy.
Pastor Larry Peters
The good and wise presider will work to keep the liturgical flow going, without intruding or distracting from the unfolding of Confession to Word to Meal to Sending. That is, I often think, the gift of presiding at the liturgy -- knowing when to speak and when to keep silent, what is needful to be said and what just happens and, well, flows. Far from assisting this flow, the constant flow of announcements, explanations, and page numbers turns this flow into a faucet that is on and off, on and off, jerky and disconcerting.
Pastor Tom Chryst
Three Reactions to the Law
The great blessing of the law though, is that it drives us to despair - but in preparation for the hope and joy of the Gospel! To die, only to know the life he brings. Yes, without knowing our sin, how could we know our savior? Without knowing the severity of our sin, how could we appreciate the depth of his forgiveness? Without a daily, hard, cold look in the mirror, and a true view of the ugliness of our own sin, how can we daily know the forgiveness that flows from our baptism? This is the great blessing of the law - that it prepares us for the Gospel. It is the diagnosis before the treatment, the plowing of the dead field before the seed is planted and flourishes. The law lowers us down into the grave and shovels on the dirt, only for the trumpet call of Christ to bust our tombs open and burst death open into life.
DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed
Pastor Kevin DeYoung (HT: Pastor Paul McCain on this one)
Jesus Came to Save Grimace and Hamburglar Too
…So much that passes for spirituality these days is nothing more than middle class, 20something coffee culture. If you like jazz, soul patches, earth tone furniture, and lattes, that’s cool. But this culture is no holier than the McNugget, Hi-C, Value City, football culture that most people live in. Why does incarnational ministry usually mean hanging out at Starbucks instead of McDonalds?
Jesus came to save Grimace and Hamburglar too.
Dr. Jack Kilcrease
A Good Insight from the Church Fathers.
A good insight from the Fathers: Basil of Ceasarea says that we cannot know what God is, but we can know how God is: i.e., Trinity, redeemer, creator, etc. Johann Gerhard says much the same thing. This works well with Luther's insistence that when we deal with God we deal only with him under his masks (larva Dei). Dealing with him under his masks, we can very easily talk about how he is by his actions. Nevertheless, we cannot pull away his masks in this life and see what is he. That will only happen in heaven.
Pastor Rick Stuckwisch
The Feast of St. Andrew, the Apostle
The Father speaks forth His Son to make the heavens and the earth, and to create man in His Image. The Father speaks forth the same only-begotten Son in the flesh, to bear your sin and be your Savior. And as the Father has thus spoken, so does the Son speak His Word to you, which is Spirit and Life: He speaks to you by the ministers of His Word, called and sent in His Name.
Rev. Robbie Low
Death, Where is Thy Dignity?
I hope to God that when my time comes, the service will not be conducted by some fool bleating on about what a lovely man I was. (Friends assure me this is unlikely.) Give me a decent Requiem and plead the Cross of Christ for another sinful wretch utterly dependent on his mercy.
Walt’s World of Religion and Politics
Pastor Jody Walter quoting Dr. Henry Hamann
The Late Great Henry Hamann
The words of John the Baptist mark out for all ministers of the Word the humility which should characterize their attitude as well as the limits of their competency: "I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." Ministers of the Word can administer the means of grace, and they must learn to do this well and not poorly, but they cannot bring about the salvation of the sinner; that the Lord has kept for Himself.