In contrast to Philip Yancey’s three qualities of an “alive” and “healthy” church – diversity, unity and mission – are the three marks of a true church – gospel, sacraments, church discipline – set forth by the Protestant Reformers.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, recently weighed in again, this time with a profound thought that “Beatles songs are as likely to explain Christianity as the Bible.” Essentially equating rock bands with the Holy Spirit, he says, “They [rock music] are able to open our imagination to a way of thinking about God that we’ve become deaf to in church language.”
The current discussion in this blog about the recent PCUSA General Assembly has led to some other threads of thought, including the Westminster Standards and early Presbyterianism in the Philippines, especially with regards to the founding of the Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Cristo (Unida Evangelical Church).
Dr. R. Scott Clark, Professor of Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California, has quite a challenging post about musical instruments in worship: “Could Instruments Be Idols?” He points out two major problems with the use of musical instruments in worship.
Why ordination? This question might be on the minds of many evangelicals whenever they hear of someone (like myself) being ordained to be a minister or pastor of a church. In this age of anti-intellectualism and anti-authority coupled with a low view of Scripture, creeds, church, and ministers, ordination is looked upon as unusual, unnecessary, and maybe even Roman Catholic.
“It has been said that the traditional Latin Mass is the most beautiful thing this side of heaven… The service “draws you in bodily by appealing to the physical senses, but it also provokes and draws in the soul.” says one worshiper. And he “feels closer to God when he smells the burning incense, hears the bells intone, and sees the symphony of symbolic gestures and movements among the congregants.”