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.”
The first time I talked to a Christian friend about the doctrine of “limited” atonement, the reaction was immediate shock and indignation: “That’s so wrong!” “That can’t be true!” Out of the notable “five points of Calvinism,” two usually generate heated conversations: “unconditional election” and “limited atonement.” Both doctrines evoke images of a whimsical divine puppetmaster who amuses himself by toying with his created beings.
â€œImagine a Thanksgiving Day without Pilgrims. No turkey, no cranberries, no happy celebrations with family and friends crammed around the extended dining-room table. Picture this instead: a solemn day of fasting, meditation and introspection, followed by a light meal of roasted oysters or Virginia ham.â€
Non-threatening. Relevance. Love. Coffee shop. Fun and games. These are the code words for today’s evangelical churches. But what about church words like these: Offense of the cross. Sin. God’s wrath. Liturgy. Sacrament. Suffering. None of that irrelevance – the Bible is out, Starbucks (or Purpose-Driven Life) is in.