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The Center Blog

  • 'United in Christ' - A Theological Reflection

    By Rev. Dr. Robert Kolb

    It is not easy to be a hip. The feet make a mistake, take a false step, and the hip suffers. The hip suffers not only from being twisted the wrong way but also from the complaints of other parts of the body that depend on a healthy hip and feel its twist at a distance. Hips like to do things their own way, and the feet or the back do not always agree. 

  • ‘Rescue’ - A Theological Reflection

    By Rev. Dr. Robert Kolb

    We usually call the incident “Peter Walked on the Water.”  The real story gives the report with a different subject: Jesus rescued Peter, a fellow too dumb to recognize the limits of his own abilities, too enthusiastic about pursuing his own plans to properly estimate the perimeters of his own potential.  Peter resembles us all.  Peter thought he was heading toward the Lord, but on his own he could not reach Jesus. 


  • 'Take Me With You' - A Theological Reflection

    By Rev. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M. Ph.D.

    The song “Take Me With You” begins with the bridge, which sets a proper tone for approaching the Spirit in prayer. Talking on the psalmist’s posture of wonder before God, the song begins and ends with an address to the Holy Spirit in the form of two questions: “Where are You going? / Where are You leading?” Rather than seeking to discern the Spirit’s movement and direction on his own, the supplicant humbly asks the Holy Spirit to take control and guide him on a journey to grasp more deeply His works in creation and in his own life: “Take me with You / Can I come with You?”

  • Review - In Defense of Christian Ritual

    By Rev. Steve Zank

    In his book In Defense of Christian Ritual: The Case for a Biblical Pattern of Worship, David Andersen made two significant arguments. First, he argued that worship practices deeply and stubbornly form the beliefs and culture of the church — both institutionally and individually. As a specialist in Christian apologetics, Andersen made this argument with the same methods he used to defend the historical resurrection of Jesus, namely, the collective insights of anthropology, psychology, neurology, epistemology and the social sciences.

  • Gourmet vs Fast Food

    Church Music in Cultural Contexts-beyond the metaphors of gourmet and fast food

    By Rev. Dr. Jim Marriot

    Culture matters. Context matters. Through certain practices, we can learn to value culture. We can learn to value the uniqueness of culture that guards us from cultural elitism. We can learn to value the inherent meanings of cultural symbols that keeps us from misappropriating culture. This, as the Newsboys so eloquently taught us years ago, is truly how we learn to sing the “song of the redeemed.”

  • Hymnal

    Pragmatics and Theology of Worship

    By Rev. Dr. David W. Loy

    Worship is never theologically neutral. Every worship form can be analyzed in terms of its pragmatics—that is, what it seeks to accomplish. Analyzing the pragmatics of the service will uncover the theological presuppositions lurking beneath the surface of the worship form. Does the service seek to elicit a response from worshipers? This suggests one understanding of worship. Does the service aim to proclaim forgiveness? This suggests a different understanding of worship. Those who plan worship can analyze the worship forms they use to see whether the pragmatics stand up to theological scrutiny.

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