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  • Take Me With You - A Theological Reflection by Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M.

    By 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.

  • Illustration of a crowd

    Reckless Love and The Different Things People Mean When They Sing

    By Rev. Steve Zank

    Leaders of congregational singing take on a meaningful but difficult role in the church. For example, they must plan services for the whole congregation while the people often disagree about which songs are meaningful/appropriate in church. While many of these disagreements are unavoidable and reflect clashing theological traditions, there is another force at work in the way songs are appropriated in the church. Namely, even though individuals come together to express their common faith in worship, worship remains the expression of distinct individuals. This phenomenon is explored through the popular worship song: "Reckless Love."

  • Illustration of Who's singing around the Christmas tree

    The What and Why of Worship from a Who's Perspective

    By Jon Jordening

    In our common life as Christians we encourage one another as baptized brothers and sisters in Christ, to regularly join together with thankful hearts in the presence of the Triune God. Worship, as celebration, expresses the love we have for Father, Son, and Spirit. But that’s only half of the story of worship. The reason WHY we gather is the most important part –– He first loved us in his Son, Jesus!

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