Tag Archives: worship

Thomas à Kempis Got Nothing On Us

thomas-a-kempis-1“Modern cheesiness in worship is now approaching its zenith. Recently, my wife and I were in another city on vacation on the Lord’s Day, and so we sought out a place for worship. We picked a church that seemed (somewhat) safe by its name, and joined them to worship our God together. To make a long story short, the high point of the singing portion of the service was when the song leader had everyone put one arm out straight in front, with the other hand behind the head, in order that all the congregants might spin about in place, spritzing like lawn sprinklers. ‘Who says that church isn’t fun!’ cried one of the song leaders in a moment of religious fervor. When it comes to devotion, Thomas à Kempis got nothing on us.

The great argument advanced today in favor of such seeker sensitive worship is that we have to present the gospel to today’s unbeliever in a way that is relevant to him. But the word relevance, though it has a fine dictionary definition, really has to be understood as the battle cry of modern unbelief. This is not because the word itself is objectionable, but because liberals and their modern evangelical cousins have freighted it with a hidden system of weights and measures – in which the world, and not Scripture, determines the content of our faith and practice.

There are at least two kinds of irrelevance. One is the irrelevance of offering a bicycle to an oyster. But there is another kind of irrelevance entirely, and that is the practice of setting forth the gospel of light and righteousness to those who love their darkness and iniquity. We are commanded to be irrelevant in this second sense. We are called to worship God in a way that is pleasing to Him, and to which unbelievers will be attracted only if God moves them in a sovereign and mysterious way.”

– Douglas Wilson, A Primer on Worship and Reformation (p. 13)

True Religion

“‘Had I seen a miracle,’ say men, ‘I should become converted.’ How can they know they would do a thing of the nature of which they are ignorant? They imagine that this conversion consists in a worship of God which is like commerce, and in a communion such as they picture to themselves.

True religion consists in annihilating self before that Universal Being, whom we have so often provoked, and who can justly destroy us at any time; in recognizing that we can do nothing without Him, and we have deserved nothing from Him but His displeasure. It consists in knowing that there is an unconquerable opposition between us and God, and that without a mediator there can be no communion with Him.”

– Pascal, Pensees