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Allen P. Ross – Has Worship Become Just Another Activity?

8 Apr

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The words of worship flow so easily from our lips that we seldom stop to think about them: we casually talk about knowing the Lord; we say we talk to God and in one way or another hear from God. We attend churches on Sundays to have, as we say, fellowship with God and each other. There we celebrate the belief that he is our God with songs and hymns, but even these have become so familiar to us that our minds drift to other, more immediate concerns. And when we approach the Lord’s Table, to eat with God as it were, we often do not have enough time to appreciate what it means. In short, our worship services have become time-bound and routine. We have been so successful in fitting God into our important schedules that worship is often just another activity. But it should be anything but routine and ordinary.

After all, this God we say we know is the sovereign Creator and Lord of the whole universe, the eternal and ever-living God, all wise, all powerful, and ever present. Our attention to the Lord must not be an ordinary part of life; our worship of him should be the most momentous, urgent, and glorious activity in our lives.

~Allen P. Ross~




Recalling the Hope of Glory: Biblical Worship From the Garden to the New Creation (Grand Rapids, MI; Kregel Publications; 2006) p. 35.

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G.K. Beale – The Eschaton, the Temple, and the Spirit

21 Feb

beale-4-web copy

God’s special revelatory presence in the form of the Spirit will no longer be located in the holy of holies of Israel’s temple but instead will break out of its architectural shackles in the eschaton and spread throughout the earth. The true temple and true place of worship and true worshippers can be found wherever the extending form of God’s holy of holies presence in the Spirit goes and among whoever is included in it sphere. Consequently, wherever a true believer is, there also is the Spirit, as John 7:37-39 affirms.

To sum up, John has an already-not yet understanding of eschatology in which he sees that the latter-day resurrection, Spirit, tribulation, and temple have begun fulfillment but are yet to be consummately fulfilled.

~G.K. Beale~


A New Testament Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2011) p. 135-136.

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John Piper – Worshipping in Spirit and Truth

21 Jan

Worshiping in spirit is the opposite of worshiping in merely external ways. It is the opposite of empty formalism and traditionalism. Worshiping in truth is the opposite of worship based on an inadequate view of God. Worship must have heart and head. Worship must engage emotions and thought.

Truth without emotion produces dead orthodoxy and a church full (or half-full) of artificial admirers (like people who write generic anniversary cards for a living). On the other hand, emotion without truth produces empty frenzy and cultivates shallow people who refuse the discipline of rigorous thought. But true ´┐╝worship comes from people who are deeply emotional and who love deep and sound doctrine. Strong affections for God rooted in truth are the bone and marrow of biblical worship.

~John Piper~




Desiring God (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2003) p. 81-82.

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John Piper – Don’t Lose the Wonder

4 Jan

For many, Christianity has become the grinding out of general doctrinal laws from collections of biblical facts. But childlike wonder and awe have died. The scenery and poetry and music of the majesty of God have dried like a forgotten peach at the back of the refrigerator.

~John Piper~




Desiring God (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 1996) p. 89.

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D.A. Carson – Knowing Nothing Except Jesus Christ

29 Dec

What then does it mean today to resolve to know nothing… except Jesus Christ and him crucified? More narrowly, what elements in our ministries need overhauling when judged by this standard? For this commitment must not only shape our message but our style.

We have become so performance- oriented that it is hard to see how compromised we are. Consider one small example. In many of our churches, prayers in morning services now function, in large measure, as the time to change the set in the sanctuary. The people of the congregation bow their heads and close their eyes, and when they look up a minute later, why, the singers are in place, or the drama group is ready to perform. It is all so smooth. It is also profane. Nominally we are in prayer together addressing the King of heaven, the sovereign Lord. In reality, some of us are doing that while others are rushing on tiptoes around the stage and others, with their eyes closed, are busy wondering what new and happy configuration will confront them when it is time to take a peek.

Has the smoothness of the performance become more important to us than the fear of the Lord? Has polish, one of the modern equivalents of ancient rhetoric, displaced substance? Have professional competence and smooth showmanship become more valuable than sober reckoning over what it means to focus on Christ crucified?

~D. A. Carson~


The Cross and Christian Ministry (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Book House Company; 1993) Chapter 1.3 – The Preacher of the Cross.

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R.C. Sproul – A Sacrifice of Faith

30 Aug

The single most important thing to understand about worship is that the only worship that is acceptable to God is worship that proceeds from a heart that is trusting in God, and in God alone.

~R.C. Sproul~




A Taste of Heaven: Worship in the Light of Eternity (Lake Mary, FL; Reformation Trust; 2006) Ch. 2: Sacrifices in Faith

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