Sunday, September 07, 2008

September Newsletter Article

Much has changed since I last posted on this poor, little blog! I am now back in my hometown of Chatsworth, GA serving as Associate Pastor and Minister of Music and Education at Spring Place Baptist Church. While preparing this September newsletter article, I decided to go ahead and post it here, even though I have blogged about worship in the past using the quote from Boice. Even though the quote will be a bit of a repeat to this blog, I still thought it might be edifying to put the newsletter article on here nonetheless.

I do hope to write more personal update posts as well as some articles I've been meaning to write and post on here concerning:
  • Seeing Joel Osteen at a Joel-stravaganza in Louisville this summer
  • A conversation with a Church of Christ believer concerning baptism, imputed righteousness, etc.
  • Position papers on practical issues, such as depression, etc.
In the meantime, I've been extremely busy with my new responsibilities, and I welcome your prayers as I seek to carry out those responsibilities with the grace that God provides.

Newsletter Article: September 2008

A Word of Thanks!

Only a month ago I was preparing for a move back to Chatsworth, and the time sure has flown! Let me say “Thank you!” for such a warm reception to the family of faith at Spring Place Baptist. Thanks also to many of you for encouraging e-mails and kind words. My pledge to you is to continue seeking to biblical in each decision I make. One of the decisions I made was to add a Scripture reading into our Sunday services. This was done with the purpose of fulfilling Scripture’s admonition to have Scripture publicly read (1 Timothy 4:13), a verse that we will examine more fully in a future article. With that in mind, I would like to introduce a series on “The Word in Worship.”

The Word in Worship:

J. Ligon Duncan III (pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, Mississippi) has been a strong influence on me in the area of Bible-centered worship. When you hear or read him regarding the area of worship, you’ll find a common theme of Word-centeredness. His view is that we should: “Read the Bible, Preach the Bible, Pray the Bible, Sing the Bible, See the Bible.”

In the months to come, I have decided to flesh out the implications of this Bible-based, Word-saturated approach to public worship. As I think through these issues myself, I pray that I will understand worship better, and my prayer is that we all with be able to worship better after having examined the primacy of God's Word for our services of worship. In conclusion, let us prepare for this series by considering the words of James Montgomery Boice:

“To worship God we must know who God is, but we cannot know who God is unless God first chooses to reveal himself to us. God has done this in the Bible, which is why the Bible and the teaching of the Bible need to be central in our worship.”*

* From: Give Praise to God: A Vision for Reforming Worship, edited by Philip Graham Ryken, Derek W. Thomas, and J. Ligon Duncan III. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2003, [vii].

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