Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The "Evangelical Liturgy"

The series of posts by Michael Spencer he calls the "Evangelical Liturgy" can be found here. He has reached number 12 "The Assurance of Pardon." The series should be of interest to anyone concerned about the inadequacy of worship in much of evangelicalism.

In another post today, Spencer writes his "Thoughts At 8 a.m. Mass" in a traditionalist Catholic parish. He reminds his readers that he "...could never be a Roman Catholic for theological reasons that won’t change..." but there was much about the experience he appreciated:
.... The whole idea of the daily mass, and the level of devotion one sees among so many Catholics such as those surrounding me, has to be of real interest to any post-evangelical. Evangelicalism is diverse, but as a movement it is simply engaging less and less with worship, spiritual formation, spiritual disciplines and any form of tradition. The multi-site, internet driven model combined with evangelicalism’s inherent pragmatism and entrepreneurialism makes one wonder if clicking at the computer terminal or taking in the 20 minute drive up/drop in service can be far away as significant models of evangelical Christianity’s virtues.

I am especially impressed with how a small child and an 80 year old man are functioning within the same world of thought, ritual and understanding. Within evangelicalism, we have communities with strong elements of tradition that bind generations together, but overall, we have compromised this to the core, allowing the quest to make the faith acceptable to teenagers to define the style and substance of everything. Where has evangelicalism gone in the last 60 years? Toward maturity and the core of the faith, or toward the latest efforts to be relevant to the young? The old among us are often those who manage to hang on amidst a hurricane of changes.

I see evangelicals doing less and less that will hold anyone in the faith into their 80s. If I were 80, I wouldn’t go near 99% of evangelical churches. The traditionalists somewhere would have me as a customer. .... [more]
Evangelical Liturgy | internetmonk.com, Thoughts At 8 a.m. Mass | internetmonk.com

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