February 20, 2020

Ash Wednesday is coming up next week. Those of you who aren’t asking, “What are you, Catholic or something?!?” will know exactly what I’m talking about. Have you heard about this thing they’re calling “ashes to go?” I keep seeing posts popping up on Facebook about all these churches offering “ashes to go” for the busy person. From what I gather, motorists form a line somewhere on church property where they’re met by a clergyperson, who reminds them amidst the… Read more

February 19, 2020

One of the things that tends to happen in conversations about worship, especially liturgy, is that eventually someone usually appeals to the feelings of the worship in vague terms of “meaningfulness.” “I don’t like contemporary worship myself, but if it’s meaningful to others, that’s just fine.” I hear it in affirmation of elements of liturgical worship, too. “That anthem today was so meaningful.” Or it might go something like this: “That hymn wasn’t particularly meaningful to me, but maybe someone… Read more

February 18, 2020

Yesterday, my Patheos colleague Anne Kennedy talked about a spicy guacamole church on her Preventing Grace podcast. I don’t know how I’ve never heard of Pastor David Hughes, the self-proclaimed “fearless leader” of Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Florida. Apparently, we are forever linked as members of “Baylor Nation” (ugh), and in his 20 years in Florida, he’s led the former Coral Baptist Church from 500 to 9000 in weekly attendance. Big freaking deal. You create a crazy… Read more

February 17, 2020

It occurred to me the other day that trying to have a conversation with someone deeply committed to “contemporary” pop worship is like interacting with Maria from The Sound of Music: Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her, Many a thing she ought to understand, But how do you make her stay And listen to all you say? How do you keep a wave upon the sand? Because liturgy – or whatever you call a corporate worship… Read more

February 16, 2020

A few people gave me some light pushback about the title of my last post. They’re pretty much right. Even if your child shows uncanny skill and aptitude for a particular extracurricular activity, they (and you) still need to be in church, because thankfully, being good at something and being a Christian aren’t mutually exclusive. Which is pretty much what I meant to say, anyway, that church is more important. For those of you who can’t seem to find a… Read more

February 14, 2020

  During my own youth, which really wasn’t long ago, stuff didn’t happen on Sunday mornings, evenings, or Wednesday nights. Sports, music events, whatever. And if it did, I missed it. I didn’t get to play baseball. I didn’t get to sing. I didn’t get to go. Or, at least, I’d get there late or leave early. No questions asked. In general, at least in the buckle of the Bible Belt, the prevailing culture respected this. Though there is much… Read more

February 14, 2020

I know it’s too late for this year, but yesterday I had this great idea! Let’s see if we can make Valentine’s Day cards using modern “worship” song lyrics. We all know that they don’t belong in, you know, actual corporate worship, but I think we can still salvage them. I’d hate for the 5 minutes it took to write them to go to waste. Here’s what I came up with. Read more

February 11, 2020

I say “we” although I’m sure many of you do. But for many of you, the tradition is somewhere between quarterly and monthly, perhaps more, perhaps less. Why? 1. Weekly Communion seems to have been the custom in Holy Scripture. Jesus was the one who instituted the rite to begin with. Himself. The Savior of the world did not institute any other part of liturgy, but he did with the Eucharist. Think about that. Perhaps the letter of Jesus’ institution… Read more

February 10, 2020

A guest post by Les Lamkin I have been participating Jonathan’s blog for a couple of years now. I have even written a few guest posts for Jonathan.  Over the years, I have seen Contemporary Worship advocates consistently point to purportedly biblical arguments and say, “See, this proves it; Contemporary Worship is biblical.” Unfortunately, the Evangelical church in general, and the Contemporary Worship Movement in particular, seems to be theologically malnourished when it comes to worship. Every excuse for flagrant… Read more

February 9, 2020

I think it’s a legitimate question. I should probably included a disclaimer here. If you’re not already concerned with bad worship in the church, or if you’re blissfully unaware that such a thing exists, you may not like this post. You should read it anyway, because you need to know. It may very well make you angry. I’m cool with that, of course, but I just thought you should know. I get comments, here and on Facebook, bemoaning how church,… Read more

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