Who Says the Evangelicals Don't Have a Liturgy?

Who says Charles Finney is dead? Thanks to Brad Kelley for the link.

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  1. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry–it’s 100% dead on — I’ve been to that ‘place’ and sat in ‘that’ pew and saw that particular media production (the one with all the QUESTIONS that ‘guy’ can answer!). Hilarious (and sad).

  2. I’m not surprised that the evangelicals are doing this. This is what they learned from Finney but I’ve seen ostensibly “Reformed” services that look exactly like this. That is a little surprising given that we’re not supposed to be Finneyites and that we have a completely different principle of worship.

  3. It’s a far cry from the early church. “And on the day called
    Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president
    verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the
    people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited
    with the president, who succors the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have
    submitted to you also for your consideration.” – The First Apology of Justin, Ch. 67

  4. Watching this video was like taking a “Red Bull” for my soul to “jumpstart” my spiritual journey.

    Thnx for the post.

    (notice the hip spelling of “thanks”).

  5. Not all professing evangelicals do this. Look at CHBC, where the worship is far more closer to the Puritans than Tim Keller’s PCA church in NY. It is wrong to paint evangelicals with such a proud brush.

    • Joseph,

      If my memory serves me correctly, Dever prefers to be called a “Baptist” rather than an Evangelical. In other words, CHBC identifies more with historic Baptist theology and piety than modern-day Evangelicalism. Correct me if I’m wrong.


      • “Dever prefers to be called a “Baptist” rather than an Evangelical. ”

        Are you thinking of the 9 Marks interview with Darryl Hart? There was some discussion of that then. (Very recommended, BTW).

        That video who is currently out in generic evangelicalism, that video is a-mazing! Who did this, and why?

        And only a very few changes would turn it into a “traditional service” with the very same structure. “Gaither Song, Gaither Song.”

        • Who did this, and why?

          That’s the amazing part. It was created by a video production crew for a church that does this every week. They’re poking fun at themselves, but they clearly don’t see any reason to do things differently.

          Our priority follows our mission statement – which is simply to leave a lasting impression on those that come in contact with what we create. Our department falls under the Service Programming Division, which as a whole is responsible for the planning and execution of the Sunday morning service. Media is a part of the service but it’s not THE service. Music, host team, and production all play a part in making Sunday morning an unforgettable experience.

      • Yep, I think you are wrong. In many interviews he clearly identifies himself as a Baptist in the evangelical-reformed tradition.

  6. For us Reformed, a different principle of worship is correct. It seems this video was somewhat facetious!

  7. I wonder if our Lord would make fun of other christians who Worship? I find it interesting that you will rarely hear Contemporary reformed worshippers mocking traditional reformed worshippers. I like the theology here, but not the arrogance.

  8. Spinal-Tap for Christians.

    Hi Bob,
    Maybe you’re hanging with the wrong contemporary worshippers. The megachurches I used to frequent constantly bragged about being “relevant” and “innovative” in worship, compared to stuffy, old, dead-orthodox types. We used to make fun of hymns, boring liturgies, and sermons that were not practical enough (read law-centered).

    • Dan,
      I believe it happens, possibly more than I think, but it also does not happen in many reformed contemp. churches. We made it a value never to cut down other churches styles unless they are contrary to scriptures. We all should be very careful when cutting down others worship, for unity and for the sake of the weaker brother or non-christian. That’s my hope.

  9. After I posted the comment quoting Justin Martyr on the worship of the early church, a question occurred to me. Dr. Clark; is it possible the modern church has supplanted much of the use of scripture with music? It appears the early church devoted most of its time to worship time to prayer, scripture reading, and the sacraments. Yet in some churches today, whether traditional or contemporary, there seems to be a lot of music and “some” scripture.

  10. Dr. Clark,
    This is just a question I had after reading all 500+ pages of the Calvin reading assignment (OTL). Calvin quoted the apostle Paul in 3.20.32, referring to singing in church, and it seems like he is agreeing with Paul in, “Teaching and admonishing one another…in hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs…” What would you interpret hymns and spiritual songs to have meant either in Paul’s or Calvin’s day? Does he elaborate more on it elsewhere in the Institutes or other works?

  11. The RPW stipulates that our response to God speaking to us through His Word in the worship service (covenant renewal) must also be His Word.

    This means that our songs to the Lord is not limited to the Psalter but can encompass the whole of Scripture.

  12. Dead on, at least if the Bible was opened and His word spoken it would be less devastating. Deadly to those poor lost souls that never hear God’s word, never know who the Real Jesus Christ, and yet have a pastor tell them they are Christian.

    The only comfort is this, Jesus the Christ, does not lose one of those that He was Given by the Father.

  13. This also makes the case FOR a Liturgy that is God Honoring…and those glasses gotta go. Uff

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