We Neglected The Reformers On Worship

Although I had been raised in Methodist and Presbyterian churches and attended Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, was ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, served pastorates in that church and in the PCA, I nevertheless found myself at different times in my career attracted towards old traditional liturgical churches: first the Antiochian Orthodox Church and then more recently, the Anglican Church. In God’s gracious providence, both experiences have led me to a deeper appreciation of the Reformed Tradition and of Reformed worship in particular, which has kept me from wholeheartedly embracing and remaining in either of those traditions. But what I want to reflect on now is: Why was I drawn to investigate those other traditions?

I am, and always will be, most grateful for the theological education I received at Westminster, both in my undergraduate degree (BD, now called MDiv, 1970) and an Old Testament degree (ThM, 1987); but if anything was lacking in that education, it was the study of the careful and thoughtful reflections of the Reformers on the subject of worship. That whole body of literature was somehow neglected. To be fair, Westminster was very focused on combating modernist/liberal heresy in those days, so the emphasis was on theology and apologetics; reformed worship seems to have been assumed. Had I discovered an adequate understanding of exactly what reformed worship was and of the biblical case for reformed worship then, maybe I might not have gone looking at greener pastures for meaningful worship by investigating other traditions.

David Jay Miller | “My Story: From Reformed Worship to Anglicanism and Back


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  1. VERY MUCH enjoyed Dave Miller’s story
    Sure set me back on being guilty or wanting!

    Set me straight he did! thanx
    Will look and do worship from renewed perspective

    Passed this on to mu Pastor Ryan
    and a few other folk who would like this

    Be nice to get more of this kind of, what I call
    exhortation or getting back on track. Needed.

    • Appreciated your comment, Mike. I have really been helped and encouraged by Dr Clark’s’ Recovering the Reformed Confessions’ as well. Good to get into the thought of the Confessions!

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