“It’s possible to claim the name Christian without being Christian at all – that is, without following Christ.
Jesus is far more than a theological icon to believe in;
he is a person to follow.
He is not just the truth; he is the way.
But those who follow Jesus are constantly in danger of getting lost,
for we live in a culture that stands in huge contrast to Jesus…
Jesus shows us how to live this gospel-based life,
but he doesn’t give us a how-to manual.
Rather, the local congregation,
the company of praying men and women,
is the primary place where we discover the way of Jesus.”
“Wonder is a deep, profound experience. The typical secular education of our day makes us suspicious or callous to wonder. It seems so
unscientific, so unsophisticated, and ultimately,
so seemingly unnecessary. So they say.
But to lose the sense of wonder is to lose one of the great beauties of life. Worship, on the other hand, exercises our sense of wonder.
It helps us see things and hear things and feel things
that not everyone recognizes. Worship, in essence, is wonderful.”
–Hughes Oliphant Old “Enter into His Courts with Praise: Worship Fills Us with Wonder,” Worship Leader Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 4, July/August 1999.
“The Scriptures include or allude
to just about every approach to worship there is:
organized, spontaneous, public, private,
simple, complex, ornate or plain.
Yet there is no comment anywhere
about any one way being preferred over another.
Rather, it is the spiritual condition of the worshiper
that determines whether or not God is at work.”
“Certainly one can be self-centered inside a church gathering, but the church gathering is nevertheless where all the sinners ought to be at the appointed time, smack-dab in the middle of a congregational experience specifically organized against the idolatry of personal preference. Not just because God says to do it—although that’s reason enough—but because it is good for us to have our singular voice lost in the sea of corporate praise and it is good for us to shut our social-media-motor-mouths for a bit and hear ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ We should go to church—not mainly, but nevertheless—because it confronts and stunts our spiritual autonomy and individualism. We should go lest we become Cainites, saying ‘I’m not my brother’s keeper.’ Or reverse Cainites, ‘My brothers aren’t my keepers.’”
“A sinful act involves worship of the wrong kind,
submitting ourselves at that moment to serve
the appetites of our pride or lust,
and so repentance is literally a transfer of our worship
back to the One who rightfully owns it…
Worship has been misunderstood as something that arises
from a feeling which ‘comes upon you,’
but it is vital that we understand that it is rooted
in a conscious act of the will, to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.
The feelings, the joy of having been forgiven,
follow on as a consequence of our reunion with him.”