Monday, November 13, 2006

Worth a read: The Pressure of Novelty

The Pressure of Novelty

Stuart McAllister, who is with RZIM, Ravi Zacharias' excellent organization has an excellent piece about how our pursuit of novelty and "what works" can cause us to forget or ignore the past and the profound lessons from history.

For some time I also have worried about the persistent focus on style and "felt needs" but to the exclusion of true Biblical knowledge and teaching. The church we attend has a good style to it, and the preaching is definitely life changing and challenging, and includes much Biblical teaching. Andy appears to share Stuart's concerns. My own concern, however, is that there is no Sunday School (or Sabbath school for my Adventist readers) where a deeper understanding of Scripture is explored.

Paul said all Scripture was profitable. This is true. I can testify, however, that a deeper understanding of Romans, Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians profoundly affected me and drew me closer to Christ -- closer because I came to understand how closely He had drawn Himself to me. In Paul's teaching I came to understand that Jesus stretched out His arms and drew the whole world to Himself; we have to pull away to be lost in the end. Infinite Love was willing to take an Infinite risk to rescue me...and you.

This we come to understand more fully from history - a history found in Scripture and from writers throughout history who have also gained insights into the phenomenal theme of Justification by Faith and salvation. And the pragmatic result (that works) of this deeper look back is that our worship is so much more satisfying and meaningful. When we sing praise to God in whatever style we choose the praise is so much deeper when our knowledge of Him and of the cross is deeper.

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