“The more our churches move away from immersing us and our children in the basic language and categories of Scripture, the more it essentially becomes a kind of foreign language to all of us.” – Michael Horton
When I say, “Welcome,” I mean that I am glad you are here. I am thankful that you would take the time to read the ideas on this blog and I am hopeful that you will feel invited to engage and interact with them. This is a blog about the vocabulary of the faith, particularly as it applies to the worship of God.
In recent years, much of the language that is used in church services has become a caricature. The result has been that, in many places, the church has backed away from using language that would make visitors or non-Christians feel uncomfortable.
The unfortunate result of this trend has been that much of the language that is used in the Bible to describe our faith has lost its effectiveness in our local congregations. In removing the biblical terms for faith and worship, the church has removed a vehicle for communicate the deep truths and doctrines of the Word of God.
William Willimon, bishop in the United Methodist Church, said, “There is a peculiar sort of untranslatability to the Christian faith…that you just haven’t said salvation when you say self-esteem…and you haven’t said the Good News of Jesus Christ when you’ve said I have found a way to help your marriage work.”
What is at stake is an ability to effectively communicate what is meant by faith in God at all! Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” If the church is willing to take Scripture as the ultimate truth of God, it must be willing to communicate that truth is clearly and effectively as possible. In this way, the church has a prime opportunity in its corporate worship services to recover and reclaim the lost language of worship, in such a manner that the disciples of Jesus Christ are being called into a living faith of active obedience and worship.
And so, this blog is about faith. It’s about worship. It’s about the language that Scripture uses to inform our faith and worship. It’s about the culture that engages in worship. My hope is that it becomes an encouragement to you as you offer your very selves to God in worship.