Posts Tagged ‘worship’

Book Review by Andrew Williams: Scripting Pentecost: A Study of Pentecostals, Worship and Liturgy

Monday, October 10th, 2016 by Enoch Charles

Mark J. Cartledge and A.J. Swoboda, eds., Scripting Pentecost: A Study of Pentecostals, Worship and Liturgy. (London: Routledge, 2016). xi + 251 pp. Hardback, $149.95, ISBN: 9781472443274.

Contrary to common perception, a number of significant studies on Pentecostal and Charismatic liturgy and worship have already been completed. However, as the editors note, this study is unique in that the essays contained in this work focus on the nature of Pentecostal and Charismatic worship and liturgy from a theological viewpoint that provides both ‘breadth and depth’ (p. 3). Specifically, this volume focuses on liturgical rites and worshipping practices from historical, theological, and global perspectives.

The volume is organized into two main sections. The first section is comprised of four historical and three theological essays while the second section offers six global case studies. The thirteen chapters are written by a team of scholars that specialize in the field of Pentecostal and Charismatic studies. Therefore, Cartledge and Swoboda have gathered a group of qualified contributors on a wide range of issues including historical, constructive theological, and contemporary observed research that add to the current field of knowledge. The first four chapters cover various, relevant topics within Pentecostal and Charismatic worship and liturgy such as early Pentecostal preaching in North America (Leah Payne), parallelism between the Welsh and the Azusa Street revivals (Jennifer Miskov), classical Pentecostal liturgy (Aaron Friesen), and the emphasis on sung worship within Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity (Neil Hudson). Within the same section the attention shifts to constructive theological contributions of sung worship (Andy Lord), Pentecostal sacramentality and the altar (Wolfgang Vondey), and worshipping and living liturgically (Chris Green). The second section covers modern-day case studies spanning from North America (A.J. Swoboda), Europe (Anne Dyer), Kenya (Samuel Muindi), Myanmar (Denise Ross), Venezuela (Greg Burch), and Papua New Guinea (Sarita Gallagher). Each case study focuses on a particular topic within liturgy and worship that emerges from their own unique contexts.

Although scholars and students of Renewal studies might not look to purchase this volume for their personal library due to its high cost, they certainly should take time at some point to read its contents for two reasons in particular. First, the global case studies fulfill a great need in Renewal studies to move beyond European and North American contexts. This is a major strength of this volume, as it gives Western readers a window into how the majority of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians worship around the world and how their worship is shaping the global movement. Second, as Swoboda’s title suggests ‘God is doing something new’ in Pentecostal and Charismatic liturgy across the world, making this volume on the cutting edge of Renewal studies. Further, the frequent attention paid to the history of Pentecostalism as it relates to constructing Renewal theology makes this volume especially relevant to the field of scholarship. Nonetheless, in spite of these strengths and the overall robustness of the essays, I found myself wanting additional constructive theological contributions. Although I agree with the editors on the fact that the theological essays were informed by historical sources, the degree to which the contributors moved beyond them I believe warrants these three robust essays their own section within the volume, paired with at least one more contribution. The strength of the historical and contemporary research begs for additional theological constructions. However, this reproach notwithstanding, I believe this volume offers groundbreaking research postulating the necessity for Pentecostal and Charismatic contributions to worship and liturgical studies.

In my estimation, the editors were correct in saying that this work ‘complements and in some ways supplements what has gone before’ (p.10). Collectively, this volume pushes the borderline of knowledge and summons further investigation and evaluation. I highly recommend this edited collection for both scholars and students of Renewal studies, for it fills a gap in the existing scholarship by offering relevant and stimulating essays that open a new window into the world of global Pentecostal and Charismatic worship.

Andrew Ray Williams is a PhD Candidate at Bangor University, an ordained Foursquare pastor, and recent graduate of Regent University’s School of Divinity.

The Call of Pentecostal Praise and Worship

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 by Nimi Wariboko

praise-dancersThere was always sound, joy, and anointing as a mighty rushing stream in Brooklyn. Far away from the place, I hear your call! I hear it break the walls of these deaf classrooms.[1] I want to feel your touch again and feel your warm embrace or at your deep set myself free, dance, and inhale the glory. Like the chrysalis I want to unfold my being and fill my days with the sun of righteousness, with songs from the lips of angels. I hear your ecstatic call, I hear it coming through; invoking the Spirit, coming from where your children hail your miracles and your power flows. My praise and worship is calling me! Its ceaseless drumming, rhizomatic rhythms, joyous voices, and endless halleluiahs impel my heady head and swift legs down its stream. And each concluding lecture brings near the spirit-call, the wooing and cooing that make my flesh tremble and burn the constraints of crouching dead walls. O enveloping Spirit, shall my years of praise and worship be my pilot to my final destiny. O my all-knowing God?

The Pentecostal praise and worship is a power that draws me to God wherever I am; a powerless power that awakens me in the morning, a glorious power that sets the sun of my day into the abyss of darkness. It calls me by my name, by my village name, by my secret name. It calls me with my mother’s accent. Are its ways with me too wonderful to understand?   Read the rest of this entry »

Awe and Wonder: Whither Theological Education?

Friday, April 4th, 2014 by Nimi Wariboko

aweAn important dimension of any religion is the feelings of awe that arise with encounters with the holy and the beautiful. Otto Rudolf in his 1917 book, The Idea of the Holy, argues that the experience of the numinous, the sacred, the holy is the ineffable core of religion. When persons encounter and experience the sacred they develop a sense of dependency on something objective, external, and greater than them. The experience of the numinous takes two related forms: (a) terrifying experience of the “wholly other,” and (b) fascination. Where can we encounter these experiences? Read the rest of this entry »

Global Day of Worship

Thursday, October 20th, 2011 by Diane Chandler

On November 11, 2011 (11-11-11), followers of Jesus in all 24 time zones around the world will engage in a stream of continuous worship called the Global Day of Worship (GDW).  This movement is a call to the body of Christ to exalt the name of Jesus and give Him glory.  The goal is to invite Christian believers to worship the Lord Jesus between 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 11-11-11 in their respective time zones.  With 24 times zones, this would mean that in each time zone around the world Christian believers will be lifting up the name of Jesus in a global concert of worship.  What a vision!

The founder of the Global Day of Worship, Eunice Barruel (photo featured below), is a Regent University alumna, who also travels the globe to various orphanages, imparting a vision for worshipping the true and living God.  Several years ago, Eunice envisioned the Global Day of Worship as a worldwide expression of love and adoration of Jesus.  And now it is finally coming to fruition in a few weeks.  Recently, Eunice expressed to me that she is simply being obedient to the vision that the Lord has given her and sees herself as a humble servant of the Lord in releasing as many people as possible to contribute to this historic event.

The goal of the Global Day of Worship is simply to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus and secondarily to unite the body of Christ worldwide.  In order to transcend denomination, organization, language, culture, and geography, the hope is to declare God’s love, goodness, grace, favor, and blessing over the nations as one united body.  As 1 Cor 12:12 reminds us, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”  Whether gathering as individuals, families, small groups, or large groups, the goal is to create a “wave of worship” that spans the globe, uniting Christian believers regardless of worship expression.

Revelation 4: 10-11 provides the theme scripture for this historic event, describing the twenty-four elders falling down before Christ, who sits on the throne in heaven, and laying their crowns before Him, and declaring: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.”  Eunice affirms, “When the worship of heaven meets the worship of earth…spiritual climates of nations will shift, as we serve faithfully here and now in preparation for His return.”

The epicenter of this Global Day of Worship event is right here in Virginia Beach!  Regent University has the privilege of being an integral part of the coordination effort and is hosting a continuous 24-hour period of worship on 11-11-11 in the Main Theatre of the Regent University Communication and the Arts Building.  All are welcome!  The live worship feed from the Main Theatre to the GDW website will occur from 7:00-8:00 p.m.  However, you are encouraged to participate in and coordinate a worship event from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in your respective locale.

How to participate:

(1)   Ask those you know to set aside 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 11-11-11 to worship.

(2)   Consider hosting or organizing a worship event that could be live-streamed on the GDW website.

(3)   Contact GDW for more information:  info@globaldayofworship.com

(4)   Contact GDW to register your worship event.

(5)   Go to Facebook’s “Global Day of Worship” page.  Click “like.”

(6)   Follow the GDW on Twitter @globalworshiper.

Will you join me and scores of others around the globe in participating in this historic event on 11-11-11?  Will you tell your family and friends about it?

The “Art” of Worship

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 by Dale M. Coulter

I have been reflecting on the meaning of icons and art within the Christian tradition. This reflection was prompted by looking at the icons of several Orthodox churches. Recently, I have had the chance to visit several Orthodox churches and see the role of icons in worship, particularly in the iconostasis.

In brief, the iconostasis is the screen of gold and icons that separates the main sanctuary from the “holy of holies” where the Eucharist occurs. In the middle of each iconostasis is a set of doors leading to the bread and wine. After consecration the Orthodox priest will bring the wine and bread out through the doors as the final act of worship for the congregant.

To the right of the doors, one always finds the icon of Christ, the pantocrator or creator of all. To the left of the doors resides the Mary the Theotokos with the infant Jesus. Immediately to the left of this icon is the icon for the saint after which the church is named, or an icon of the Trinity, if the church is named Holy Trinity.

While there is much theological significance to the icons, what has struck me recently is the way in which they convey the communion of the saints. When an individual worships in the midst of icons, there is a strong sense that one is approaching the Triune God in and through the cloud of witnesses that testify to His glory.

Worship is never a solitary event. It always occurs in the communion of the saints as we join our voices to the chorus of those who sing with the Seraphim, “holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are filled with your glory.” Icons remind us that we are together caught up into the presence of the Triune God. They also remind us that God catches us up into His presence in and through other human beings who become channels of that presence precisely because they are joined to Christ who is the source of salvation.

As the source, Christ pours out his gifts to the human beings in the power of the Spirit who then become channels of divine life to others. In the midst of this fellowship, this communion, we embrace God as the Father reaches out to us through his two hands, the Word and the Spirit.

Icons also remind us of the importance of art as a way of making sense of our world and of redeeming life. The iconographer is not simply an artist, but a worshipper because she uses the materials of creation in order to depict God and God’s action in the world. Worship is an act of life, and when the artist captures life she captures the God of life, not simply in its triumphs but also its tragedies because all Christians follow Christ from cross to resurrection. By connecting life’s events to the cross and resurrection, the iconographer redeems the world and places all events within the frame of God’s acting in time—history becomes salvation history.

As those who hold fervently to a theology of encounter that claims God always desires to transform believers by catching them up into his presence, Pentecostals and Charismatics should be firmly committed to artist expressions as acts of worship. This is how the artist becomes an iconographer and thus a gift to the church. She channels God’s presence into her art as her “living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1-2) before his throne. Worship is not a solitary act, but one done in the communion of the saints as we together become conduits of God’s presence. In these acts of worship, we can make sense of our world and redeem it.

Desiring the Kingdom

Friday, October 1st, 2010 by Diane Chandler

Recently, I read the book entitled Desiring the Kingdom by James (“Jamie”) K. A. Smith (2009).  As a philosopher, Smith attempts to provide a critique of current Christian worldview parlance and approach by offering another model in which to view the human person, formation, faith, and the role of the Christian college or university.

Rather than a book review, per say, I want to offer my reactions and recommend that you consider reading it yourself, rather than simply reacting to my comments.  While I do not agree with all that Smith advances regarding formational approaches to the human person, I believe that his perspectives are worthy of consideration and offer those in Christian higher education and the church a perspective worthy of discussion and dialogue.

Overall the book attempts to rearticulate the telos (or goal) of Christian education from being one that relates to establishing a distinctively Christian worldview through the development of the cognitive domain to being one that views education as formational and guided by what we love and desire, as fostered through worship.  What he aims at is the differentiation between education as informative and education as formative.  As you can well imagine, this topic greatly interests me. 

Smith critiques an understanding of the Christian faith as being reduced to a set of ideas and principles, which creates worldview thinking at the expense of our calling to be passionate followers of Christ who love rightly both God and neighbor.  Smith argues that we are oriented to the world by the primacy of that love. Therefore, Smith offers Christian worship as the most profound practice that shapes our identity and takes us beyond a mere belief system to a fully embodied identity as loving God and neighbor. 

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