Friday, March 20, 2009

David Peterson on Worship

"Is worship, then, essentially an experience or feeling?

"Is it to be identified with a special sense of the presence of God, or with some kind of religious ecstasy or with expressions of deep humiliation before God?

"Are there special moments in a Christian meeting when we are truly 'worshipping' God?

"Are church services to be measured by the extent to which they enable the participants to enter into such experiences?

"Such a subjective approach is often reflected in the comments people make about Christian gatherings, but it has little to do with biblical teaching on the matter.

"Furthermore, it creates significant problems for relationships amongst Christians, since not all will share in the same experience and some will inevitably be made to feel that their worship is inferior.

"Worship must involve certain identifiable attitudes, but something is seriously wrong when people equate spiritual self-gratification with worship."

— David Peterson, Engaging with God:
A Biblical Theology of Worship
(1999)