Posts with the tag “reformed-worship”
Catholicity and Intergenerational Worship
by Maggie Breckenridge on May 16th, 2022
If anyone qualifies as the godfather, or better, the midwife of contemporary Christian music, it would be Chuck Fromm. From 1975 to 2000 Fromm was the head of Maranatha Music in Costa Mesa, California, the birthplace and source of the contemporary genre in the early 1970’s. He was in the middle of organizing and promoting the hugely popular Friday and Saturday night Christian concerts that were at...
Class Course Work
by Josh Espinosa on December 19th, 2019
These articles are a part of the class course work.The Church As It Was Meant to BeAn Evangelical and Reformed FaithThe Five Points of CalvinismObserving the SabbathThe Lord’s Supper...
Is Reformed Worship Eurocentric?
by Maggie Breckenridge on May 6th, 2019
The immediate roots of Reformed worship clearly are anchored in Europe, even Northern Europe. Does this mean that Reformed worship is “Eurocentric” in some kind of limiting way?Some critics argue that Reformed worship is what it is because of culturally relative distinctions that can be discarded in favor of other culturally relative distinctions of non-European cultures. They seem to have in mind...
The Zwinglian Option
by Maggie Breckenridge on June 21st, 2018
You will have heard of the "Benedict Option" for coping with the culture wars. I would like to propose to Reformed Protestants the "Zwinglian Option" for ending the worship wars: eliminate all music from our public services. Zwingli, the outstanding musician among the Reformers, removed all music from the church in Zurich. We wring our hands over our worship divisions. The two ends of liturgical s...
Martin Bucer and the Reform of Worship
by Maggie Breckenridge on February 8th, 2018
If Martin Bucer (1477-1548) is not an unsung hero of the Reformation, he is certainly an undersung hero. This particularly is the case when it comes to public worship. Bucer's fingerprints are all over Calvin's Form of Church Prayers (1542) as well as the Book of Common Prayer (1552, 1559, 1662). Calvin acknowledges that most of his Form was borrowed from Bucer, while Bucer's 50-page response to K...
John Calvin and the Directory for Public Worship of God
by Maggie Breckenridge on January 1st, 2018
It can be argued that John Calvin is among the most important liturgists in the history of the Christian church. Indeed, I have attempted to make the case that his Genevan Psalter of 1542 and its Form of Church Prayers established a norm for worship.The Form’s stress on the ordinary means of grace (word, prayer, sacraments), its emphasis on preaching and congregational singing, its elimination of ...
The Quest for Biblical Worship - Part 2
by Maggie Breckenridge on September 18th, 2017
Reformed churches not only have the regulative principle worship (RPW) to guide them regarding elements and forms, but they also, throughout their history, have had liturgies and directories. The liturgies were the more restrictive (e.g. Strasburg, Geneva, Amsterdam), the directories (Westminster Directory of Public Worship and the family of directories it spawned) less so, allowing more freedom, ...
The Quest for Biblical Worship - Part 1
by Maggie Breckenridge on July 27th, 2017
Which is more likely today, liturgical sameness or liturgical strangeness? Which is more damaging to the integrity of Protestant denominations? Are we suffocating from liturgical uniformity--encountering the same old predictable things in the Reformed churches we attend? Or, are we unsettled by the unusual liturgical activity that we encounter in our sister churches and regional assemblies? Have w...
Is Worship Just a Matter of Preference: Licorice and License?
by Maggie Breckenridge on July 9th, 2017
I’ve had a little more time to read several responses to my article “Worship in the PCA in 2017.” Since they likely represent a considerable body of opinion, it may be worthwhile to respond further for the sake of clarification.Reformed “tradition”I assume (perhaps wrongly) that it is understood that when we refer to the practices of the Reformed church, we are referring to a church whose foundati...
Worship in the PCA in 2017
by Maggie Breckenridge on July 2nd, 2017
After the 2017 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, a 30-something church-planter asked me if I attended the worship services. I said I did. He asked, “Why?” Why do you torment yourself?” “Didn’t you attend?” I responded. “No, I never do.” Well, I thought, after hearing this same admission at the Assembly multiple times, this is a trend, isn’t it?When I joined the PCA nearly 40 ...
Just Me and My Bible?
by Maggie Breckenridge on February 25th, 2015
Roman Catholic theology is noted for the emphasis it puts on tradition, which is placed alongside Scripture as an equally authoritative stream of revelation. The Reformers rightly rejected this view and emphasized sola Scriptura as the church's only infallible authority. But is there a place for tradition in the Reformed faith? John Murray, the former professor of systematic theology at Westminste...
Worshipping with Calvin
by Maggie Breckenridge on January 1st, 2014
Counseling and Worship
by Maggie Breckenridge on November 23rd, 2013
Since the publication of Jay Adam’s Competent to Counsel in the 1970’s, a revolution in counseling has occurred among American evangelicals. So has a revolution in worship.Do counseling and what we have come to call one’s “style” of worship have anything to do with each other? Are there ways of worship that are more congenial to the aims of biblical counseling than others? “Of course,” experienced...
Preaching the Point
by Maggie Breckenridge on August 15th, 2013
What is the meaning of Psalm 1? The psalmist describes the “blessed man” as one who, on the positive side, meditates on the law of God day and night, becomes like a tree planted by streams of water, and bears fruit and prospers. On the negative side, he doesn’t walk, stand, or sit with the ungodly.There is a school of preaching, called “redemptive-historical,” that has done much good in restoring ...
Adiaphora and Intinction: A Novelty Motivated by Pragmatism
by Maggie Breckenridge on October 29th, 2012
The failure of the majority side to provide grounds for its committee recommendation was telling. The overture marshaled an impressive list of arguments: biblical (Jesus’ Eucharistic words), theological (the sacrificial meaning of the separation of the body and blood), historical (two Western church councils and the uniform practice of Reformed Protestantism), and constitutional (the language of t...
What Does the Regulative Principle Require of Church Members?
by Maggie Breckenridge on April 28th, 2011
Years ago I attended a Sunday night service at one of the largest and most prestigious evangelical churches in Southern California. Attendance in the evenings had begun to wane in recent years, so a more informal approach was being tested. The college pastor was leading the service. After the opening exercises he had us all stand, turn 90 degrees, and give the person next to us a standing back mas...
The Public Reading
by Maggie Breckenridge on July 11th, 2009
“Until I come,” says the apostle Paul, knowing that his death is imminent, seizing, perhaps, the opportunity to give direction to the church for the centuries ahead, “give attention” (NASB), or “devote yourself” (NIV), “to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.”It’s clear enough what the apostle Paul wants done in the public assembly of the church. He wants Scripture read. T...
by Maggie Breckenridge on June 1st, 2008
During the Reformation era, debates raged over what things must be considered crucial to Christian faith and practice, and what could be considered adiaphora (Latin for “things indifferent”). All sides agreed that the doctrines of the Trinity, the atonement, and justification were central. But what about worship issues? What about the elements of worship, sacramental theology, church architecture,...
Scripture and Worship: Biblical Interpretation and the Directory of Public Worship
by Maggie Breckenridge on October 28th, 2007
The dust that can be seen swirling in the distance is the aftereffects of Richard A. Muller's scholarly avalanche. He has marshaled mountains of historical evidence to bury the various twentieth century agenda-driven "Calvin against the Calvinist" schemes devised to drive a wedge between the great Reformer and the period known as "orthodoxy" or "Protestant scholasticism" (roughly 1560-1725). Somet...
The New Covenant Meal
by Maggie Breckenridge on November 1st, 2006
One of the great insights of the Reformation was the recovery of the biblical concept of “covenant.” This recovery was fueled by the “new learning” of the Renaissance humanism, the return ad fontes, “to the sources,” of theology in the original texts of the New and Old Testaments and in the writings of the church fathers. The fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the Muslim Turks brought a flood of Gr...
by Maggie Breckenridge on January 1st, 2005
What is worship that is not centered on God? Worship that is centered on something other than God is not worship, we answer simply. It may be a religious gathering, it may be exciting, it may be informative, but it is not, by definition, worship. Among the primary virtues of traditional Reformed worship is its God-centeredness. Its structure and content leave no ambiguity about what the people of ...
Reformed Worship: Worship That Is According to Scripture
by Maggie Breckenridge on January 1st, 2000
Liturgical Introductions to the Psalms
by Josh Espinosa on January 1st, 2000
What was it like to be a member of the OT church? What did they believe? What was their experience of God, personally and corporately? Did their religion make them happy or was it a burden? Were they aliens in another age or our brothers and sisters of long ago? As we look through the window of the Psalms we discover that here indeed is the same God, now disclosed to us in Christ, and here are peo...
Liturgical Introductions to Scripture
by Josh Espinosa on January 1st, 2000
Might it possibly be the case that some ministers fail to read Scripture in public worship because they feel inadequately acquainted with the text? Might it also be the case that the effectiveness of the public reading of Scripture might be enhanced by succinct introductions to the chapters to be read? Behind the following work is the hunch that both of these questions ought to be answered in the ...