Over the past several years churches have engaged in an ongoing debate between two different styles of worship, loosely categorized as traditional and contemporary. Here, professor and longtime pastor Ronald Byars argues that many of the differences between the two styles are superficial--and that ultimately both styles embrace the same anthropocentric worldview that grew out of the Enlightenment. Authentic worship, he challenges, is theocentric, not anthropocentric, and therefore worship can and must be both responsive to contemporary culture and grounded in history and tradition. The answer to the debate is not found in pleasing congregants but in exploring worship that is biblical, that honors our communion with the saints, and that takes seriously the ways that our culture is reshaping us. Byars concludes with a narrative description of a Protestant worship service that is both authentic and postmodern.
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Customer Reviews for The Future of Protestant Worship: Beyond the Worship Wars
Review 1 for The Future of Protestant Worship: Beyond the Worship Wars
Date:October 23, 2006
A very thoughtful reflection on how we approach worship in the context of the postmodern world. The author begins by showing how the worship wars between traditional and contemporary approaches are thoroughly rooted in a modern, consumer mindset, and that these fights are going to be increasingly irrelevant as the culture around us continues to move towards postmodern ways of thinking. He goes on to argue that biblical worship regardless of style - should be structured around three central elements that have historically been central to all orthodox forms of Christianity from the very beginning; baptism, the scriptures, and communion (or as he puts it, Bath, book, and meal), along with attentiveness to the poor. Byars is writing from his perspective as a pastor in a mainline denomination with a fairly liturgical approach to worship, but his insights would be valuable for pastors and worship leaders from any tradition who are more concerned with the content of their services than they are with the style.