Christian dance has persisted throughout the history of the church, despite many official decrees against it. Christian churches that have incorporated dance and other stylized gestures in worship have benefited from a profound way of expressing their praise and enacting the gospel message. Dance as worship is one manifestation of the Spirit’s ongoing activity in the church.
The aesthetic dimensions of Christian worship encompass not only written liturgies and rubrics, but also the ways in which the liturgy is brought to life. This article addresses the rich and varied ways that these aesthetic dimensions are realized, including the liturgical expressions of time and space, the visual and the aural, the cognitive and emotional, the eternal and the culture-bound.
The use of instruments in worship has engendered great controversy throughout the history of the church. The following article describes the most important issues at stake in these controversies, highlighting important principles that can guide our use of instruments in worship today.
Augustine represents the preaching of the Latin church, a style that may be traced from Tertullian through Cyprian to Ambrose, Augustine’s spiritual father and mentor. The Latin style of preaching shows an acquaintance with classical literature, Latin rhetoric, and symbolism.
It is thought that North Africa was the birthplace of Latin Christianity. Because of Muslim expansion, however, the church did not survive in North Africa beyond the eighth century. Since no actual texts of the ancient North African liturgy are extant, the outline of the rite can only be reconstructed from other sources.
Music has great power to both reflect and shape human experience. In worship, as in other activities, music is able to express the most profound thoughts and emotions in ways that words cannot. Music in Christian worship is a powerful—even a risky—force that must be used thoughtfully, imaginatively, and prayerfully.
Following the lead of secular culture, many Christians place Christmas as the most important day in the Christian year. This article suggests that a more profound understanding of Christmas arises out of an awareness of the history of the Christian year. Christmas should be understood in light of the events which follow—Epiphany and, eventually, Easter.
we are in Christ, we are new people! The old ways are gone (or at least dying off) and new desires and choices typify our life: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,” writes Paul, “he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” II Corinthians 5:17.
This verse lifts the curtain on the glorious prayer-song the redeemed will sing throughout eternity – that the blood of the Lamb paid the price for the salvation of His people.
Many Christians feel uncomfortable publicly sharing their faith. Various reasons are given for this but their reluctance typically boils down to insecurity about what others will think. This passage shows that when we display our convictions – in this case by openly worshiping the Lord – not everyone will respond but most will respectfully listen. A lack of confidence is a poor reason to withhold the key to eternity.