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.
Of all the theologians and church leaders who are cited as being opposed to the use of visual arts in worship, Protestant Reformer John Calvin is perhaps the most famous. The following article describes the cultural context in which Calvin worked and the specific nature of his views on the visual arts in worship, suggesting that Calvin was more concerned with confronting idolatry than with opposing the visual arts in worship.
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.
The reforms in music which attended the reform of worship in the Reformation ranged widely from the rejection of all instruments and the restriction of singing solely to the Psalms to the choral Eucharists of the Anglicans.
Although there is considerable diversity within the Reformed community, it is fair to say that the ideas of John Calvin strongly influenced Reformed worship practice. Calvin’s Strassburg Liturgy is presented below.
Calvin argued that only practices explicitly taught in Scripture could be used in worship. For this reason, churches influenced by Calvin have been less inclined to restore pre-Reformation practices of worship perceived as unbiblical or “Catholic.”
Because God is perfectly holy it is impossible for us, in our sinful and fallen state, to see Him as He is. We can only know Him through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, our Savior. And it is only in the name of His Son that we can come before His Throne with our prayers and petitions.
Neo-orthodox theology was, in many ways, universalist but was much more Christ-centered than the liberalism that reigned among scholars during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Calvin’s influence can be seen to this day in the various denominations that embrace his theology, including Presbyterian and Reformed churches.
Martin Bucer (1491-1551) was a German Protestant reformer. Bucer entered the Dominican order in 1506.