The Whole Earth is Full of His Glory: The Recovery of Authentic Worship Isaiah 6:1–8 -- By: R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
SBJT 2:4 (Winter 1998) p. 4
The Whole Earth is Full of His Glory:
The Recovery of Authentic Worship
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and recently
edited Theological Education in the Evangelical Tradition (Baker, 1997) with D. G. Hart. This article was given as a convocation address to open the Spring 1998 semester. All Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard version.
This convocation service affords the opportunity to speak from the heart to members of this Seminary community. And as I come before you this morning, I do so burdened with the sense that we evangelical Christians have lost a biblical understanding of worship. Surveying the literature on worship currently being published and listening to the conversations currently taking place among the churches, one can quickly discern that worship is now one of the most controversial issues in the local congregation. As a matter of fact, many current book titles in the evangelical world suggest that what the church faces today is “worship warfare.”1 The very combination of the words “worship” and “war” should lead us to very sincere and sober biblical reflection. What is worship? And what does God desire that we should do in worship?
The symptomology of the current confusion over worship is seen in the fact that now many believe some modifier or adjective must be appended to the word “worship” in order to indicate what will take place. Traditional worship, liturgical worship, contemporary worship, blended worship, seeker-sensitive worship, praise and worship—worship! But what in the world is worship?
Certain developments in evangelicalism should cause grave concern. On both coasts of our nation and in Great Britain there is the emergence of what is called the “rave mass,” largely given over to the youth culture, and to its most nihilistic strains—the hardest of hard rock music. In Atlanta there is a church that advertises “country music” worship. A church in Phoenix known as the “Community Church of Joy,” a large mega-church, has written its own manifesto under the title “Entertainment Evangelism.”2 We see in evangelicalism a parade of innovations—and indeed an entire industry—which has arisen around worship with its publishing houses and services for hire.
It is true that worship has led to some warfare. In local congregations we see not only confusion, but also fighting, controversy and splitting. And what is the meaning of all of this? ...
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