March 1996

RW 39
Ascension/Pentecost
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • The dearest idol I have known,  whate'er that idol be,
    help me to tear it from thy throne
    and worship only thee.

    William Cawper, 1772

    We all know starry-eyed couples who are more "in love with love" than anything else. They are, alarmingly, hardly focused on each other at all. Their energies are more consumed with the details of the wedding day than with the ongoing realities of the life-long marriage afterwards.

  • In 1990 the congregation of Southern Heights Christian Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan (a thirty-year-old, largely white-collar congregation) had reached an important point in its history. By the members' own admission, the congregation had "stalled" for a number of years and needed to clarify its direction and begin moving forward. Some questioned whether it was good stewardship to continue paying the bills for a less-than-effective ninety-family congregation.

  • Q. In the new Psalter Hymnal the linguistic surgeons decided to cut out the phrase "Here I raise my Ebenezer" from "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," thus depriving the reader/singer of a biblical allusion (at least they kept "Thou," for a change). Have any other hymn editors seen fit to do so?

  • It had not been the most edifying week for my involvement in worship. A local church asked me to suggest a "creative solution" for a prolonged controversy about the use of overhead transparencies for praise songs. (My suggestion about installing an impenetrable wall between the traditionalists and the experimentalists and using the wall for projection was not taken seriously). The high-church "Liturgy" Internet board I participate in had a long(winded) discussion about what kind of tablecloth to use on the communion table.

  • Letters

    THANKS FOR "WORSHIP WARS" AND "Q & A"

    Thank you for putting the "worship wars" clearly into perspective, into the setting of our culture (in your editorial in RW 37). However, the second sentence in the next to last paragraph of your editorial might be taken to mean that the Reformed tradition does not include a definite liturgical form.

  • Editor Emily Brink met with Robert Webber one afternoon last fall on the campus of Wheaton College in Illinois, where he has taught in the theology department for the past twenty-eight years. We spoke together in his office in the Billy Graham Center, an impressive museum and office complex.

  • Notes

    CRC CONFESSIONS AND LITURGICAL FORMS ON DISK

  • Steve Miller. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1993. 261 pages. $8.99.

    Next to theology, there has been no more contentious an issue throughout the church's history than music. Church fathers, popes, priests, ministers, evangelists, reformers, and laity alike have swayed, sometimes violently, between tendencies toward asceticism on one hand, and accommodation on the other. Every so often, these conflicting tendencies clash openly. We are in the midst of such a time today.