Your analysis of essay in NY Times Magazine ('This Is a Religious War') hits the mark. This essay and your critique speak volumes. We must understand the times. Thank you for illuminating this deadly serious matter. -- T.O., NY
Beloved people of God, I’m going to continue in this series on the informed principle of worship, and I have to tell you that I’m approaching the whole matter with a bit of trepidation. In fact, it’s been a number of years that I’ve been trying to think these things through with the Scripture. And I think that my reluctance is well summed up by John Calvin in writing to one of his friends on the subject of usury. Usury is charging interest or excessive interest on loans. And somebody asked Johnny what is position or what his spin on this was. And he began his letter by saying, “I have not personally experienced this, but I have learned from the example of others how perilous it is to respond to the question for which you seek my counsel. For if we should totally prohibit the practice of usury, we would restrain consciences more rigidly than God himself.
Now, I’m not going to repeat the various things that we see around today, or try to denigrate this or that particular. But we began a consideration of how such a problem can best be fixed if you expect to proceed with that today in suggesting how we can improve the situation by sound doctrine and a consideration of the Bible. How should the churches of Jesus Christ be worshipping God?
Well, people of God, we’ll be looking at quite a few texts today in order to begin what is planned to be a short series dealing with informed worship. I call it “informed worship” rather than Reformed worship not merely to avoid a sort of clique-ishness in the question, but to suggest that really the problem that we have today in the churches in general is ignorance.