June 4, 2004

authentic worship

I'm halfway through chapter two, but I'm finding it hard to find things to blog about. It's really good, but it's really repetitive too.

This chapter is supposed to answer the question "What is authentic worship?" When you start reading it, it sounds like a rehash and his essential thought is: if worship is our nature, then authentic worship is our continuous outpouring in Christ. Best continues to wrap ideas around one another to prove his points.
Redemption does not signal the beginning of worship. Instead it marks its once-for-all cleansing. [...] Our redemption and our worship are henceforth one with the other. Our entirety, not just a narrowed spiritual corridor or mere churchgoing and ministry, is swept up in newly complete living. Work becomes worship, just as worship becomes duty and delight.1
Here he moves into examples that essentially say - if you think your efforts are somehow blessed by your worship, you have it backwards. Out of your worship comes your effort. This points toward the points in the excerpt from the Christianity Today article.

The rest of the chapter pairs worship with each of the "irreplaceable triad of faith, hope and love." I've read through the "faith" section. Again, Best dances the two around - we worship by faith, and faith causes us to worship, and faith begets more faith, but it is not able to be omitted, just as worship is not able to be omitted.
In the Hebrews [11:1] passage, it is not the doing of something that is central. The verb is becomes pivotal: [...] Faith does not bring substance and evidence to something; faith is itself substance and evidence, even in the absence of the very things for which faith hopes. This difference between being evidence and bringing evidence to something cannot be overlooked. It goes to the heart of authentic worship. Forgetting this difference may indicate the beginnings of false sacramentalism, then legalism and finally idolatry.2
I'm hoping the "hope" and "love" sections do more to tie this all together.

1Harold M. Best, Continuous Outpouring. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003) 27.
2Best, 29.

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