Future of Protestant Worship:
the Worship Wars.
Ronald P. Byars.
war between the traditional style of worship and the contemporary style of
worship is the focus of the book. Ronald P. Byars' intention is not
predicting which of these styles will be declared the winner of the
worship wars or the "wave of the future" (p. 125). His purpose
is to engage readers to examine critically the two styles of worship from
the theological, liturgical, historical and cultural perspective.
elements that make up a contemporary style of worship are described and
assessed in chapter 4. The
Willow Creek Community Church is singled out for a closer examination
since it is built on an "entertainment" model (p. 18) and one
that is sought after by many church leaders to carbon copy.
He tends to view what Willow Creek is doing is "not about
worship. It's about evangelism." Its "popular" seeker
service is attracting many but has "often replaced the Lord's Day
service that both nurtures believers and enables the church to practice
its "royal priesthood" (p. 56).
He leaves a question for those who are pioneering worship to
consider "whether worship is meant to be a tool for evangelism and/or
recruitment of new members, and if so, whether those are its primary
purposes" (p. 3). He also
cautions the danger of "contemporary worship" that tends to be
"webbed to a single generation--the boomers" that will cause the
churches to believe that if "they want to survive, they will need to
tailor worship differently for each successive generation" (p. 129).
It will result in an unhealthy segregation by generation.
Christian worship, "tradition" means "those things that
have been handed on " which refers to the "church's accumulated
experience in prayer, praise, thanksgiving, lament, Word, and
sacrament" (p. 39). He recognizes that "worship today may
introduce variations on the tradition, or critique the tradition, or
reaffirm it" but he is firm that the church "cannot escape
accountability to the tradition. . . .If it owes no debt to the tradition,
than it can't really claim to be Christian (p. 39). His concern is that
the church must not forget its biblical and historical roots:
are, unavoidably, an historical people. We are rooted in the Scriptures
both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Scriptures of the new covenant. . .
The same history has instructed and shaped, . . . countless
generations that have been similarly rooted in it. No matter how
contemporary we are, we are members, as the Apostles' Creed says, of a
"holy catholic church" and a communion of saints." The
church needs to be mindful of its roots for fear of cutting off a basic
source of nourishment (p. 4).
it possible to adopt a worship model that honours the Great Tradition and
relates to contemporary culture? The
author is positive and supports his view with a model of worship to bridge
the great divide in chapter seven.
book is a useful source for discussion and contemplation on the theology
and culture of worship. It is an affirmation that worship is central to
the life of the church warning that "the church that ceases to
worship ceases to be the church" (p. 7). It is also a recall of the
crucial role of the church in handling on or subverting the substance of
the faith to subsequent generations, that is, not forgetting that
"the content of the faith shapes worship, worship shapes the content
of faith" (pp.46, 96).
There was no chapel on 2 June as it is a public holiday (Vesak Day). Chapel speakers for the following weeks are:
During my period of
hospitalization, I had to bear with constant and extreme pain without
being able to sleep for even a moment over several days: the doctors could
not give me any painkiller due to my liver condition. There are many
places of learning in this world and I thank God my bed at the Singapore
General Hospital has been a place of great learning as I experienced much
blessing from our Almighty and loving God. I would like to share some of
these blessings with you, especially with those who remembered me in your
prayers and some of you even came forward to donate blood for my recent
surgery. Many Christians speak of identifying themselves with our Lord’s
sufferings when they watched “The Passion of the Christ.” (Personally
I found from a historical point of view that the portrayal of Jesus’
Passion was too exaggerated and over-dramatized.) Here is a poem I wrote
as I was listening to a Korean gospel song and as I reflected upon our
Lord’s sufferings and mine.
If the bitter cup He drank one tastes not
If His ordeal one experiences not
If the Cross He carried one carries not
His bitter cup became my own ‘cup’.
Pray for Dr Lee as he recuperates at SGH. Thank God
for his successful surgery and pray for a speedy and complete healing and
for the Lord to supply all his needs. Remember also his wife Priscilla and
A Blessed Birthday to ...
James Ong 14/6
Rebecca Lee 14/6
Quek Swee Hwa 15/6
Cheng Ching Keng 17/6
Daniel Ng 18/6
Gordon Goh 18/6
Yong Pin Yoon 18/6
Eva Fong 18/6
Loke Mun Tai 18/6