Critical reviews (by Lutheran pastors and church musicians) of books and other resources for Christian worship, preaching, and church music from a perspective rooted in Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and good common sense. LHP Quarterly Book Review asks, "Is it worth the money to buy, the time to read, the shelf space to store, and the effort to teach?"
Feed: Confessional Gadfly Posted on: Friday, January 28, 2011 11:21 AM Author: Rev. Eric J Brown Subject: Theological Assertion
Theological Assertion - Contemporary Worship Denies the Catholicity of the Church
I don't think I'm going to flesh this out fully - I'm fighting off some bug. But here is the point - contemporary worship denies the catholicity of the church.
When we confess that the Church is "Catholic" we are saying that it is Universal. Often, we think of this idea of "universal" as being mainly world-wide - a spacial focus on universality.
That's only one dimension (or three, if you prefer). To be universal means to be present not only in all places but in all times. That the Church is present in the past, is present now, and shall be present until the end of the world (because where Christ is preached and the Sacraments are administered, the Church will be). There is a temporal catholicity that is included in the Christian faith.
Contemporary worship fundamentally flies against this, as it tends to emphasize merely the present. It tries to make worship something tied merely to the present rather than the eternal.
Of course, contemporary worship also tends to be contra-catholic in terms of space, as well, buying into a very localized concept.
It becomes a matter of collective ego - we're here, we'll do what we want to do to praise God. It cuts off a sense of history, of growth, of development. It does not seek to refine and improve, but to be "creative".
Now, we are in specific times and places. I'm not going to argue that worship must be in Latin or only according to plainsong... but our time and place should not overwhelm worship, but rather fit and coincide -- it should be that what we see is the present and local manifestation of the Church Catholic, not an experiment in trying to ride the current trends in order to appeal to people.