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Week Two: Reflections on Media for icews

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Thelogy Course with Dan Wilt

In Week two, we began to dig into understanding God as Creator, King, Trinity and Savior. A simple scan of my own history as a Christian touched on all of these ideas, but to really flesh them out, I think it’s important to, in a way, stop my own pattern of thought so that I can replace what may erroneously be in this old noggin. I admit that I have a spattering of truths in me, all trying to connect at one pivotal point. I’m hungry for that to happen, like a sudden ‘Aha!’.

Side Note : There is so much to read, watch and listen to, that I’m now trying to re-divide the information back into it’s proper week. (I watched all of the video content and read most of the magazine articles first because is was so exciting!) Some of the articles I have seen before in my subscriptions, but so see them all together in light of what we are studying is really cool. End side note.

Throughout my Christian development, my thoughts have traveled along many of the same thoughts that are expressed in this week’s articles. I remember so clearly, as a young pre-teen, wondering on how people who are Christian could separate themselves from the Jews. Our Lord and Savior is a Jew! First, as a person who walks after Christ, His love should bring us together, not separate us.

Brown and Williams discuss what they call, “the retelling of the story” in their article, “Who Is the God We Worship”. I stumbled upon the Messianic message in music years ago through Arnie and Jonit Klein, who now reside in Israel. Their music washed over me in our church on the day they visited us. Here, finally, I heard some truth that seemed to be missing in the music of the church. The cry of Jesus with the cry of Y’shua! Another example is Paul Wilbur, who has taken us to the very Wailing Wall in corporate worship. The Hebraic melodies, some with untranslated Hebrew lyrics, some with lyrics that celebrate the fullness of the Gospel: I have become, through music, very connected with the vine that I’ve been grafted into.

“God is a person, and personality is self-revealing. And we only know Him as He discloses Himself to us.” (Who is the God We Worship?, Williams and Brown) This is true corporately, as the early Christians were able to form as a group, and as we now define ourselves in modern Christian denominations. This is also true individually, that God still desires to self-reveal. The call to one’s heart can come through a corporate setting, but the decision to latch oneself onto the Truth, is a deep-seated heart decision. The transforming work of Christ is individual, as is the reward reaped. This goes idea goes back to Mc Laren talking about the various groupings of the “Larger We” and the smallest “We”. God as Creator keeps jumping out at me through this week’s readings.

It must have been an incredible revelation for John to have to put into words what he came to understand in God. Williams and Brown remarked, “John calls him God, but not all of God”, in referring to Jesus. His mind must have been spinning; we still cannot fathom this with our human minds.

July 23, 2008 Posted by | ICEWS eb 2008 | Leave a comment

Week One Reflection on Media (icews)

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Thelogy Course with Dan Wilt

N.T. Wright states in his interview that the “church is called to make articulate the praise of all creation…that we are given a mind of words to sum up all of creation’s praise”.

When I heard him say that, I immediately began to trace through the catalog of songs and hymns which I know, and wonder if they had been successful at summing up the praise of creation. I began to wonder whether the song writers and hymn writers had thought along those lines. I also am reminded of the growing silence of man on the matter of God, or the re-shaping of who we want Him to be, (especially at the secular university level). More and more I see a lack of celebration of creation, in favor of world view: an offer of compromise on God as Creator in favor of alternative models.

Dan Wilt has brought out a concept of the worship artisan (Wilt, “The Rise of the Worship Artisan”. As worship leaders, how do we approach worship? In our song writing, in worship leading, do we dig back into the roots of Christianity, or sail along on the modern worship choruses? I think that the choruses we have today are somewhat of a time of rest in worship music. Some of the very young song writers who have captured the young Christian hearts with their music have touched many hearts with their passion for Christ. One song I immediately recalled when I listened to Tim Hughes in the media, is his song called, “Everything”. There is so much passion for Christ in that song, and it catapults the listener right into the heart of Tim Hughes, while at the same time, delivers the listener to the feet of Christ in adoration.

Brenton Brown explained that the theology of a song must be good and solid, because it is often the song people recall over the message they’ve heard in the sermon. While that can sound a bit frightening, it is also an awesome privilege to know that the gift God has put in me is one that He needs to be ever- present with.

July 23, 2008 Posted by | ICEWS eb 2008 | 1 Comment