I’m intrigued by his comments and I confess I’m not sure if I’m supposed to laugh or cry. I have just started reading Worship By The Book (edited by Don Carson) and I’m going to keep an open mind. Interestingly, the first chapter has Willard asking if worship traditionalists have thought through their presuppositions carefully. Because, as he says, it is not as simple as it appears.
Then there is this article by Philip Yancey. Titled Would Jesus Worship Here? he sees strength and confusion in the internal logic of worship practices across the denominational divide (not to mention diversity of practice even within a single denomination). How strange we must all appear to an outsider seeking clues to our faith, he writes. He wraps up his impressions with the following:
"First, not many people in church look like they're enjoying themselves. Second, Christianity may show its best side as a minority faith. I see more unity and creativity in places like the United Kingdom and Australia, where Christians have little hope of affecting culture and concentrate instead on loving each other and worshiping well. Third, God "moves" in mysterious ways. To visit the burgeoning churches of the apostle Paul's day, you would need to hire a Muslim guide or an archaeologist. Western Europe, site of the Holy Roman Empire and the Reformation, is now the least religious place on earth. In Latin America, while the Catholics preached God's "preferential option for the poor," the poor embraced Pentecostalism.
Meanwhile, the greatest numerical revival in history is occurring in China, one of the last atheistic states and one of the most oppressive. Go figure."