the weblog of Alan Knox


Posted by on May 3, 2007 in blog links, books, worship | 8 comments

Two of my friends have posted blogs about worship:

Eric from “Hammer and Nail” wrote a post called “Does it matter what the Bible says about worship?” After reading David Peterson’s book Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship (one of my favorite books), Eric raises some questions about worship:

This book is making me think about how I am living out my life. Is what I think of worship the same as what God thinks of worship? If not, then what does God think of my life?… God takes worship very seriously (when I use the word “worship,” I am referring to an entire life given to God, not a church service at 11:00 AM on Sundays). Peterson’s book makes me want to examine my life more closely to see if both my definition and my practice of worship are acceptable to God.

Similarly, Lew from “The Pursuit” examines worship in a post called “What is Worship?” Lew posts several quotes from John Piper’s book Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions. I think this quote is my favorite:

So when I say, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is,” I do not mean “worship services.” I do not mean “worship singing.” Those are part of the expression of the essence of worship, but those things can happen and not be worship. Worship is not first an outward act; it is an inner spiritual treasuring of the character and the ways of God in Christ. It is a cherishing of Christ, a being satisfied with all that God is for us in Christ. When these things are missing, there is no worship, no matter what forms or expressions are present.

So, when you think about worship, what do you think about? Do you think about “worship services” or “singing”? Do you think about a particular day, time, or location? Should we be concerned that Scripture does not define worship with those terms?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-3-2007

    Good question, dude. I was in a class with my wife last week called “Art and Christianity”. One of the topics was how art should be included in worship. I piped up as the art-ignorant outsider and suggested it would be impossible to answer that question without defining “worship” first. They were talking about a “worship service”; but I’ve grown restless with the abuse of the term like that. Our “worship service” seems pretty clearly explained in Romans 12. And it appears to include every moment of our day. I wonder if we’ll ever get away from thinking of worship as an event and begin thinking of it as a lifestyle?

  2. 5-3-2007


    I know many people who have started thinking of worship as a lifestyle instead of an event. Will it ever happen on a general scale? I dunno… if it does, it will happen one disciple at a time.


  3. 5-3-2007

    There are a lot of distractions to true worship. Jesus said that we would not worship on this mountain or in Jerusalem but we keep building new temples to shut God up in. It doesn’t work. Worship is our moment by moment bowing down to God and acknowledging who He is. I like what Richard Foster has to say about worship in his famous ‘Celebration of Discipline’. He says that to worship is to journey into true reality. It is to really know what is real. And what is real? That God is on His throne creating and sustaining and that He loves us very much.
    Great post- I could go on and on. You got me thinking today!

  4. 5-3-2007


    Good thoughts! Thank you for adding them to this discussion.


  5. 5-4-2007

    Many, if not most, words in the dictionary have more than one meaning, according to the context. I believe that “worship” is no exception. Yes, for us as believers, the most important thing is “worship” as a way of life. But I believe that “worship” as specifically what we do to express our love and devotion to God when we gather together corporately is also important. Maybe it would be helpful if we had two different terms to express these two different (although related) realities. But, alas, such are the vicissitudes of language.

  6. 5-4-2007


    You are correct: English words (like Greek words) have different meanings, or as I like to say, a range of meanings. I think the problem comes in when we read valid English definitions back into the words in Scripture – words which do not carry that meaning at all (i.e. worship, church, minister). Unless people understand the difference, they will not understand Scripture.


  7. 5-4-2007


    David’s comments, and your reply are so true. Which causes me to ask,”Is ‘dude'(in John’s comment) your equivalent to ‘mate’?

    I do agree with John’s comment on worship being a way of life, but believe that there is,on occasions, a place for more focussed worship.

  8. 5-4-2007

    Aussie John,

    Yes, I think “dude” is equivalent to “mate”. Thanks for your continued interaction!