the weblog of Alan Knox

Viola on Worship

Posted by on Dec 16, 2010 in blog links, worship | 9 comments

Viola on Worship

No, this is not about a musical arrangement for the viola, but about an interview that Modern Reformation Magazine did with Frank Viola.

Frank tells us about it in his post (appropriately titled) “Interview with Modern Reformation Magazine.”

There are several good questions and answers in this interview. One question about “the future of the emerging/emergent church movement” shows that the interviewer may not have known that much about Frank.

I really appreciated one question/answer in particular:

MR [Modern Reformation]: What does it mean to live a life of worship? How has worship shaped your understanding of God?

Frank: Worship doesn’t lead to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ leads to worship. Worship hasn’t shaped my understanding of God. The Lord Jesus Christ has. Knowing Christ intimately and exploring His riches leads to love, adoration, worship, awe, and sheer amazement. Living by Christ is a life of love and awe. He’s the most incredible person in the universe. When we get a sighting of Him, we are forced to fall on our knees in adoration. This is more exciting and more real than what Christians typically mean when they use the word “worship.” So it’s been my experience anyway.

What do you think of Frank’s statement about worship and the relationship between God, Jesus Christ, worship, and life?


9 Comments

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  1. 12-16-2010

    I think the statement, “Worship doesn’t lead to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ leads to worship”, is spot on. That is a powerful statement and revelation.

    I would suggest that too often we try to do the opposite. I am going to meditate on that for a while…..

  2. 12-16-2010

    Yes, deep thought for the day.
    Worship must be a response by our heart based on our recognition of our relationship with God.

    Singing ‘worship’ songs, may remind us, and get our thoughts on God. If the relationship is broken singing “I love you” songs … well they may help repair the relationship.

    I don’t know. I think I can see it going both ways.

  3. 12-16-2010

    Jack,

    I think I agree with you. I’m still thinking through this one.

    Jon,

    What about worship other than singing?

    -Alan

  4. 12-16-2010

    Yes Alan, singing is just the easy example. But doing other acts of worship/love may help trigger or refocus our hearts. When you get stuck in a rut, sometimes doing something will help.

    I think Viola’s comment is great. Ideally our love should come as a response to who Jesus is. But I think there are times when taking a step of an action of love, even when our heart is not with it, will start the process of re-aligning our hearts. It is best when we do the right thing because we want to… but when we don’t want to, starting to do it anyways may lead us to wanting to.

    Not sure if that makes any sense…

  5. 12-16-2010

    Absolutely agree with Frank on this one. I recall many a church service where I would strain and strive to “enter in” to God’s presence through worship (or rather, that which I referred to as “worship”). What a relief when I got free from all that unnecessary bondage.

    More so, I recall the first time sitting around in fellowship with some brothers that I said the word “hallelujsh” in direct response to something unique I saw of the Lord Jesus Christ in that moment. It was raw and it was real. The adoration of my heart was spurred by the revelation of Christ I received as I broke bread with other members of His Body, and man was it awesome.

  6. 12-17-2010

    Jon,

    Thanks. That helps me understand what you were talking about.

    I like to think of it like this: Through our relationship with Jesus Christ, we begin to know God (who includes Jesus Christ, of course). This causes us to worship him – in song, but in many other ways as well. Through that life of worship, we come to know God even more, which in turns causes us to worship more…

    Josh,

    Isn’t it awesome that we don’t have to invoke God or entice him to appear or “enter in”? He is here, and he has “entered in” us.

    -Alan

  7. 12-17-2010

    Alan,

    I agree with Frank, and would add that worship has to do with what we do with the whole of our life, including times when we meet together,and sing. Anything less is not worship!

  8. 12-17-2010

    Absolutely, Alan! And what a joy it is!

  9. 12-19-2010

    Aussie John,

    Yes. I think the OT prophets and Jesus made it clear that God is not interested in our “worship times” if the read of our lives do not demonstrate worship to him.

    Josh,

    Yes, it is.

    -Alan