I interviewed N.T. Wright, author of Jesus And The Victory Of God and considered the world’s leading scholar on the historical Jesus, at his home in Westminster Abbey some time ago.
Here’s our whole interview: Reclaiming Worship: An Interview with Dan Wilt and N.T. Wright. (It’s also on iTunes — search N.T. Wright in the US store and hear clips).
He offered a rich thought among many for the emerging Church discussion. He suggested that every time a church movement declares itself to be “free” of all the bells and smells, robes and liturgies, and organization monolith of the Church historic, interesting things begin to happen.
They prepare for their “new and novel” meeting by using an overhead or computer projector.
They choose songs.
They prepare the band, and they select ancient prayers (often with excitement, declaring, “These old things are great. Who knew?”).
They read the scriptures out loud.
Can you say… liturgy?
I.e. Let’s face it. Human beings are human beings. Certain expressions are natural for a storied civilization, reinforce the Story and are good over an hour or over a millenium. Other’s are not.
There’s nothing new under the Church sun.
Should both the content of worship, and the form of worship, undergo reform? Yes. Should we throw out old things for the sake of the new and novel? No.
Postmodernism isn’t the point. Human beings are.