Liturgy Liberation

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.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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