Week 2 Notes

Worship artisan – schooled in the worship arts.. thinking about what it is in it’s expansive sense as well as within a faith community

They know what it is to do this at a funeral, hospital. They know what it is to lead people to a place where they can interact with God.

Wired to express the faith creatively.

Historically connected.

Culturally comfortable.

Worship leaders help people understand who the God is who loves them & who gave himself to them.

“Is the story that Christians are telling the world about God, Jesus, the Spirit, human beings, creation, where we both began and are going to, and how to right the world – is that story as large as the actual biblical Story? First of all, are we telling the right Story? Second of all, are we telling it well?” In other words, has the vision of God we are presenting to the world in our worship sets, sermons, media offerings and conversations shrunk to the size of our current church categories?

Is there a view of God that is thoroughly biblical, and yet also compelling enough the shock the
embedded theology and worldview of the average human being into a faith awakening?

For some of us, that is how we have done our daily theology in churches, events and books. We
tell digital stories about God, humans and the world, and we quest for ever-increasing exactness and
accuracy as we tell those stories.

To be true to the scriptures is to make less of a science out of theology, and more of an art form
out of the work of discovering God in the scriptures – and in the world around us.

Many times, Christians seem to believe that the best answers in the world are the simple answers,
and indeed, this may sometimes be the case. However, we see in the glory of the atom (which, as
particles ever smaller are discovered and documented in their activity, may turn out to be made
completely of light – i.e. light being the possible the building block of all matter13), and the
vastness of the space beyond our atmosphere (billions of stars, solar systems, galaxies, nebula and
other celestial wall hangings in the divine studio) that God delights in complexity.

…Embrace that the physical world (the material world) and the spiritual world
(the immaterial world) are good.

…Understand that creation should be treated with dignity and respect, not as a
passing consumable for our use.

…Celebrate the beauties of life, creation and the interactions within creation’s
framework as profoundly as we articulate the brokenness within the human heart.
In other words, the work of the Christian is to advance the cause of beauty and life in
the world. Based on our theology of God as Creator, we choose not only to present the
biblical message of sin and distance from God in our creativity (we seem to have done
this with great effort in recent centuries), but we choose to create works of liturgical or
fine art that call human beings to that for which they were made – to stand astounded
by the gift and glory that is the created order – and to give God praise for it.

…Acknowledge that actions, and not personal feelings, are the primary indicator
that we have chosen to follow God.

…Retool the language of worship music and liturgy to terms indicating the
foundational actions of the Christian life – namely surrender, allegiance,
loyalty and commitment. Contemporary evangelical Christians, with our
powerful 20th/21stcentury revelations of the love of God and the restoration that
comes in the human personality in communion with Him (often through the gift
of worship music), can mistakenly believe that a vibrant biblical faith is marked
by continual and lasting emotional experiences of ecstasy with God. While this
revelation of the nearness of God (namely, God’s imminence) is both powerful
and necessary to the enduring Christian life, it was never meant to be the central
understanding of worship that guides our services or our songs.

God is best understood in the relationships that exist within Him – namely Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

From the beginning of time, the scriptures convince us that we are being pursued. The Christian
faith is not primarily one of “chasing God,” but rather of being “chased by God.” We are not
primarily the “finders”; we are the “found”. We are not primarily the “seekers”; we are the “sought
after”.

The Cross Is A Vicarious Act

“Resurrection isn’t a fancy way of saying ‘going to heaven when you die.’ It is not about
‘life after death’ as such. Rather, it’s a way of talking about being bodily alive again after
a period of being bodily dead. Resurrection is a second- stage postmortem life: ‘life after
‘life after death.’’”29

“…As the Eastern Orthodox churches have always emphasized, when Jesus rose again
God’s whole new creation emerged from the tomb, introducing a world full of new
potential and possibility. Indeed, precisely because part of that new possibility is for human
beings themselves to be revived and renewed, the resurrection of Jesus doesn’t leave us as
passive, helpless spectators. We find ourselves lifted up, set on our feet, given new breath in
our lungs, and commissioned to go and make new creation happen in the world.”30

According to the New Testament, the final resting place of human beings who follow the new Adam
(meaning “humankind”), Jesus, is not heaven. While heaven figures prominently into story that
Jesus weaves in the Gospels, it is not the end goal. Eternity, for you and I, lies right here on terra
firma – earth – only a renewed earth, and a renewed heaven.31

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