Category Archives: Shock and Awe

Ending Liturgical Embarrassment


When on the road, the missus and I will visit the congregations of Protestant road teams (non-Presbyterians) and we find that liturgical churches (Lutheran and Episcopal) save us the embarrassment of sitting through very strange and often irreverent worship in settings where prayer books, liturgical orders, or lots of Scripture reading are absent. A set… Read More→

Posted in Shock and Awe | Tagged , , , , | 49 Responses

Worship in Spirit and Truth or Place

St. Columba's

On Sunday, with English-speaking Protestant churches in short supply in The Eternal City, I took advantage of streaming audio but also decided to observe the 10:00 Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran. When in Rome do as some of the Romans do (I say some because the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday, Romans turned… Read More→

Also posted in Adventures in Church History, Christianity and the West, Reformed Protestantism, Roman Catholicism | Tagged , , | 19 Responses

The Book for which New Calvinists Have Been Waiting


Recovering Mother Kirk was at one time selling for upwards of $200 at some used book outlets, much more a function of economics than of talent (Baker pulled the plug sooner than markets became saturated). Now it is back in print, thanks to the folks at Wipf & Stock. Here is a sample that may… Read More→

Also posted in Confessionalism, Shameless Selves Promotion | Tagged , , , | 24 Responses

P&W, the Next Generation


At roughly 2:30 of

Also posted in Modern Church | Tagged , , , | 45 Responses

Is Scripture Like Sweetbreads or Broccoli?


Danny Hyde makes a case for reading Scripture in a way that will “inflame.” It could be (all about) my cold heart, but I’ve always been wary of getting close to fire. It may shed light, but it also consumes (as in our God is a consuming fire). Still, what struck me as curious about… Read More→

Also posted in Are They On Their Meds?, High Church Presbyterianism, Piety without Exuberance | Tagged , , | 163 Responses

When Biblicism Fails

john frame

Back in the day before Bryan Cross I was debating John Frame on worship. His tack was to say that his brief for contemporary worship was biblical while those who criticized Praise & Worship worship (note redundantly the redundancy) were simply historical or traditional. The innuendo was that Frame’s critics were in the position of… Read More→

Also posted in Because Someone Has to Provide Oversight, New World Presbyterianism, Shameless Selves Promotion | 10 Responses

Why Is it Godly Patriotism When We Do It, and Jihad When They Do It?


Making the world safe for Julia Ward Howe (thanks to our Iowa correspondent): Holy war can seem like something that happened long ago or that happens far away — the Crusades of medieval Europe, for example, or jihadists fighting secular forces today. But since their country’s founding, Americans have often thought of their wars as… Read More→

Also posted in Novus Ordo Seclorum, spirituality of the church | Tagged , , , , | 52 Responses

Defining Idolatry Down


Now that Roman Catholics have a pope, attention has turned to Washington D.C. and arguments before the Supreme Court over the Defense of Marriage Act. A couple of posts by the Allies caught (all about) my eye. The first came from Joe Carter who went all in by tying Christian tolerance of gay marriage to… Read More→

Also posted in Because Someone Has to Provide Oversight, Christian politics | Tagged , , , | 42 Responses

Send This to Members of Praise Bands Before It is Too Late!!!


If only James K. A. Smith had been the editor with whom John Frame worked on his worship books, the world of conservative Presbyterianism might be a lot more liturgically coherent than it is. I (all about me) don’t usually agree entirely with Smith, though I admire his provocations within the world of neo-Calvinism. But… Read More→

Posted in Shock and Awe | Tagged , , , | 25 Responses

Frame, Escondido, and Worship


One of Frame’s objections to “Escondido Theology” pertains to worship. Here are the bullet points from his book: WORSHIP/PIETY • It is wrong to try to make the gospel relevant to its hearers. • Worship should be very traditional, without any influence of contemporary culture. • The Sabbath pertains only to worship, not to daily… Read More→

Posted in Shock and Awe | Tagged , , | 26 Responses