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On Worship - a New View?

This page is written for Christians, mainly of an evangelical persuasion, and by one of them, about a topic that is close to many hearts. Other readers might miss some of the implications and connotations. Click here to bypass 'Setting the Scene' and go direct to 'A New View of Worship'.

Setting the Scene

We are created to worship God. Right? Not really, according to Richard Middleton in his new book A New Heaven and A New Earth. On page 39 he writes that "the real purpose of humanity is never explicitly portrayed in Scripture as the worship of God". This comes as something of a shock, because as he writes "In popular Chritian lore, it is almost axiomatic that humans were created to worship God." Let us look at this.

"I hate your religious feasts; bring justice." [Amos 5:21-24]

"'Let us return to the LORD for healing. ... Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that winter the earth.' What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the monthly mist, like the early dew that disappears. Therefore I cut you in pieces ... For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings." [Hosea 1:1-6]'

"These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips but their heart is far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish." [Isa 29:13-14]

Problems re. Worship

Theology of Worship

Why Have We Misunderstood?

A New View of Worship

References, Notes

Middleton, R. 2014. A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Echatalogy. Baker.

See also an exposition of Jeshoshaphat's worship because "The battle belongs to the LORD".

This page is offered to God as on-going work in developing a 'New View' in theology that is appropriate to the days that are coming upon us. Comments, queries welcome.

Copyright (c) Andrew Basden to latest date below, but you may use this material subject to certain conditions.

Written on the Amiga with Protext.

Created: 18 July 2014. Last updated: 22 August 2015 link to Jehoshaphat; new .nav,.end, corrected date. 13 September 2015 R. Middleton. 28 March 2016 added verse.