I was reading Bob Kauflin’s Worship Matters blog last night and stumbled across this statement:
It seems that when it comes to worship, we tend to speak in polarized categories. Rock music or a cappella. Edifying or evangelistic. Planned or spontaneous. Reverent or celebrative. For God or for us. We determine who’s on our side, draw lines in the sand, and seek to discredit those who don’t see things our way. Rarely do we consider that God is so vast and our understanding so finite, that we often have to hold conflicting, or at least apparently conflicting, truths in tension. Or maybe we just have a hard time understanding how God made us different in some ways so that we might learn from one another.
In any case, humble, thoughtful dialogue in these areas may not change our view, but it will certainly help us become more like the Savior we worship.
Apparently he will teaching some folks this very principle at his WorshipGod06 Conference (I really like how all the words are scrunched together, which makes the conference very cool). I find this quotation very interesting. I would first simply observe that Christians are explicitly instructed to worship “with reverence” (μετα ευλαβειας in Hebrews 12:28) in the New Testament, while it is nowhere that we are told to worship in a “celebrative” manner.
I would moreover ask Bob Kauflin, with respect, just how “vast” should we consider God? Perhaps we could say the same thing about some particular doctrines. Could we say, for example, that God is really not just limited to our traditional conception of the Triune God? Maybe those that say that Jesus had a beginning should not be really labeled as heretics. Is this another example where our understanding is finite and God is vast?
Or perhaps the different “truths” on eternal punishment should be similarly blessed under the vastness of God and our being finite. Should we stop insisting on our particularly favored doctrine and realize that God may just be vast enough to include many different versions? Exactly how do you hold “truths,” which are in such fierce conflict, in tension?
Moreover, how is viewing “conflicting truths” as both true anything like Jesus? Was it not he who told us explicitly that we must worship in truth? Is it not he who is Truth? Was he really all that patient with “conflicting truths”? Was it not Jesus who one time got really, really upset at some persons who were defiling the temple, the place of worship for the Jewish people? Perhaps we could have some examples from the Scripture of Jesus saying that conflicting truths are actually all true because God is vast. Moreover, since when is it a mark of humility to let something that you are convinced from scripture to be not true pass for truth in the “vastness of God”?
I must say that this post by Pastor Kauflin greatly baffles me.