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Worship, Worldview, and Way of Life

How does Christian worship form and support a Christian way of life? How do worship services reflect and promote particular Christian practices and ways of thinking?

How does Christian worship form and support a Christian way of life? How do worship services reflect and promote particular Christian practices and ways of thinking? In other words, how can we integrate worship, worldview, and way of life, and discover what Romano Guardini described as liturgy that “goes out like ripples into the world”?

In an address at the 2005 Symposium on Worship, David Naugle, chair and professor of philosophy at Dallas Baptist University, posed these three provocative questions:

What doctrinal guidance and influence should a Christian worldview have on the content and character of the corporate worship of the church? How can and should the church's biblically based, all-embracing vision of life inform the proclamation of the Word and the administration of the sacraments in the church's worship?

Second, in turn, how might the totality of the church's worship embody and manifest a scripturally-based, comprehensive account of the cosmos and human existence? How should the liturgy (of whatever kind) inform and shape the essential consciousness and worldview of the Christian community? How should worship help us better understand God, the universe, our world, and ourselves? How should it also articulate the unique identity of the church as well?

Finally, what is or should be the compelling influence of both worldview and worship on the spiritual and moral formation of believers and their way of life in the world? In what way might worldview-based worship be the heart of the church's paideia (education/training) in transforming the thought-styles, desires, and habits of believers into a God glorifying Christ-likeness? What epistemic assumptions and kind of pedagogy make such transformation possible, so that believers become [in the words of Debra Dean Murphy] "constituted differently"?

Naugle's address (available at his home page), is an essential conversation-starter, guide, and resource for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship's new initiative, "Liturgical Formation for Transformative Christian Living." We encourage reading, reflection, and discussion of Dr. Naugle's work among worship leaders and worshipers.

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