Over the past several years churches have engaged in an ongoing debate between two different styles of worship, loosely categorized as traditional and contemporary. Here, professor and longtime pastor Ronald Byars argues that many of the differences between the two styles are superficial--and that ultimately both styles embrace the same anthropocentric worldview that grew out of the Enlightenment. Authentic worship, he challenges, is theocentric, not anthropocentric, and therefore worship can and must be both responsive to contemporary culture and grounded in history and tradition. The answer to the debate is not found in pleasing congregants but in exploring worship that is biblical, that honors our communion with the saints, and that takes seriously the ways that our culture is reshaping us. Byars concludes with a narrative description of a Protestant worship service that is both authentic and postmodern.
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