Worship as the Shape of Christian Life

I. The Most Excellent Way
Worship is the inner and outer life of God (Rev. 4-5)
The cosmos is a hierarchy of loves (Augustine)
All creation would worship (Ps. 19:1)
Proper worship (orthodoxia) has God as its object
Sin, or concupiscence, is "wrongly directed love" (thus idolatry)
Israel is God's worshiping people (Deut. 6)
The end (telos) of all Christian action is the love of God (1 Cor. 13)
Jesus is the ultimate subject and object of worship (Heb. 5:7-10, 7:26-28)
II. Three models of "Christian" worship (James B. Torrance)
1. Unitarian: Relationship "up" from individuals to God (Harnack, Hick)
(Jesus is an example of how to worship; Ebionite?)
2. Existential: Encounter leading "down" to our response (Bultmann, early Barth)
(Jesus is the revelation that confronts us; docetic?)
3. Incarnational/Trinitarian: Sharing in the Son's fellowships through the Spirit
(Jesus is the high priest who includes us in God's prior fellowship)
III. The Shape of Christian Life
The worker of worship (leiturgeos, Heb. 8:2) is the Triune God (9:1, 9:11-14)
In the will of the Father and through the work of Christ, the Holy Spirit ...
1. draws us into the communion between Son and Father (John 17)
2. draws us into the communion of Christ and his body (1 Cor. 12)
3. draws us into the communion of saints (Rom. 12)
Christian worship is thus:
1. God-directed, Christ-shaped, Spirit-driven (Acts 2)
2. Social and personal, directed down and up and sideways (Rom. 12)
3. Public and private (Matt. 5:14-16, 6:1-18)
4. Intelligible only as the unfolding Kingdom of God (Amos 5:21-24)
The Psalter is the Church's prayer book, expressing adoration in song and prayer