My Easter article on crosswalk.com encouraged readers to consider the benefits of the church calendar and similar “tradition” as a way to deepen their worship experiences. Apparently the topic of liturgy–its pros and cons–has become a centerpiece of discussion in recent months among Protestants in both low and high church traditions.
Anglicans/Episcopalians argue that liturgy teaches the scripture in greater breadth–every 3 years the Bible is read aloud in its entirety–whereas in non-liturgical churches the pastor picks his favorite verses and much of the Bible is never taught. Of course, the low church protestants complain that too often “tradition” overrules or supercedes the authority of scripture, and the Bible is interpreted through tradition too much.
That’s just a taste of the discussion. The disagreements between the two views are too innumerable to cite here. But I believe the discussion is worth the work, worth the potential conflict. Some old Bible church friends from college have become Anglicans since last I saw them 12 years ago. We recently discussed their “switch.” As a former Catholic, I’m intrigued. So when I read Scot McKinght’s discussion on Jesus Creed about a new book on the topic, I perked up. Beyond Bells and Smells is written by Mark Galli, senior managing editor at Christianity Today and an evangelical Anglican, a member at the Church of the Resurrection in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
Check out Scot’s summary of the book, and the interesting dialogue that ensued amongst his readers. What do you think about the whole idea of liturgy? Is it from the devil? Does it lead you closer to God? Somewhere in between?