Al Mohler on Worship

MohlerTypically, I answer a question on the blog on Fridays. It ain’t happening today. Along with preparing for the conference next week, I’m attending my nephew’s wedding this weekend.

But I have a great resource to recommend. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has posted three helpful articles on worship. You may think, "What does the president of a Southern Baptist seminary have to say about worship?" Plenty.

Dr. Mohler is a brilliant thinker, a lover of God’s Word, an insightful commentator on our culture, and a man who desires to see Jesus Christ exalted in His Church. I’ve had the opportunity to interact with him when I’ve been at the SBTS campus over the past few years, and have always come away grateful to God for his life and ministry.

Some samples:

On who should care about worship:

"Scripture makes clear that worship is something that we do, not just
something we attend. It is not merely an issue for the pastor and other
ministers. It is not just an issue for the musicians and those who will
plan the service. It is an issue for the entire congregation, for
worship is something we do together. It is our corporate and common
responsibility to worship God as He desires."

On the weightiness of our worship:

"My haunting thought concerning much evangelical worship is that the God
of the Bible would never be known by watching us worship. Instead what
we see in so many churches is "McWorship" of a "McDeity." But what kind
of God is that superficial, that weightless, and that insignificant?"

On different musical styles:

"Will styles change? Yes. But the worship must always be God directed.
Will there be a diversity of styles in worship? Yes, but there must be
one glorious purpose following this clear biblical pattern: to measure
everything by the norm of scripture, in which God has revealed how He
wishes to be worshiped."

Here are the links for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Enjoy.


3 Responses to Al Mohler on Worship

  1. MARILYN August 5, 2006 at 7:58 AM #

    Thanks again, Bob, for searching out and sharing these so rich and illuminating bites of spiritual food.

    Only by His grace,


  2. dan mcgowan August 7, 2006 at 9:59 AM #

    For the most part, I really agree with, and like, these comments on worship. I have found that this matter of changing styles reads a lot better on paper than it does in the reality of life inside a church. What I mean is, we all nod our heads in agreement that there needs to be variety in our worship styles – then, someone brings in the youth praise band to lead worship – and many of those head nodders get up and walk out – scrunching their faces and clapping their hands over their ears in a major visual display of their displeasure with the “rock and roll” music being done in church. So much for diversity. Or, you alter the tempo a bit of a great classic hymn – add a drum beat or accoustic guitar – and now you have “ruined that hymn.” Again, diversity sounds nice – but what happens when we REALLY try to be diverse… in the end, it does not really matter so much what we say or preach, does it? What matters is WHO WE ARE in reality. That youth band, for example, is not going to feel very welcomed in their home church which means the FUTURE of that church is pretty much up for grabs…

    I’ve been around a long time and I’ve heard all the typical (and flimsy) terms used to describe worship in many churches. Though everyone tries to be careful as they toss out phrases like “McWorship” everyone knows that the issue being discussed in most cases is contemporary worship. That is a shame. Because, again, if God truly wants variety, then perhaps the “McWorship” aspect some point their fingers at is not really as “McWorship” as they think – in fact, perhaps it is more “Whopperish” but they just can’t accept it because it does not fit their small definition of what TRUE Biblical worship is all about. I think less finger pointing and more acceptance is the key to true Christian body life. Because in heaven, it ain’t gonna be ONE style… let’s get used to that NOW so we’re not in culture shock later!

  3. Jeff August 8, 2006 at 5:45 PM #

    I found Mohler’s article very refreshing and informative. Dan’s response illustrates the issue. Obviously, Dan feels some anger in the response of the head-nodders who, when confronted with a different style, demonstrate a judgmental spirit. Yet, I sense that Dan is also demonstrating that same spirit on the other side of the aisle. We would hope that careful and prayerful evalutation of every change would also include some deference particulary in respect of disagreement. Worship also requires a spirit of unity in the whole body. A great deal of innovative contemporary worship tends to polarize age and taste preferences. This certainly is not pleasing to God. Thankfully, our transformation into Christ’s likeness will make these issues of no consequence in glory.

    Gratefully in His mercy,


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