My senior pastor has been doing a series this summer on worship, so this subject has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks. For this reason I was researching worship and stumbled onto an interesting article.
I know that most of us know what the term “seeker sensitive” means when referring to the local church. For most of us with a “high view” of scripture, meaning we believe it to be the final authority in faith and life, have seen the seeker movement as a watering down of the scripture or gospel to make it more “understandable” for the unbeliever. Yet scripture teaches that “the Word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing”. (1 Cor. 1:18) Which means that the seeker sensitive churches are watering down something that the unbeliever is not going to naturally understand anyway.
Today I read an article in Christianity Today Magazine online that throws the pendulum in the other direction. The article quotes a medieval mystic, yes you heard right, Meister Eckhart who states, “to know him (I think he means God) is to know him as unknowable…God’s worth and God’s perfection cannot be put into words…”. I wonder why the Holy Spirit of God spent all that time inspiring the writers of the bible to write about God? The author of the article goes on to say “In other words, God is anything but “meaningful,” “understandable,” or intelligible.” And worship, if it is authentic worship of the biblical God, will, at some level, remain incomprehensible.”
First of all how can a magazine that calls itself “Christianity Today” believe it would have any credibility in quoting a known medieval mystic? What are they thinking? How far have we strayed from the doctrinal path when we are quoting mystics? To quote one of the reviewers of the article, “Deep heresy is not improvement over shallow truth.” I agree whole-heartedly.
So there you go. The pendulum has swung to the extreme other side. I am not sure if this is a rebound to the superficialness of the seeker-sensitive movement, or the next generation of cultism, but it is definitely a whiff swing when it comes to true God-centered worship. The worship of God involves praise for who he is, and what He has done. If we cannot comprehend Him in some way, how can we possibly have any idea how to worship Him? Pure silliness.
This coming Sunday our senior pastor (I have to smile when I think of Pat and the word senior in the same sentence. He’s not even 40 yet.) Pat Abendroth promises that his series on worship will hit the controversial trail as the focus will be on the music aspect of worship. I will link the sermon after this next Sunday morning.
August 15, 2007 at 2:17 am
Johannes Eckhart O.P. (c. 1260–c. 1328), also known as Eckhart von Hochheim and widely referred to as Meister Eckhart, was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Erfurt, in Thuringia. Meister is German for “Master”, referring to the academic title he obtained in Paris. Coming into prominence during the decadent Avignon Papacy and a time of increased tensions between the Franciscans and Eckhart’s Dominican Order of Preacher Friars, he was brought up on charges later in life before the local Franciscan led Inquisition. Tried as a heretic by Pope John XXII, his “Defence” is famous for his reasoned arguments to all challenged articles of his writing and his refutation of heretical intent. He purportedly died before his verdict was received, although no record of his death or burial site has ever been discovered. Well known for his work with pious lay groups such as the Friends of God and succeeded by his more circumspect disciples of John Tauler and Henry Suso, he has gained a large following in recent years. In his study of medieval humanism, Richard Southern includes him along with Bede and Saint Anselm as emblematic of the intellectual spirit of the late Middle Ages.
August 15, 2007 at 3:05 am
Thank you Anne for the information about Meister Eckhart.
I’m not sure what your point is in reference to what was stated above. Could you clarify or make a point?