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Showing posts from November, 2018

What shape should our worship take?

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Worship is the primary ministry of the church. Through worship, the church prepares to participate with Christ in his mission to draw the world into worship.[1] Worship and mission are thus integrally connected. Knowing this leads us to ask: What shape should our worship take? The answer from Scripture and 2,000 years of Christian experience is that authentic Christian worship is Christ-centered and gospel-shaped.

This understanding has significant implications for how we approach liturgy (our form of worship). Though some Christians favor what is sometimes called "non-liturgical" or "free" worship, it can be argued on the basis of Scripture and Christian history that a liturgical form of worship (one that follows the annual pattern shown below) is a helpful, even essential tool for honoring God in worship while drawing the church together in unity of belief and practice, leading to the spiritual formation of its members, including their involvement in Christ'…

Inhabiting the Christian Year: Lent

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This is part 5 of a series exploring the Western Christian year (liturgical calendar). For other posts in this series, click a number: 12, 3, 4, 678.
Cycles of Light and Life So far in this series, following an introduction, we've looked at Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. These three seasons of worship comprise what is sometimes called the cycle of light because all three focus on the coming/revelation of Jesus, who is the light of the world and the light of life (John 8:12). That cycle is then followed in the liturgical calendar by the cycle of life, which includes Lent, Easter and Pentecost---three seasons that focus on the purposes for which Christ came, namely
the self-giving sacrifice of his life to free the world from the domain of Satan and thus secure forgiveness and healing for the peoples of the world. Consequently, as we reflect on both the cycles of light and life, we are drawn into the inescapable fact of how the birth and death of Jesus are of a single piece, a…

GCI’s Theological Conversion

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In a special worship service held on October 14, 2018 in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Joseph Tkach passed the baton of Grace Communion International's presidency to Dr. Greg Williams. As part of that service, several GCI leaders recounted aspects of Dr. Tkach's legacy. One presentation was given by Dr. Gary Deddo, President of Grace Communion Seminary. Below is the text of his presentation. To watch a video with presentations from Dr. Deddo and others, click here
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A central element of President Tkach’s leadership has involved overseeing GCI’s theological renewal, indeed, its theological conversion. With his guidance, the denomination became comprehensively biblical, Christ-centered, grace-based, new covenant oriented, trinitarian and therefore historically orthodox. That conversion of fundamental belief and orientation of the church’s life and worship showed itself in many ways. It had an impact to some degree in every dimension of the denomination’s life and of …