Saturday, December 01, 2018

My letter to Evangelicals Now in response to criticism of Reformation Worship

With reference to John Samuel's critique of Gibson and Earngey, (December 2018),I read no unreformed high church teaching in their excellent historical compilation of Reformed liturgies. No-one has suggested that regular repetition of set liturgy is capable of producing spiritual life. This letter seems to be but a modern manifestation of the traditional Free Church reaction against the folly of historic enforced conformity to the Book of Common Prayer.
   I was raised on the sparse diet of the traditional nonconformist hymn prayer sandwich. Set forms, written prayers were regarded as less spiritual than the extempore. Now, having become familiar with a richer Reformed liturgical tradition I experience no regular repetitive recitation of the same forms but a rich variety Sunday after Sunday. Gibson and Earngey are not returning us to pre-Reformation liturgical forms but to a rich historic heritage previously neglected. I have used their book for personal devotions too and have been fascinated to see how persecuted saints prayed for their rulers and fellow sufferers.

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