When God Speaks Are We Listening: How Worship Defines The Church

One of the fundamental aspects that drew me to the Reformed Church was worship or more precisely, liturgy; the how and why of what we do on the Lord’s Day. Growing up in an Evangelical/Charismatic Church, I was instructed in a certain method with regards to how one worshiped God. As I grew older, I had the increasing sense that the focus of our worship was misaligned and honestly, the songs that we employed tended to leave me with the feeling that I was trying to impress God. This piece by W. Robert Godfrey, I think, sums up and explains about where I came to and further stresses the importance of how we do worship and what we think it is.

One great difficulty that we Reformed folk have in thinking about worship is that our worship in many places has unwittingly been accommodated to evangelical ways. If we are to appreciate our Reformed heritage in worship and, equally importantly, if we are to communicate its importance, character, and power to others, we must understand the distinctive character of our worship. 

One of the challenges of being Reformed in America is to figure out the relationship between what is evangelical and what is Reformed. Protestantism in America is dominated by the mainline Protestants, the evangelicals, and the charismatics. After these dominant groups, other major players would include the confessional Lutherans.

But where do the Reformed fit in, particularly in relation to the evangelicals, with whom historically we have been most closely linked?
Some observers argue that the confessional Reformed are a subgroup in the broader evangelical movement. Certainly over the centuries in America, the Reformed have often allied themselves with the evangelicals, have shared much in common with the evangelicals, and have often tried to refrain from criticizing the evangelical movement.
But are we Reformed really evangelical?

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