“Our Theological Vision:
Core Values: Thoughtful & Robust Liturgical Worship”
March 20, 2022
Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service
The Reading of the Word
This morning, we come to the third Sunday of eight in which we will be discussing our theological vision as a congregation.
On our first Sunday, we talked about our core purpose, and we said that Faith Presbyterian Church exists to be God’s instrument in making, maintaining, and maturing disciples for Jesus Christ.
Last Sunday we discussed our first core value: that as a congregation, we are committed to the deep exposition of Holy Scripture.
Today we come to our second core value: Thoughtful & Robust Liturgical Worship.
As with the last two weeks, there is a lot we could say on this topic, and so we will spend both this morning and this evening on it, and will still only scratch the surface. This morning I want to give a big picture view of some of the key traits we aim for in our worship. This evening we will dig a bit more into the basis of that framework, as we consider what it means to approach our worship with a “Whole-Bible Regulative Principle.”
We’ll be drawing from many texts this morning, but we’ll begin with Exodus 24:1-11.
Please do listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning.
24:1 Then he [that is, God] said to Moses, “Come up to Yahweh, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. 2 Moses alone shall come near to Yahweh, but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.”
3 Moses came and told the people all the words of Yahweh and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that Yahweh has spoken we will do.” 4 And Moses wrote down all the words of Yahweh. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to Yahweh. 6 And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” 8 And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that Yahweh has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.
This is the word of the Lord. (Thanks be to God.)
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25]
Let’s pray …
Prayer of Illumination
Lord, we ask that your steadfast love would be upon us,
according to your promise.
Take not your word of truth from our lips,
for we know that our hope is in your revelation spoken to us.
Help us to keep your commands continually,
to walk in your ways in all areas of life,
to speak your truth to the people and the powers around us,
to find our delight in your testimony to us,
and to love your revelation to us.
Grant this now as we turn to your word together,
and all the days of our lives.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
[Based on Psalm 119:41,43-47]
This was a difficult sermon for me to put together, as there is far too much to say. I have been trying to improve at focusing my sermons more on one main thing, rather than trying to cover several different things that could be said, and to try to do that on this topic is just a nightmare for me. I kept getting distracted from preparing these two sermons with thoughts of the nineteen-part sermon series on liturgy I’d like to be doing instead.
Nonetheless, I’ve tried to restrain myself. The result is that important things will invariably be missing today. But I’ve tried to focus on what are some of the especially important aspects of what it means for us to value and to pursue thoughtful and robust liturgical worship.
Some of what is missing this morning we will talk about tonight. Other elements will need to wait for another day … and maybe for that future nineteen-part series … which will probably turn into at least a twenty-two-part series.
This morning, I want to simply go through some of the key aspects of a thoughtful and robust approach to liturgical worship, which is so important to us here at Faith Presbyterian Church.
1. Christian Worship Should Be Dialogical
The first aspect for us to consider is that Christian worship should be a dialogue between God and his people.
Now, in saying dialogue, just to be clear, I do not mean a dialogue between equals. Not at all. God is our Father and King – we are his children and subjects.
Nonetheless, worship in the Bible is a dialogue – it is a back and forth. God speaks to us as his people, and we are to respond – over and over again. God calls us to worship, we respond with worship. God calls us to confess, and we confess. God pronounces forgiveness, we thank and praise him. God instructs us, we ask for his help. God blesses us, and we praise him. That is the pattern we see in the Scriptures again and again. It marked the biblical worship of Israel and the early church. Worship, in this way, is both receptive, and active – we both listen and we speak and act.
And we see this in our text, in Exodus 24. Here we have both a covenant ceremony and a picture of worship – as we will discuss more in a moment. But within it, we see back-and-forth. God clearly initiates things, as he calls the people to worship in the first two and a half verses. God’s people then respond in verse three, and they prepare to do what God has called them to in verses four and five. In verse seven the words of the covenant are read to them, and then they respond, committing themselves to it. Having consecrated his people by the blood of the covenant, God then calls a representative portion of the people to draw closer into God’s presence, and they respond by coming close, and then eating a meal in his presence then him. God speaks, and then waits for their response, the people receive and then act, back and forth, in dialogue. This is the pattern of biblical worship not just here in Exodus 24, but in so many places in the Bible.
Yet there is often a temptation away from this dialogical pattern, and towards something that is dominated by either reception or activity.
In some settings, worship is primarily treated as something that we do – something we offer to God. You can even hear this in Reformed settings, as someone will boast that worship is not something we do in order to receive anything from God, but something we do in order to give glory to God. And that can sound very spiritual. But it’s not biblical. While worship is not to be self-seeking, and while we are to offer ourselves in devotion, God’s people always receive blessing in worship – that is the pattern of worship in the Bible.
On the other end, some see worship only as reception. And this too can be seen in some strands of the Reformed Church where the congregation is largely passive – even reduced to mostly being spectators. They watch and listen while others speak, and others pray, and others do different things. But they are largely quiet and receptive. And it’s true that we do come to worship to humbly receive from the Lord. But he also calls us to respond – to speak, to pray, to sing.
Worship in the Bible is a dialogue between God and his people – it is dialogical. And that is what we seek for it to be here as well.
In that dialogue, the minister stands in as an ambassador for the Lord. That’s why the minister is set apart. That’s why he calls the people to worship and to confession. It’s why he pronounces forgiveness, and instructs from God’s word, and presides at the table, and gives the benediction. It’s not because I, as an individual, am better than you – not at all, we can prove that pretty quickly. It’s because I’ve been called to speak not for myself, but to speak on behalf of another – of one who is better than you and than me. I am commissioned as the Lord’s ambassador, to speak in the worship service on his behalf. And so, while the service may at times look like a conversation between me and you, it is actually a conversation between the Lord and his people.
Worship in the Bible is, first of all, dialogical – it is a conversation between God and his people.
2. Christian Worship Should Be Biblical
Second, Christian worship should be biblical. And that means biblical in its elements, its content, and its form.
This is commonly called the regulative principle, and we’ll say more about it tonight. But in its simplest form, it is the principle that God should decide what our worship should be like – not us. He sets the terms of our dialogue with him.
That means first that the elements of our worship must come from the Scriptures: whether by command or example, and whether by clear statement or deduction from the text.
And so, our worship contains the elements like prayer, reading from Scripture, preaching from Scripture, singing psalms and spiritual songs, giving of tithes and offerings, the Lord’s Supper, and baptism. These are the elements of our worship.
Second, the content of our worship comes from (or is based on) the Scriptures. Those are the things we say and pray and hear – the things we sing and read – they are words that are rooted the Bible or drawn from its theology. The content of our worship must come from the Scriptures.
But third – and this is often overlooked – the Bible also must determine the structure of our worship.
This aspect is often neglected because no order of service is given in the New Testament. But as Christians, we believe that the whole Bible provides instruction for us – not just the New Testament, but also the Old. This is important because the Regulative Principle itself – the very idea that our worship must be rooted in the Bible – comes from the Old Testament, with Leviticus 10:1-2 being the classic text.
Now, of course, many adjustments must be made as we consider how the principles of Old Testament worship apply to the Church today – no one would dispute that, and we’ll say more about that this evening. But the principles of the whole Bible do, in fact, apply to us. And once we recognize that, we realize both that worship in the Old Testament can provide guidance for our worship today, and that when we look more closely, we do, in fact, see a structure there that should guide our own worship.
Now, I’m going to compress a lot of information here. If you’d like to hear a bit more elaboration on it, I encourage you to join us tonight. And if you’d like even more elaboration, I can point you to some good resources – one of my professors in seminary actually wrote his dissertation on this subject. But for now, we need to do the big-picture overview.
If you’ve read through the Bible, then you know that Old Testament worship is made up of a number of different sacrifices. If you have read through them all, particularly in the book of Leviticus, they can often blend together in our minds. But they are actually distinct, and each emphasizes a distinctive aspect of worship.
The purification offerings (sometimes called “sin offerings” or “guilt offerings”) were a group of sacrifices that provided cleansing – either from actual sin and guilt, or from some form of ceremonial uncleanness, which was often a symbolic picture of sin, or guilt, or their consequence: death. The emphasis of these sacrifices – these purification offerings – is on cleansing and forgiveness of sin through the sprinkling or pouring or display of blood.
The ascension offering, called the “burnt offering” in the ESV, emphasized the fact that the sacrificed animal, as a representative of the human worshiper, would be transformed by God – cut up by the priests and changed by the fire, and then drawn up into God’s presence in the form of smoke. With the emphasis on transforming the animal by cutting it up and burning it so that it would ascend to the presence of the glory-cloud that would hover over the tabernacle, the focus was on God’s transforming work to draw others closer to himself.
The tribute offering, called the “grain offering” in the ESV, emphasized the worshipper’s commitment to the Lord, by paying him tribute as their king. And in offering their tribute also offered themselves to the Lord. The focus was on the people’s pledge of loyalty to God, in response to what he had done for them.
And the peace offering was a meal that emphasized the worshipper’s fellowship with God. It was the only form of sacrifice that the worshipper himself ate, and the focus was on God’s people enjoying table fellowship in the special presence of the Lord.
Each of those four categories of sacrifice highlighted a theme: cleansing, transformation, commitment, and communion.
And in the Old Testament, when they were performed together, they always went in the same order. The pattern is almost always from purification offering, to ascension offering, and then to peace offering. Within that pattern, the tribute offering is often linked to the ascension offering – with the people professing their commitment to the Lord as he symbolically transforms them.
This pattern was documented by Anson Rainey. What Rainey pointed out is that there are two kinds of lists of sacrifices in the Old Testament: administrative lists, and procedural lists. The procedural lists are given in the order in which the sacrifices are to be offered, while the administrative lists were ordered not by their liturgical order, but according to some other administrative need.
What Rainey points out is that with the exception of one special festival (which is likely reordered for special emphasis of the tribute offering [Farley, “Notes,” 17 n.26]), the sacrifices always follow the same pattern when they are offered together: purification, then ascension (which usually includes the tribute), and finally there is the peace offering.
Of course, before those sacrifices begin, the Lord calls the people together for worship. And after the worship is complete, God blesses them and sends them out again.
That leaves us with the following order: calling, purification, ascension, fellowship, and then sending.
That is the consistent pattern of worship in the Old Testament. And while much has changed between then and now in our worship, there is no obvious reason why that pattern should change.
Which might lead us to ask: what is that pattern based on?
3. Christian Worship Should Be Covenantal
That brings us to a third aspect for us to consider: Christian worship should be covenantal.
The covenant is the formal structure of God’s relationship with his people – the way in which he has bound himself to them, the way in which he saves them, and the way in which he maintains his relationship to them. And since the covenant is how God’s relationship to his people is structured, it only makes sense that Christian worship, which is so central to that relationship, would reflect the covenant.
And this is where we can turn to our text from Exodus 24 in more detail. Because in this passage the Lord confirms his covenantal relationship with his people. And what we see in how the Lord confirms this covenant with Israel is the same pattern which he later calls them to worship in.
First, the Lord calls his people together and they respond – that is what we see in verses one through five.
Then, in verse six, Moses displays the blood of the sacrifices on the altar – an act within the sacrificial system associated with cleansing and atonement.
Next, Moses reads the word of God to the people in verse seven, and they respond with their commitment to the Lord. Here we see carried out among the people what is carried out symbolically in the ascension and tribute offerings: God transforming his people by his word, and their response of self-commitment. Just as in the ascension offering the emphasis is the cutting of the animal and the transforming of it into God’s presence through fire, so God’s word is supposed to do the same thing in the hearts and lives of his people. We are to, as the author of Hebrews puts it, approach the Word of God, knowing that it is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” [4:12] The Word of God cuts. And as we receive it, we are, as the author of Hebrews puts it later, to “offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” [12:28b-29]
In other words, when the Lord converse with his people through is word, he cuts them, consecrates them, and transforms them.
Their response, in the second half of verse seven, are words of self-commitment – the very thing symbolized in the tribute offering.
And then, there is a meal. Sealed with the blood of the covenant, in Exodus 24:9-11 the representative leaders of God’s people eat a meal in his presence.
The same pattern is seen: the Lord calls his people, the Lord cleanses his people, the Lord converses with his people, the Lord communes with his people, and then, by implication once he dismisses them, the Lord commissions his people.
We see that pattern in biblical Old Testament worship. We see it in the covenant-confirmation ceremony under Moses. And we therefore see it in our own worship service as well.
Because that is the pattern of our service: the Lord calls us, the Lord cleanses us, the Lord converses with us, the Lord communes with us, and the Lord commissions us.
You can see it right now if you look through your bulletin: Our worship is rooted in the biblical pattern of worship. And the biblical pattern of worship is rooted in the covenant.
This pattern of worship is sometimes referred to as “covenant renewal worship.” That phrase can be misleading when people understand it bureaucratically instead of relationally. Most of us think of the word “renewal” in terms of a license or a lease – something that expires if you don’t go through the right steps to renew it. But this is not how the term is used when describing covenant renewal worship – as if the covenant of grace would expire if we didn’t jump through the right hoops. No – that’s not it at all, of course. Rather, it is covenant renewal worship in a relational sense. The Lord calls us together to renew, to reaffirm, to reassert, to reestablish his relationship with us in the covenant. And he does that by walking us through the pattern of the covenant of grace over and over again, every week.
And that shape of our service isn’t just biblical and covenantal. It’s also shaped in the form of the gospel.
4. Christian Worship Should be Gospel-Shaped
Which is our fourth element: Christian worship should be gospel-shaped.
And that is true because the covenant of grace is, of course, the covenant of the gospel.
And the gospel follows the pattern of calling, cleansing, conversing, communion, and commission.
As Reformed Christians we affirm that the gospel begins with the call of the Lord on us – his external call and his effectual calling in our hearts. Next, the Lord cleanses us: he justifies us by his grace, forgiving us and washing away our sins. He then consecrates and converses with us: speaking his fatherly word to us, sanctifying us, and assuring us of our adoption as his children. Then, the Lord draws close: he dwells with us, he communes with us, and he feeds us. And finally, he sends us out to live as his people – to love him and to love our neighbors, to live as his disciples, and to make disciples for his kingdom. The pattern of our worship is the pattern of the gospel: Christian worship should be gospel-shaped.
This is also why we have each component of worship every Lord’s Day morning. We can, of course, have aspects of worship that stand alone. We can devote ourselves to God’s word in bible studies. We can devote ourselves to prayer at prayer meeting. We devote ourselves to both the word and prayer in our Sunday evening service – much like the ascension offering that often did stand alone.
Each of those kinds of gathering are important. But none of them, by themselves, are the center of our worship life. The center – the climax – of our worship week as a congregation, happens here, on Sunday morning, where we bring together every aspect of covenantal and biblical worship, and with it we bring together the fullness of the gospel. Here, in our Sunday morning worship, we walk through the pattern of the whole gospel every week. It may feel tedious sometimes, it may feel repetitious – but we keep every movement of the service here, because by keeping them together, we are assured that we walk through the full pattern of the gospel, together, as a church, every Lord’s Day.
And so while many aspects of our life together as a congregation point to the gospel, and have the gospel for its content, our worship can be the center of it all, because it contains the full pattern of the gospel every Lord’s Day morning.
That is the fourth aspect of our worship: it should, in its fullness, be gospel-shaped.
5. Christian Worship Should be Incarnational
Fifth, and finally, Christian worship should be incarnational. Now, people mean different things by that word, so let me be specific about what I mean.
In the incarnation, the transcendent God draws immanently close, so that he can transform his people. That is what the Son of God did when he came in the flesh, and it is what God, by the Holy Spirit, continues to do in Christian worship. In our worship, we are called to cooperate with that incarnational work, and so our worship must include those same elements: It must be transcendent, immanent, and transformational.
And churches are often good at holding on to one of those things, maybe two, but it is a struggle to hold on to all three.
And so, in our cultural setting, which struggles with the idea of transcendence, more and more churches emphasize the immanence of God – his closeness to us – but they downplay his transcendence. This is often reflected in a few ways.
The atmosphere of worship is intentionally kept casual. The architecture of worship is meant to reflect a concert or coffee-shop – settings that are familiar and informal for us. The music of worship is often only rooted in pop music or folk music. The language of the worship service – of not just the sermon, but of any spoken parts of the liturgy, and any songs that are sung – is usually of a lower register, a more informal nature, with little or no poetry. The worship makes is clear that God is immanent. But we don’t encounter or consider or leave with much of a sense of God’s transcendence – his otherness, his holiness, his power, or his glory.
Other churches – either because they are more traditional, or because they are reacting against these more informal churches – they tend to go in the opposite direction. Their worship is all about the transcendence of God. The atmosphere is highly formal. The architecture draws us up and is meant to inspire awe. The music of worship is only rooted in classical, medieval, baroque, or other more formal styles. The language of the service – including the spoken parts of the liturgy and the words of the songs – is usually in a very high register, a more formal nature, highly poetic. The worship makes it clear that God is transcendent. But we don’t encounter or consider or leave with much of a sense of God’s immanence – of his closeness, his tender love, his gentleness, his intimate involvement with every detail of our lives.
Still other churches – in response to either of these two – can then to focus on only the transformational work of God. Their specific emphases can vary: it could be therapeutic, it could be moralistic, it could be some form of activism – whether social or political. And so these churches can look very different from each other. But the common focus is on changing you … but in such a way where God’s transcendence and his imminence become secondary to the pragmatic self-help goals they have for worship. You may not leave with a clear sense of God’s transcendent holiness, or his loving immanence, but you do leave with a sense of how you should be different.
We need to recognize that there’s a real a temptation to grasp on to one of these tendencies by itself … or to lay hold of two of them without the third. But unless we seek to hold on to all three, we lost the incarnational aspect of how God works in our worship, and in our lives.
Transcendence without immanence in worship may be beautiful, but it fails to really touch our lives. Imminence without transcendence in our worship fails to give us the hope of God’s power, or the reverent awe of his holiness.
Worship that tries to be transformational and transcendent but is not immanent, beats us up for not being good enough, but doesn’t help us where we are.
Worship that tries to be transformational and immanent, but is not transcendent, either teaches us to be comfortable where we are, or sends us grasping for human, rather than divine, helps in our lives.
But in the incarnation, we have all three: the transcendent God drew immanently close, so that he could transform his people. And God still works that way, by his Spirit, every Lord’s Day as we gather in worship. And our worship should cooperate with and reflect that.
That means our atmosphere should seek to reflect both the formality of a people meeting their king, and the intimacy of children meeting with their father. That means that in worship we will find ourselves humbly kneeling before God, raising our hands in solemn praise, and quietly attending to the word of our King. It also means that in worship we will have expressions of joy before our Heavenly Father, we will delight in his good gifts to us, and we will be used to hearing the background noises of infants and toddlers that one would expect at any big family gathering.
It means that our music should both draw us upward and meet us where we’re at. It should not merely mimic the popular or folk music around us, but it should draw from the best of the Christian tradition, in beauty and glory. But it should also be accessible to us, it should connect with us in the range of places where we are as a congregation. It should be something we can participate in, not just listen to.
It means that the words of our liturgy, as we speak together, should be of a higher register than what we may casually use out in the world. There should be something poetic in the words we speak and sing, drawing from thousands of years of Christian writing and reflections. But those same words should also be accessible to us – we must know and understand and resonate with what we speak.
And as we seek to bring together both God’s transcendence and his immanence in our worship, our worship should also, by that very fact, become transformational. Because it meets us where we are, even as it calls us to something higher. It meets us where we are, right now, whether in our sin, in our immaturity, or in our limitations, and it calls us upwards to the Lord, by his grace. For that is how the Lord works in his incarnation.
We see that, as we’ve already discussed, in the shape of the worship service, week after week. It meets us where we are, both as image-bearers, and as sinners – calling us to worship, and offering us renewed cleansing of our sin. From there, we receive our God’s Fatherly instruction from his word. We commit ourselves to him afresh, and he invites us once again into his special presence at his kingly family table. And then he blesses us, and sends us out, to live another week as his disciples.
In this way – rooted in the incarnation – worship is a means by which God makes, maintains, and matures disciples in his church.
Every week we come in – whether at the end of a week of victory, or a week of lethargy, or a week of total failure – and in worship the Lord meets us where we are, and then seeks to transform us: cleansing us and calling us upward by his grace, his word, and his table. And then we are sent out, to live for another week as his disciples.
And a week later, we return. And worship is the culmination of the week of discipleship we have just lived. We come into the Lord’s house from our week of discipleship, and we worship God for what he has given us – what he has done for us, and in us, and through us. We offer our confession for the ways we have fallen short. We praise and glorify God for who he is.
And then, just as our worship is the culmination of the previous week, it becomes, once again, the starting point for the week to come, as the Lord cleanses us, converses with us, communes with us at the table, and then commissions us, and sends us out one again.
And the cycle repeats. But as it repeats, it is not a circle without progress but, rather, an upward spiral, slowly moving us upward: receiving us where we are at, and orienting us upwards over and over again.
And this is how Lord’s-Day worship should operate for each one of us: Whether the little one in the pew with her parents, or the octogenarian sitting behind her. Whether the life-long believer, the new Christian … or even the non-Christian.
Because while our worship service is not primarily aimed at unbelievers, the Apostle Paul makes it clear in First Corinthians 10[:23-25] that Christians should expect unbelievers and the unchurched to be present in their worship services, and should even take intentional steps to make sure their service is comprehensible and hospitable to them. [Keller; see also Smith, Whose Afraid …, 78] Again, that doesn’t mean the service is only or primarily for non-believers. Instead, it highlights the range of those present that the Bible itself calls us to keep in mind: from old to young, from life-long believer to new believer to unchurched unbeliever.
Because the Lord is working in the lives of each of those people. And our calling is to cooperate with his work in how we worship him, so that as he draws close to us and calls our gaze and our lives upward, we would more readily follow him.
Of course we don’t do this perfectly as a church – far from it. But such cooperation with the Lord’s work is what we strive for. It’s what we aim for, knowing we will always fall short, but seeking to do the best we can with the Lord’s gifts, and trusting in his grace to make up abundantly where we lack.
Not everyone will like or agree about every element in our worship services. Forms of worship are notorious places for disagreement among Christians today. And I’m sure we have more growing to do as a church in this area – we certainly do not assume that we have perfected how we do things, as I’ll say a bit more about tonight.
But even as we continue to think through those details, our calling as worshipers remains the same. We are to come here each Sunday, to encounter our God.
We come to enter a dialog with our Lord. We come to walk again through the pattern of biblical worship – the pattern of the covenant, the pattern of the gospel: to be called again by our Lord, to be cleansed by him, to converse with him, to commune with him, and then to be commissioned by him – sent out once again to live in the world as his disciples. We come, trusting that he will meet us where we’re at, but not leave us there – he will call us upward, transforming us through his immanent love and his transcendent holiness.
We come to meet our Lord. We come to be transformed by our Lord.
Those are high expectations. And so, it’s a good thing that it is the Lord who makes it possible – not us.
But we, for our part, seek to cooperate with his work, by engaging together in thoughtful and robust liturgical worship.
This sermon draws on material from:
Farley, Michael A. Reforming Reformed Worship: Theological Method and Liturgical Catholicity in American Presbyterianism, 1850-2005. For St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO. Unpublished Dissertation, 2007.
Farley, Michael A. “What is ‘Biblical’ Worship?”: Biblical Hermeneutics and Evangelical Theologies of Worship. JETS 51/3. September 2008, 591-613. You can access this paper (which I highly recommend) here: https://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/51/51-3/JETS%2051-3%20591-613%20Farley.pdf [Note: this is a good place to start on the topic of the structure of worship being based on the sacrificial and covenantal pattern, as well as having a whole-bible regulative principle.]
Farley, Michael A. Lecture Notes from History and Theology of Christian Worship (EM570). Given at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO. Fall, 2010.
Keller, Timothy. “Evangelistic Worship.” Redeemer City to City. January 1, 2001. https://redeemercitytocity.com/articles-stories/evangelistic-worship
Meyers, Jeffrey J. The Lord’s Service: The Grace of Covenant Renewal Worship. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2003.
Leithart, Peter J. A House For My Name: A Survey of the Old Testament. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2000.
Leithart, Peter J. Theopolitan Liturgy. Monroe, LA: Athanasius Press, 2019.
Rainey, A.F. “The Order of Sacrifices in the Old Testament Ritual Texts.” Bib 51 (1970) 485-498.
Smith, James K. A. Whose Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2006.
Smith, James K.A. Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. Cultural Liturgies Volume 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2009. [Note: This is a good place to start on the topic of how liturgy shapes and disciples us.]
Smith, James K.A. Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works. Cultural Liturgies Volume 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2013.
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