Please read the first part of this series if you are just tuning in.
What are Tim Keller’s tests for biblical worship?
1. Doxological Evangelism. Wow! That sounds really intelligent doesn’t it? Basically this means would someone in this worship service receive the gospel clearly presented, a picture of what the kingdom of God is, or some other sign that something unique is going on in this service that they might want to become a part of. Presenting the good news in worship doesn’t necessarily mean an explicit “alter-call” or what some churches refer to as a “seeker service.” However, there is certainly a biblical mandate to shape our worship around the truth of God’s redeeming work in our lives. Jesus clearly gave us at the end of his earthly ministry a ‘great commission’ to make disciples for him, and in 1 Corinthians 14:25, Paul actually suggests that someone might observe our worship and “fall down and worship God, exclaiming, God is really among you!
In the inner city, ‘doxological evangelism’ probably takes a different shape than in many other churches. We want the gospel to be presented in a way that it can be understood and embraced. We translate into different people’s first language (their “heart language” as my pastor would say). We try to have music that builds cultural bridges so that people would not mistake the gospel for a culturally exclusive doctrine. We try to explain the gospel in clear and rational terms avoiding loaded terms or expressions. (My wife is always irritated by one of our pastors who loves using the phrase, “we’re screwed up” which connects with most average Americans, but just does not translate well into other languages.)
What is the next test for biblical worship . . .We shall see.