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Hill Road Journal

Issue 5 (Jun 2000) Out Of Stock

Contents: Renewal of Worship: The Way to Go?
There are 4 articles, 3 short articles and 11 book reviews
No. of Pages: 182
Price: HK$100
Thematic Articles
CHEUNG Wing Shun Public Worship in the Old and New Testaments Abstract
Lindsay ROBERTSON A Re-examination of the Theology of Worship Abstract
E. Glenn HINSON The Spirituality of Baptism and the Lord's Supper in the Context of Worship Abstract
Poling J. SUN Word in Worship: Its Notions and Practice Abstract
  • Public Worship in the Old and New Testament

    Vincent CHEUNG

    In the Old Testament, God took the initiative to instruct His people to conduct worship. In the Ten Commandments, Israel's view of God was monotheistic. Only Jehovah was God. Only He was to be worshiped. Furthermore, God was transcendent, merciful and faithful . It was so because it was God who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt and brought them to the promised land. Therefore, worship was a response to His might and grace.

    God also set apart certain times and places in worshiping Him. God's people had to follow His instructions as to how to worship Him. The worshiper had to be wholehearted in performing religious rites so that his worship would be acceptable to God. In short, worship was God-centered.

    During and after the exile, the focus of synagogue's worship was the reading of Scriptures, which was followed by the exposition of the text. Primarily, the New Testament church followed the pattern of synagogue worship.

    In the New Testament, God-centered worship was elaborated in Trinitarian form. In essence, the New Testament church worshiped God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. In light of this, worship had to be God -centered, Christocentric and pneumatic.

  • A Re-Examination of the Theology of Worship

    Lindsay G. ROBERTSON

    Worship is a difficult concept. First, definitions of worship are often assumed and tend to be circular, bearing little contact with a biblical understanding. Second, formulating a theology of worship involves correlating many doctrines, especially the implications of the work of Christ. One cannot merely apply Old Testament practices directly to New Testament situations.

    The paper first discusses the theological implications of the nature of worship in both Testaments. The heart of Old Testament worship was the establishment of covenant relationship between God and his people, and not the “ritual” itself, which had to do with a protocol of approach by people separated from God by sin to a holy God. "Worship" was always the whole life in relationship with God. In the New Testament, Christ's death was not merely a fulfillment of the sacrificial system. Rather it has far reaching consequences for how we relate to God in a new way. In short, there is a radical transformation of the concept of worship in the New Testament that has to do with the nature of Christ's total work.

    Reflecting theologically, we can say that worship is participation in Christ. It is something given to us—this stems from the nature of what has happened to us in Christ. Worship becomes, for our part, the total way we live before the face of God as we share through Christ in the triune fellowship and life of God. We must take this more seriously than is often done. Implications for the way we live as Christians are great—not just individually but for us as the church.

    The paper suggests that worship is not the primary focus of church. In addition, it is suggested that we need to rethink worship for the Asian context—that the use of Western worship techniques and the modern concentration on worship as cultic activity are not the answers to the problems facing Asian Christianity. A re-examination of worship will give us something refreshingly new and relevant to say to a religion-weary world.

  • The Spirituality of Baptism and the Lord's Supper in the Context of Worship

    E. Glenn HINSON

    Christian spirituality involves living life from the vantage point of a covenant with God whom we have come to know in and through Jesus Christ. It is not otherworldly. Rather, it enhances our life in this world. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are covenant observances. In baptism, believers enter into a covenant relationship with God in Jesus Christ. In the Lord's Supper, they reaffirm their covenant commitment and hear God affirm the same from God's side.

    If baptism and the Lord's Supper in the context of worship are to contribute significantly to the spiritual life of Baptists, we will need to learn from early Christians. During the centuries of persecution before Constantine, the first Christians developed a process that reached its high point in baptism through which they not only informed but also formed people. Where they prepared people literally to die for their faith, however, we should try to prepare people to live for their faith. For many people today, living is more fearful than dying.

    Studies of “Baby Boomers” and “Baby Busters” or “GenXers” indicate that they have two urgent concerns: spirituality and community. In Christian history the Lord’s Supper has been the chief Christian symbol of the koinonia which has attracted people to Christian faith. Baptist observance of the Lord's Supper, infrequent and haphazard in many churches, does not do a very good job of creating the fellowship it symbolizes. To remedy that problem, this article contends, Baptists should imitate early Christians in having communion every week, thus responding to the quest for community.

    A major social revolution will assist in making both baptism and the Lord's Supper more meaningful. Because of a vast revolution in technology, our culture is shifting from a more typographic to a more iconic and tactual character. We are more visual and “hands on” in our approach to the appropriation and communication of truth.

  • Word in Worship: Its Notions and Practice

    Poling J. SUN

    Worship in the Christian community is an ordinance of grace in which God and human persons encounter each other. This encounter is initiated by God's revelation that evokes human response to God's redemptive work. In the history of salvation God's redemption has been revealed and made sense in terms of His words, the concept of which has undergone lines of development. This article first sketches the concepts of God's words within the contexts of worship. Rooted in the Jewish soil, the words of God in Christian understanding share the notion that God's words in the context of worship reveal and remember the divine act in the history of salvation. What distinguishes a Christian understanding of God's words from that of its Jewish antecedents is the christological focus. Taking shape in the Christian worship during the earliest faith community of the first century , Jesus Christ was confessed the Word of God that revealed the divine redemptive work. The confession that Jesus Christ is the Word of God requires that the various ministries of God's words in Christian worship must serve the purpose for making known this incarnated Word of God that creates, redeems and judges.

    The second part of this article accordingly suggests points of consideration that are relevant to contemporary Christian worship with particular references to the Chinese Christian Churches in Hong Kong. Whereas the proclamation of the Bible in worship has long been regarded as the most significant of all ministries of the words, this article suggests that the prominent role of the pulpit among many Chinese Churches needs to be balanced by attending to other forms of service of the Bible too. The article further suggests that in spite of the overwhelming concern for proclamation in worship, the pulpit in many Chinese Churches could only function more sufficiently if a reflection on the service of the word is considered.