Caught in the Act: Praise and Renewal in the Church

Article by Leander E. Keck

Renewing any institution requires revitalizing its core, its reason for being. Unless this core is refocused and funded afresh, renewal becomes a matter of strategy for survival. Accordingly, the churches’ renewal becomes possible only when their religious vitality is energized again by a basic reform of their worship of God. Worship enacts and proclaims a construal of Reality and …

Church Vesture as Art

Article by Erwin M. Soukup

Whether it be the garish uniforms of 18th-century European soldiers or the drab, sometimes threadbare dress of medieval monks, clothing and uniforms have always served as signs of identity. Even today, the serviceable khaki of a Boy Scout marks an individual as belonging to that organization, just as the dress of a policeman or bus …

Contemplative Worship

Article by Diana Butler Bass

For some people, Memphis, Tennessee, conjures visions of southern religion: folks hootin’ and hollerin’ about God, eternal damnation and hell; sweating preachers thundering on about sex, drinking and Democrats. Southern religion is all heat and fire, the blinding light of Jesus converting sinners to saints in a flash. This is what more reasonable Christians used …

Courage to Respond

Article by Samuel Wells

If the creed is the point in the liturgy where the congregation learns to reason theologically, it is also the place where Christians learn the virtue of courage. Over and over again in the Gospels, when people are challenged to declare whether they believe, the issue is not whether they have enough knowledge or understanding, …