Desiring the Kingdom Book Club, week 10: Worship Becomes Worldview – Simply Convivial

Desiring the Kingdom Book Club

This week we’re discussing the rest of chapter 4 of Desiring the Kingdom in which Smith seems to hedge his bets, backpedal a bit, and gear up for the chapter he’s been telling us to wait for all along.

Summary: Not all liturgies are equally weighty

Smith backpedals a bit – and rightly so – on the sacramental view of nature. Yes, we can experience God’s presence and blessing when we pay attention to the moment in our everyday lives (Holy is the Day is a beautifully written example of this, and it is a large point of Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts). But life is only sacramental, not a sacrament, just as life is worship, but not in the same way that the weekly corporate worship service is worship.

The point I appreciated most about this section was that although worship is formative, we do not do it because it is formative. We worship to glorify and serve our Creator, and worship is all about Him and not about us. Formation is a side benefit, not the primary point.

formation is an overflow effect of our encounter with the Redeemer in praise and prayer, adoration and communion.

And, just as there is no such thing as secular education, Smith makes it clear there is no such thing as a non-liturgical worship service. A liturgy is made of practices, and worship is made of practices, even if they aren’t written down in an order of service.

That is two positive points for Smith in this section, and I could have even pulled out a couple others, such as the reformer’s important emphasis on the call-and-response (with God initiating and people responding) order of worship and the fact that what practices are found or not found in your church matter deeply.

But it’s past my bedtime now, so I’m going to get this post wrapped up and wait to see if anyone else found something good to say about this week’s section.

Further Book Club Conversation

Visit these other participants’ posts and keep the conversation going in the comment sections! You don’t have to have a blog to participate. Please jump on in.

Next week: Chapter 5, pages 155-166, from the beginning through the section on “Call to Worship” (stop before “God’s Greeting”)

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  1. Okay, so FYI I’m out for this week. I kept trying to get to it, and it has been one thing after another, meaning something’s gotta give.

    I spent the day so far (1) thinking one daughter had broken her knee, (2) taking the other daughter to have her infected ear piercing lasered, and (3) deciding to split this week’s up into two weeks instead because there is no way we’re going to get it done because we also have an out of town funeral to attend tomorrow.

    Anyhow…can I have a pass? I’ll try to be back in the saddle next week! Good thing I have some stuff on autopost for later this week…

  2. I’ll add to your list of good things. :) Somehow this section felt easier to read to me. I also noticed implicit doctrinal terms in Smith’s descriptions of worship (maybe I missed this last week?) – worship of the Redeemer, the Triune God, etc. Though he says doctine comes later, he can’t get rid of it. :) I also really liked the same quote you highlighted. I’m still hoping this book gets more compelling now that we’ve made it to the chapter he keeps telling us about!

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