Monday, February 20, 2017

Worship and the Transformation of Time and Space (The Presence-Driven Church)

Image result for john piippo presence
The river Raisin, in my backyard

I'm doing a book study with my friend and colleague Dave Nichols on Worship and the Reality of God: An Evangelical Theology of Real Presence, by Gordon-Conwell theologian John Jefferson Davis. We're reading the book, and will put together a venue for pastoral colleagues to join our discussion. This theme is so important to both of us!

I'm about halfway through Davis's book. I appreciate his focus on what Gordon Fee called "the presence motif" in Scripture. To experience God in our midst as we gather together - that is our reason for being.

Davis summarizes his thoughts:

"Because the living God, the risen Christ and the Holy Spirit are present in the midst of the assembly, true worship takes place in kingdom space and kingdom time, where ordinary space and time are altered by the massive reality of the Creator and Redeemer of space and time, where earth is lifted up to heaven, and the future impinges on the present. The meeting space is spiritually energized and charged by the presence of the Spirit, the Shekinah Glory; ordinary time is suffused with the power of the past redemptive events of the incarnation, cross and resurrection, and anticipates the revelation of the Christ who is to come and who will usher in the new creation." (Kindle Locations 992-993)

When God shows up, space and time shift.

Things are different.

The ordinary becomes the extraordinary, the natural becomes the supernatural, the secular transforms into the spiritual, the mundane gets energized by the powerful presence of God.

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My recent book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.
I am currently writing Leading the Presence-Driven Church (June 2017)and How God Changes the Human Heart (A Phenomenology of Spiritual Transformation) (June 2018).