Transcendental Worship: An Evangelical Oxymoron?

John Stott:

This quest for transcendence is a challenge for us and to the quality of our public worship. Does it offer what imgres-2people are craving—the element of mystery, the “sense of the numinous”; in biblical language, “the fear of God,” in modern language “transcendence”? My answer to my own question is “Not often.” The church is not always conspicuous for the profound reality of its worship. In particular, we who call ourselves “evangelical” do not know much how to worship. Evangelism is our specialty, not worship. We seem to have little sense of the greatness and glory of Almighty God. We do not bow down before him in awe and wonder. Our tendency is to be cocky, flippant and proud. We take little trouble to prepare our worship services. In consequence, they are sometimes slovenly, mechanical, perfunctory and dull. At other times they are frivolous, to the point of irrelevance. No wonder those seeking reality often pass us by!

The Living Church, pp. 33-34