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New Horizons

June, 2007: Worship

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A New Directory for Public Worship?

The Seventy-fourth General Assembly (2007) marks the climax of a task that has been under way in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church for almost six decades—the revision of what we now call our Book of Church Order (BCO). In June the Committee on Revisions to the Directory for Public Worship will submit its Amended Proposed Revised Version (APRV) of the Directory to the General Assembly for approval. If approved, it will then be sent to the presbyteries for ratification.

This is a momentous event for the Committee, some of whose members have been working on this task since 1989. It is a momentous event for the whole church as well. Once the Assembly has completed dealing with this matter, it will have brought to a conclusion a process of revision that began in 1948, when the Assembly erected a committee to revise the Form of Government. That work was completed in 1979. Revision of the Book of Discipline was completed and became effective in 1983. That left the Directory for Public Worship (DPW) to undergo a thorough revision. Read more

Worship in the OPC

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church was born in 1936 from a doctrinal controversy. As J. Gresham Machen and his allies escaped from the modernism of the mainline Presbyterian church into "a true Presbyterian church, at last," there was much work to be done in establishing the doctrine and practice of the new denomination. The church began by debating which version of the Westminster Confession of Faith should be adopted as part of the church's constitution. In 1937 the General Assembly determined to eliminate the compromising amendments of 1903.

Also during the church's second year, the Assembly provisionally adopted a Form of Government and a Book of Discipline. Standing committees were erected to oversee the church's work in home and foreign missions and in Christian education. Read more

The Real Point of Worship

People who inquire about a church often ask, "Is your worship contemporary or traditional?" Whenever I hear that, I feel like the guy who's just been asked, "Are you still beating your wife?" How can you answer a question like that? It starts with wrong assumptions. It's the wrong question! It misses the real point of worship.

Is It Really That Important?

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The Heavenly Pattern of Worship

Most discussions of worship today focus on style: contemporary or traditional? But while the church has been fighting over worship style, she seems to have forgotten what worship is all about. As our theology of worship has disappeared, it is perhaps not surprising that our practice of worship has become so fragmented.

The theology of worship is perhaps best expressed in the practice of worship. So let us consider the practice of Christian worship from the Garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem. Read more

Helps for Worship #19: The Sacraments

"As many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death." (Rom. 6:3)

"Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." (John 6:53)
Read more

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