bits from bob....

Forward to the Past

by Bob Young
©, 2013, Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Observers of U.S. religious practices continue to trace an increased interest in spiritual connections and activities. A few years ago, Daniel Wallace, professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, notes a growing appetite for "worship that is [more than] a glorified Bible class." The trend continues. Interest is increasing in the spiritual disciplines, especially in prayer and meditation. The early Church Fathers are read. More and more local churches participate in weekly communion as a way to bring reverence, spiritual focus, and divine connections into the lives of those who attend. Increasing numbers of churches practice baptism for remission of sins.

Something significant is happening in the world of faith around the world. The external excitement characteristic of much of U.S. religion for the past half century or more is giving way to thoughtful, meaningful reflection and devotion. Increasingly, for more and more followers of Christ, what the Bible says matters. Those who study these shifts regularly are observing a "return to tradition and orthodoxy, to past practices, observances, and customary ways of worshiping." Others are noting that these shifts toward biblical teaching and practice are occurring with a cultural consistency and sensitivity that results in "innovative that returns to tradition."

What does this mean for us as we plan our worship assemblies and shared activities? Will our religious neighbors see in us a spiritual focus? Are the things we do, and the way we do them, attractive to those who are seeking a spiritual connection with God? Letís talk about it and pray about it.

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Last updated June 1, 2013