Psychological Dynamics in Christian Worship: A Beginning Inquiry

Volume 1
Fall 1973
Psychological Dynamics in Christian Worship: A Beginning Inquiry

Worship is essentially a horizontal relationship between the human persons involved, not a vertical relationship with God. It is a human celebration of the historical datum that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself." That celebration is not essentially sermon pedagogy nor mood inspiration. The purpose of worship is the achievement of emotional health and spiritual wholeness in the form of relief from destructive anxiety by means of celebration of God's grace. God is involved in two ways. It is His event in Christ, which is celebrated, and He is spectator to the celebration. Worship involves humans in two ways. It is our act of Christian relationship to each other and it is our experience and expression of celebrating God's nature and behavior. Typical worship reinforces pathologies of anxiety and self-deception. Worship, which is genuine, will heal humans of overriding guilt, crippling shame and severe anxiety. That is the purpose of worship in God's economy.

Dr. J.H. Ellens
10 - 19
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