Traditional AND contemporary

I often hear people make a contrast between styles of worship in church that labels some “traditional” and some “contemporary”. And I – and I guess you too – know what they mean. And it’s certainly true that some forms of worship that pride themselves on being contemporary are determinedly non-traditional.

I have in the past experienced, and heard others share similar experiences, of Sunday church gatherings that not only embrace contemporary musical, dress and other styles, but manage to get through the whole act of worship without a reading from the bible. That’s clearly non-traditional.

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Reading in public

This post is in the series Rite Reading.

It’s time to wrap up this opening section of the series, looking at how the practice of public reading has shaped the content and collection of these sacred writings into the bible.

This short, potted history of how we got the bible is, over and over again, a story of which books Christians read in public worship. Reading – public reading as part of meeting together for worship – is fundamental to being Christian. It is not, obviously, the only way we encounter the bible, even in worship. A huge amount of the words worshippers say to or about God are also taken, in one way or another, from the pages of the same scriptures.

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