Hey, I invented a new blog series to cancel three episodes in again. Aren't you excited?
This new series is called "Own Goal." The purpose of the Own Goal series is to show examples of when advocates of creative/contemporary liturgies accidentally make really good arguments for faithful and exclusive use of the Historic Liturgy. Just like in sports when a person accidentally scores a goal for the other team. Hence "Own Goal."
So here we go. "Own Goal: Episode 1"...
Recently I attended a pastors conference where we were discussing Lutheran worship. During this discussion, the guy leading it made the argument that those who choose to use creative and/or contemporary liturgies are free to do so, but that they place a heavy burden upon their shoulders because writing a good liturgy is pretty hard to do. In response to this, a pastor came to the microphone and commented on how true this statement was. His words were basically as follows: It is a very heavy burden. And it's not something that I can do on my own. So we as a church body need to work on this together. We really need to be raising up people who can learn how to do this. Our seminaries really need to be teaching students how to do this.
Or, in other words, writing a liturgy that's as good as the liturgy that our church body has been using since forever and a half ago is too hard for your average parish pastor. In fact, it's such a hard thing to accomplish that it's going to require input from generations of theologians along with massive institutional reform before it happens.
So, uh, you can either first convince the entire Evangelical Lutheran Church throughout the world to be of the same mindset concerning contemporary liturgies, then completely change the focus of seminary education from what it's been throughout its entire history, then raise up several consecutive generations of Lutheran pastors who have both the theological and musical acumen to master every genre of music as soon as said genres come into existence...so you can spend three hundred years doing that. Or you can just open your hymnal to page 184 today. You know, either one.
Own goal, dude. Own goal.