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Best on the imago Dei

What are the implications for worship that come from knowing we are created in God's image? Today's Worship Quote comes from Harold Best's book Music Through the Eyes of Faith.

CREATED IN HIS IMAGE
A Christian worldview maintains that God, the one and only Creator, is alone worthy of worship. Recognizing that God created us in his image, it further maintains that a unique aspect of that imaging lies in the capability of the two beings to communicate with each other, to enjoy each other's presence, to love each other without end, and to be at work continually together: the one sovereignly creating, upholding what has been created and revealing himself to it, the other responding through worship, adoration, stewardly work, and creativity.

Such communion and worship are possible only because of the unique relationship between Creator and creature: the one is created in the image of the other. The difference is one of infinity and infinitude: the Creator is infinitely more-than, we are finite and less-than. Even so, the relationship is based on kind: we are created in God's image. Hence worship is not a one-sided affair, the one only getting and the other only giving. True, the Creator, by his very transcendence, cannot be but worshiped. And the creature, imago Dei, cannot help but worship. True, the worth-ship of the one naturally woos the worship of the other. But this relationship is also an exchanging of gifts, because both are givers. This is a willing union of all-sufficiency and dependence, sovereignty and subordination, prevenient love and responding love, transcendent worthiness and temporal worth. We risk a paradox: while the Creator calls for worship, the worshiper would rush to worship even if he did not call.

- Harold Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith (New York: Harper Collins, 1993), 144.


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Best on Passion for God

Today's Worship Quote is another from Harold Best's book Music Through the Eyes of Faith.

PASSION FOR GOD
Being moved by music is secondary to worshiping God. The Spirit is always to be free to direct our worship, whether the music moves us or not. It is only when being moved by music is coupled to a preceding passion for God that we are truly moved. Behind all of this is the Lord's continuous invitation to come and to continue worship. God wills that all of us worship him. Behind all of these secondary movings - music, art, drama, dance, architecture, atmosphere, and environment - is the primary mover, whose most quiet call and gentlest reminder speak louder than our most elaborate art pieces.

- Harold Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith (San Francisco, CA: Harper Collins, 1993), 152.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

There it is again-worship as a response to the love and work of the "primary mover." Note that the author is not speaking against emotion in music; nor is he speaking despairingly against the use of the various fine arts in the worship life of the church. He is merely warning us not to confuse an emotional response to art with a passion for God.

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Tolstoy on What is Art?

This WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK deals with the concept of "worth-ship," one of the root meanings of our modern word "worship."

WHAT IS ART?
The Christian ideal changed and reversed everything so that, as the gospel puts it, "That which was exalted among men has become an abomination in the sight of God." The ideal is no longer the greatness of Pharaoh or of the Roman emperor, nor the beauty of a Greek nor the wealth of Phoenicia, but humility, purity, compassion, love. The hero is no longer Dives, but Lazarus the beggar; not Mary Magdalene in the day of her beauty but the day of her repentance; not those who acquire wealth, but those who have abandoned it; not those who dwell in palaces, but those who dwell in catacombs and huts; not those who rule over others, but those who acknowledge no other authority but God's.

- Leo Tolstoy in "What Is Art?"


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

Lord, show us what is worthy. Show us who is worthy. Show us yourself.

Have a great week!


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.