Tuesday, 27 August 2013

What does an Anglican worship service look like to a Muslim woman?

Carl Truman recently posted the fruit of an excellent thought experiment that he and his son conducted after sitting next to a Spanish Muslim woman during a high church Anglican Evensong service.  Afterward they pondered what the Muslim woman in the hijab would have made of the whole thing.  This post is so good, the hardest part for me was picking out an excerpt to quote here.  Trueman points to the paradoxical fact that, here in a Liberal Anglican church, in the liturgy, there is more reverence for God, more Scripture, more biblically ordered worship, than is typically ever found in Evangelical churches which supposedly hold the authority of Scripture in high regard.
"In terms of specific detail, she would also have heard two whole chapters of the Bible read out loud: one from the Old Testament and one from the New. Not exactly the whole counsel of God but a pretty fair snapshot. She would have been led in a corporate confession of sin. She would have heard the minister pronounce forgiveness in words shaped by scripture. She would have been led in corporate prayer in accordance with the Lord's own prayer. She would have heard two whole psalms sung by the choir. She would have had the opportunity to sing a couple of hymns drawn from the rich vein of traditional hymnody and shot through with scripture. She would have been invited to recite the Apostles' Creed (and thus come pretty close to being exposed to the whole counsel of God). She would have heard collects rooted in the intercessory concerns of scripture brought to bear on the real world. And, as I noted earlier, all of this in the exalted, beautiful English prose of Thomas Cranmer."
But you really should read the whole post here

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