In the past few days, I've been pondering the nature of worship. I realize that for some, that first sentence may not seem to relate to the title of this post. But it does.

There is a divide in Christianity that falls somewhat along the lines of the domains in Bloom's taxonomy: affective, psychomotor, and cognitive. The affective camp--the emotives--places a high value on passionate connection with Jesus and passionate expression of worship: right passion. The psychomotor camp--the experientials--places a high value on bold, passionate practice: right practice. The cognitive camp places a high value on biblical/theological truth: right belief.

Now, in reality, we all live, learn, and express in all three domains. We simply prefer one domain over the others. Some worship and follow Jesus best through their emotions. Others do so through action. Still others do so through intellectual engagement. All three are worshiping and following God.

Yet, too often one or the other "type" of believer lobs volleys at the other types, judging them as more or less "spiritual" than themselves. But since when is spirituality defined by the nature of one's expression? Is it not rather defined as worshiping and following Jesus, as relishing his presence? How is it that our eyes are so easily taken off Jesus and onto externals? If God touches one person's emotions, another's intellect, and still another's activity, who are we to judge God's choices?

Let us offer one another grace. Let us heed the emotives as they call us to deep, expressive passion for Jesus. Let heed the experientials as they call us to bold, loving action. And let us heed the intellectuals as they call us to accurate expressions of biblical/theological truth.

So, what does this have to do with the title? Excellent question. Here's my answer: I am an intellectual. I worship God by squeezing Scriptures for every drop, by constantly evaluating my understanding according to God's word, and by proclaiming (and periodically ranting) that understanding before my fellow believers. I worship God primarily with my intellect.

I write this to remind emotives and experientials that my style of worship is valid and good. I write this to remind myself that the worship styles of emotives and experientials is valid and real.

We are in this together and it takes all kinds. Let us give grace.

Title ht: Richard commenting on Made to Praise Him, What are we pursuing?


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“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” http://www.esv.org/

1 comment:

  1. Right-on Laura! Myself, I realise that I'm often seen as emotional and experiential, and I often teach in a way that some have described as "milk" instead of "meat" (if only they could see beyond style!). But there's an awful lot of transfomation goes on in me through the renewing of my mind.

    I have a UK Masters degree in Engineering and before I gave it all up to move to Scotland I was a consultant in some specialist areas. I remember my boss saying to a new employee once "watch out for Mark ... he's a thinker".

    With you and for you!