It is a very good article, but ...As things stand in Missouri today, the difference between the historic liturgy and any other worship practice is no more than personal preference. Prof Berger's article is a well-argued explanation of why his preferences are what they are, but that is all it is.As long as we continue to believe that the worship of the Church is an adiaphoron, all that we can do about liturgical heteropraxis is to write articles like this that say no more than "we don't think that is a very good idea." There is no "lex" in our lex orandi, and we are so fearful of being seen as "legalists" that there never will be.
Chris,I'd love to get your opinion on Oswald Bayer's *Theology the Lutheran Way* before I write up the review! Just a teasing taste to see if I might entice you to read it:"However, for this meal to be the new covenant, the renewal of creation, the final community between God and humanity along with all creatures, this real, present, physical event that can be experienced and even seen, must be accompanied by the word of Jesus Christ by which he gives us his body and blood according to his promise. This eschatological community of course is not possible without the physical coming together of God's baptized people. But they come together first of all as sinners who have become, and will become, the eschatological community only through a performative word that addresses them through bread and wine, and that derives its competence, its authority, from the resurrection of the crucified Christ."He defines the Divine Service as the address of the God who justifies and the response of the community of sinners who are being and have been absolved. He stresses that the divine service does not "cultivate its own separate religious sphere, but it discloses the world as creation...a creation where every action of the Blessed Trinity is disclosed as a "promise that gives and a gift that promises." Very little to do with your point, but I have thought several times in reading the book how much I'd like to discuss it with you!!!
Your recommendation is enough for me. I've placed an order for the book and I should have it in a couple of days.
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