I’ll never forget the summer between my sophomore and junior year for a number of reasons. One in particular is the 2 weeks I spent in Puerto Rico on a missions trip. While we were there, my best friend (let’s call him John) had a terrible problem. He had been dating a girl (let’s say Mary) for about a year. And yet on the trip he found himself attracted to another girl (for the story, she’ll be Martha). Like any good, young, and naive christian kid I asked who he thought Jesus was telling him to date. It seemed like a good question and it was one that he didn’t have the answer to. So how was it that John was supposed to ascertain this information? Left without any clear idea John decided he would sleep on it. He told me, “whoever I dream about tonight; that’ll be the one I’m supposed to date”. So that’s what we did. The next day as we woke up in the sticky latin morning I asked how the dream test had gone. John had dreamed of Mary and it seemed like a done deal. Until Martha professed her undying affection for him that day. John was confused. So we decided to do what everyone would do in that situation, ask for another dream. As you can probably guess, he dreamt of Martha. So now we had a dream tie! Again, we approached this in the way that any right minded teen would, dream overtime. We needed a tie-breaker dream.
That night John dreamt of both Mary and Martha.
Now I will readily admit that the topic of our inquiry and method of ascertaining God’s will and hearing God’s voice in this situation was flawed. It was.
And yet this is a question that Christians of all ages and phases of their walk with Christ struggle with. How does God speak today? How do I know what I am doing is what God wants? How do I decide between two godly alternatives? Is there some sort of objective standard? Do Christians today have access to a subjective voice of God? If we do, what role should it play in our decision making?
Over the next few weeks, questions like this are going to be bantered back and forth between my colleague and friend Tim Melton and I. We will take turns posting on our blogs and an effort to work out this dialogue in public. So check out Tim’s blog and keep your ears open for updates!
As many of you may know, one of my closest friends is Rich Van Voorst. Rich has been an incredible friend to me since we met nearly 5 years ago. Rich is a Jazz composer and talented Saxophonist. He holds two masters degrees from USF (in Composition and Jazz preformance). On top of this he has an excellent mind for theology. He has often been my sparring partner on a number of theological issues. He reads and thinks through a ton of material.
Rich and I share a passion for our Reformed heritage and a desire to see our churches (both local and global) live out the mantra of the reformation, “Soli Deo Gloria”. We both would like to turn our hearts toward improving the quality of worship on our communities.
That being said, we come from different vantage points. Over the next few weeks,we will be corresponding over our blogs. I will be taking the premise, Worship is first theology and second, music. Rich will be taking the position, Worship is equally theology and music.
We understand there is a lot of nuance in worship discussions and we are limiting ourselves to the idea of corporate, Sunday morning worship; specifically music.
In the mean time, check our Rich’s blog at http://www.richvanvoorst.com/