Words for worship

Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” By this standard, one might conclude that much of Christian worship in the United States is infested, suffering from liturgy that is crawling with almost right words. That’s the assumption at the heart of two new books on language and liturgy. What Language Shall I Borrow? The Bible and Christian Worship and Worship Words: Discipling Language for Faithful Ministry both address the problems and possibilities of liturgical language. Yet while all the authors are committed to getting the words right, the books offer very different approaches to crafting meaningful liturgy.

 

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