Theology of Worship

General Theological Foundations and Resources

See the Intro to Worship page at Worship Is Central for an introduction to the theological foundations of worship at Central Presbyterian Church.

Liturgy Basics for Beginners

These beginning studies from the Liturgy, Music, and Space curriculum contain short lessons, illustrations, exercises, and discussion questions ideal for both individual and small group studies.  Some helpful chapters on liturgy basics include the following:

Chapter 1 — What Do We Love?: Worship Shapes Our Love
Chapter 2 — What Do We Believe?: Worship Shapes Our Belief
Chapter 3 — What Do We Say?: How to Talk about Worship Differences
Chapter 4 — The Formative Role of Liturgy
Chapter 5 — The Practices of Worship
Chapter 6 — The Language of Worship
Chapter 10 — Physical Space in Worship
Chapter 11 — Our Bodies in Worship

The Language of Worship
A brief article by Presbyterian pastor Jack Kinneer on biblical definitions of the concepts of “worship” and “worship service.”

Worship Is More Than a List
A brief article by Presbyterian pastor Jack Kinneer on what makes corporate worship by the gathered church on the Lord’s Day (Sunday) a unique type of event within the overall life and ministry of the church, an event with its own distinct purpose and structure compared to other types of ministry events and even other types of worship (e.g., private worship, family worship, small group worship, etc.)

Ancient-Future Worship
The theological foundations of the modern search for Christian worship with both ancient roots and contemporary styles of expression.

Worship Sermons
Presbyterian pastor Robert Rayburn provides teaching on biblical foundations of worship, including the definition of worship as communion with God, the role of the Old Testament in providing guidance, the relation of form and freedom, biblical patterns for the order of worship, and the relation of worship to the gospel, witness/mission, human nature, and the majesty of God.

Biblical Worship
Papers from the Biblical Worship section of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Biblical Interpretation

Worship according to the Word
A brief article by Presbyterian pastor and theologian Jack Kinneer outlining some fundamental biblical examples and principles governing the elements and order of the church’s corporate worship.

Worship from the Whole Bible
A sermon on the necessity of developing a theology of worship from all of Scripture, Old and New Testaments.

Covenant Worship (Exodus 20-24)
The Pattern of Worship (2 Chronicles 5-7)
Worship: The Heavenly Pattern (Revelation)
Presbyterian pastor Peter Wallace shows that there is a consistent pattern by which God draws his people near and renews his covenant with us in worship spanning from the covenant at Mt. Sinai to the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle and Temple to the Book of Revelation.  Includes helpful charts illustrating the continuity between these biblical patterns and the most ancient and widespread template for Christian worship in the later history of the church.

What Is Biblical Worship?  Biblical Hermeneutics and Evangelical Theologies of Worship
A scholarly article by Mike Farley, Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Central Presbyterian Church, that analyzes different ways that evangelical theologians, pastors, and other worship leaders interpret and apply the Bible to support and practice their view of “biblical worship.”

Theological Foundations of Worship

The Trinity and Worship
Worship pastor Ron Man’s reflections and collection of resources reveal that the Trinity is the foundation of Christian worship.

Jesus Christ, Our Worship Leader
Article by Reggie Kidd (professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL) on Jesus’ ongoing role as participant and leader of every aspect of the church’s worship.

Worship Practices

Ordered Emotion and Heart-felt Formality
An article on the relationship of emotions and liturgical form.

Liturgical Body Building: The Formative Role of the Body in Worship
This 7-page set of notes summarizes biblical teaching about bodily postures and actions in worship and also briefly explains some historical reasons why some different Christian traditions and churches have come to have very different perspectives on the role of the body in worship.


Disclaimer:  Worship Is Central provides links to external websites and files for educational purposes, and we aim to provide access to resources that are theologically sound and spiritually edifying.  However, the presence of a link to an external site does not constitute an official endorsement of any specific views expressed therein by Central Presbyterian Church or any of the church’s individual members.  Nor does a link imply that opinions or positions expressed at an external website necessarily represent those of Central Presbyterian Church or any of the church’s individual members.