I’m finally reading Paul Hiebert’s Transforming Worldviews: An Anthropological Understanding of How People Change. Hiebert was a pioneer in the field of missionary anthropology. I had looked at the book a few years ago when searching for a textbook for a sophomore level missions class. I saw that the book addressed the themes of the class, but that it was too advanced for sophomores.
Now I’m finally getting back to it. Being a student of culture and culture change, I’m finding the book fascinating. I’m reading the Kindle edition, which allows you to highlight passages. I told Carolina that the highlighted passages outweigh the non-highlighted passages!
I found one chart very interesting, a comparison of three church styles: high church, evangelical church, and charismatic church. Interesting to see them analyzed as different worldviews.
Services in a high church focus on mystery, awe, and holiness. They take place in cathedrals, using the following forms of expression: rituals, chants, liturgy, candles, procession and high order. People often kneel or prostrate themselves. The overwhelming focus is on God the Father.
Evangelical church services, according to Hiebert, focus on peace, order, and hope. They take place in churches, using preaching, hymns, testimonies, silence and meditation. People stand, sit and bow their heads. The focus is on Jesus.
Charismatic churches focus on ecstasy, power, and action. They take place in meeting halls, and have prophecy, choruses, dancing, clapping, and healing. People lift their hands and raise their faces. The focus is on the Spirit.
It seems to me (not Hiebert) that much of the “worship wars” have to do with people in one tradition wanting to incorporate elements from another tradition. It’s also about people judging their outlook to be correct and the others as “boring” or “entertainment-focused” or not “decent and in order.”
Any insights that you pick up from this?