John D. Witvliet

in The Oxford Handbook of Evangelical Theology

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195369441
Published online January 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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In evangelical usage, the English term “worship” conveys multiple, interrelated meanings, each reinforced by their use in English translations of the Bible and in the history of evangelical sermons, hymns, theological treatises, and devotional guides. First, the term is used to refer to a God-pleasing and God-focused way of life. Second, the term is used to refer to specific actions that intentionally adore, magnify, and praise God, both inside and outside public worship services. Third, the term is used to refer to a public assembly, liturgy, or ritual event, as in a “worship service.” This article discusses interrelated meanings of the term “worship” and considers relevant topics, including biblical motifs in evangelical theologies of worship as well as Christian doctrine and the practice of worship. It also examines theological dimensions of common evangelical worship practices such as preaching, congregational song, personal and private devotion, and practices of evangelism and conversion (revivals, altar calls, testimonies, baptism), together with the Lord's Supper.

Keywords: God; altar calls; worship; Christian doctrine; preaching; congregational song; devotion; evangelism; conversion; baptism

Article.  6609 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity

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