Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Soul at Worship

My thanks to Rev. Russ Tompkins (senior pastor at St. James UMC in Bellevue, NE) for the tour of his church sites.  Russ shared the theory of experiential worship that informs his approach to contemporary worship, and I'm intrigued by the definition of the soul that undergirds this theory.

Quoting Mark 12:30, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength," this approach to worship seeks to include elements that will engage the intellect (mind), body (strength), emotions (soul), and choices (heart).  These "four levels of human experience" are some what comparable to the theory of the soul (the embodied functions of understanding, will, affections, and liberty) implicit in Wesley's doctrinal writings.

Notice that in place of the word Soul the experiential worship philosophy uses the term Human Experience.  This raises two questions for me--
What meaning will people take away from a statement like "Jesus redeems Human Experience"?
Are there only four levels to human experience?

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