God With Us: ​The contribution of Rowan Williams for a Vineyard Sacramental theology of Worship’

I am looking forward to presenting a very tentative debut paper at the SST 2017 Conference at the University of Nottingham.

My paper sits in the Sacramentality, Liturgy and Theology stream, and echoes a number of my interests at this time. For those interested, I reproduce the abstract here, and will publish the presented version here after the conference:

Contemporary worship is a phrase loaded with theological controversy and eschatological promise. At once forcing engagement and curation of the present, it points towards and hints to a future where all is worship, and divisions of time and style are meaningless in the perfect presence of God.

The Vineyard movement, known for its emphasis on worship, justice and every-member ministry, is a young movement in the process of defining and articulating what it believes about issues both contentious and central. At the heart, though, is a conviction about, and practice of worship, which can be easily seen as contemporary but is rooted in historical articulation of faith.

This paper, noting John Wimber’s injunction to chew over food from all parts of the Body of Christ, takes seriously Rowan William’s theology of the cross and resurrection, as articulated in a new book and his wider ministry. By emphasising the themes and potential of ‘God With Us’, this paper uses the Easter story to ground and articulate the shape of Vineyard Worship as fundamentally sacramental and rooted in the Christian story.

This paper is based on my reading of Rowan Williams’ recent God With Us, as well as various things I’ve been writing and pondering about the Vineyard and worship.

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