Drama and the Christmas Season

With the Christmas season officially just days away, we’ll undoubtedly begin to see quite a few churches putting on Christmas plays over the next month or so. Because the Regulative Principle of Worship has been a topic here of late, I’d thought it would be appropriate to briefly discuss the issue of drama and how it relates to the principle and the season. (If you are not familiar with the Regulative Principle of Worship, please briefly research the issue here and here in order to properly follow the line of thinking in this post.)

Drama in Public Worship
No doubt that there will be many churches this holiday season using drama to tell the story of Jesus or some other Christmas-related tale –especially here in the South. From my personal experience, Christmas plays are often seen as an important tradition, at times just as foundational as the Christmas trees and the Christmas Eve services that have become apart of our very culture. Given this traditional element, questioning the biblical precedent for the practice is often seen as cold, divisive, narrow-minded, and, must I say it, scrooge-like. :)

The Appeal of Christmas Drama
It certainly must be noted that drama in worship is most often employed by seeker-sensitive, Arminian ministries, in an apparent attempt to evangelize. Everybody loves Christmas, especially here in the Bible belt, and there are relatively few who actually deny the birth of Jesus as the historical root of the holiday. So for holiday cheer and tradition, the Christmas play is appealing to a very wide audience –Christian, non-Christian, Mormon, Catholic, agnostic, family, friends, coworkers, etc.

Therefore the logic among many is that we should get people into church any way possible. We have discussed the root error of this line of thinking before, which ultimately lies in the misunderstanding of the nature of sin, the will of man, and the sovereignty of God (to say nothing of the methodology given by scripture), so it needs no repeating today. But it must be emphasized that the preaching of the word, the very proclamation of Jesus Christ, is simply not good enough, according to this logic, to attract a wide audience, and so the Christmas play is employed to bring in those who wouldn’t otherwise darken the door. Christmas plays do not offend, they do not divide households, they are generally warm and fuzzy at a very family-oriented time of year, and so they provide a great impetus for the numbers-driven mindset.

Where the Regulative Principle of Worship Speaks to this Issue
Setting aside the mindset and the root cause of such thinking, drama in worship, without a doubt, *is* a violation of scripture, and the RPW rightly speaks to this very issue. But, contrary to popular belief, it must be emphasized that the RPW is *not* designed to suppress, or to put God ‘in a box’. It is rather for our good and for our greatest joy in the Lord. God Himself knows what is best for our souls, and God Himself has given us means of worship as the highest and best means of attaining grace in our lives. God, through scripture, has left drama completely out of His Word and instruction to His Church, and that for an important reason. You just won’t find drama in scripture, despite the fact that drama was very prevalent during New Testament times, and you won’t find it because drama is inadequate to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is insufficient in placing Christ as preeminent in our worship.

To break it down in practical terms:

    • *What can be better for our souls than the preached Word?
    • *What can be better for those outside of Christ than the clear proclamation of the gospel through the preached Word?
    • *If preaching was completely sufficient to minister and save in scripture, who are we to say that it is now supplemented, at times, by better things? Has market research replaced biblical revelation?

Sadly, some believe that drama in certain situations is better for the soul than the very means which God has given us in His word. By implication, God simply left something out. By implication, the preached word, the Lord’s Table, prayer, singing of Psalms and Hymns, and baptism are insufficient for the Christian to grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. By implication, instead of the preaching of the Word bringing about faith in the unbeliever (Rom 10:14), the gospel must somehow be communicated through another media which is at times superior to the preaching of the Word.

We are to Place Christ as Preeminent in Worship
My Brethren, Jesus Christ not only demands obedience and preeminence, He has given His Word to instruct us in all matters of faith and practice. The RPW isn’t simply to avoid the judgment of God in offering ‘strange fire’ before the Lord, but it is also aimed at placing Jesus Christ as absolutely preeminent in worship. It is for our good! Drama in public worship, unfortunately, will only do more harm to your souls than good.

We have been given means to which we are to commune with Jesus Christ! Do you not see Christ as Prophet and King in the preaching and proclamation of His Word? Do you not see the broken body of Christ in the bread, and the spilled blood of Christ in the wine? Do you not see the image of Christ stamped upon the saints in their prayers and singing of hymns? Do you not see Christ as our High Priest in the prayers offered up to heaven’s throne and the preaching of the Gospel of grace? Where is Christ in drama? Where is Christ in the skits and the earthly, woefully insufficient representations of His earthly body? Where is Christ in the comedy, the showmanship, and the entertainment?

The plain fact is that we don’t see Jesus Christ in these methods; we see ourselves. And that, my friends, is why this principle is even debated. People want to be entertained, and they will respond in droves if you give that to them. But our hearts are idol factories; the subtleness runs deeper than we can imagine. Let us not look ourselves and what we want in worship, or what we think will best communicate the gospel to those outside of Christ; Christ, by His mercy, has saved us from ourselves, so let us look to Him in the Word.

We have been given Jesus Christ through the given means of worship. Let us ever seek to set Christ as preeminent in all things, especially our worship.

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66 Comments on “Drama and the Christmas Season”


  1. [...] Over at my other blog, which I rarely have time to post on anymore, I have just posted an article on Drama and the Christmas Season. [...]

  2. Evan Stewart Says:

    “The plain fact is that we don’t see Jesus Christ in these methods; we see ourselves.”

    Before I read this article, I was uncomfortable with many dramas preformed during a corporate worship service. However, I am not fully convinced that drama is out of the question based on the argument given.

    Although I will do much consideration of the arguments posed, I am curious about the qoute I included above. I agree that it is very easy to see ourselves in dramatic plays. However, it is also very easy to see the man and not Christ in preaching and singing. One sin that I was unaware of for a few years was my desire to attend a former church not because of the message preached but because of the preacher.

    When I first attended my college town church I was completely surprised by the way my pastor preached. He was not an entertainer, he was not a comedian, and he certainly was not a seeker-sensitive preacher. He was and still is a bold expositional preacher. I had never witnessed such a preacher in person before. After two or three years, however, I realized that my main motivation for attending church was not the message of hope and the clear presentation of Jesus Christ, but it was the presence and talent of the preacher. I love theological argument and I am called to the teaching/preaching ministry. So for me this new experience was truly a treat. I still enjoy listening to good preachers. As a matter of fact, I still must guard against the temptation to follow a preacher because he is a great orator and not because he preaches a biblical message. Ironically, once I stopped being entertained by my former pastor and began listening to his expositions, I began to find disagreements with his treatment of the text. Now, I still consider my former pastor to be a good preacher of the Word, but I certainly looked past any biblical message and celebrated the man.

    I know that many Christians fall into the same sin when it comes to singers and music in a worship service. Clearly, even when we follow the practices that are presented in Scripture we can still disregard the glory of Jesus for the glory of man.

    I also know that this is not a valid argument to be used in otder to throw out the RPW, but it should be considered.

    In addition, (this may have already been addressed) is there any place that a Bible drama may be presented? Does the RPW prohibit a play of Jesus’ birth or death and resurrection in every circumstance? Can a drama ever be used to communicate the written word of God? If the RPW does not address Bible oriented presentations outside of the local church house, then what is the honest difference between a play outside the church house and a play inside the church house, or on Monday and not Sunday?

  3. Nathan White Says:

    Clearly, even when we follow the practices that are presented in Scripture we can still disregard the glory of Jesus for the glory of man.

    Very good point, to which I most certainly agree. The Pharisees were certainly a perfect example of this in Jesus’ day.

    If the RPW does not address Bible oriented presentations outside of the local church house, then what is the honest difference between a play outside the church house and a play inside the church house, or on Monday and not Sunday?

    You might get differing opinions on this, but I believe scripture draws the line with what is worship offered to God. Drama and plays are certainly not sinful in themselves, but when presented at a corporate meeting of worship, or if presented as if it is in worship to God, then I believe scripture is violated. Have drama all you want outside of corporate worship, but just don’t call it worship, because it isn’t.


  4. Great and timely post, Nathan (especially with the last comment).

    Re: “just don’t call it worship”
    -I’d like your thoughts on differentiating between doing all things to God’s glory (in the sense that I would load boxes at UPS as an act of “worship” in that I do it the best I can to honor Christ), and the type of worship we’re indicating when speaking of the RPW.

  5. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Drama is an interpretive art form and because it is, it is not easy to control the meaning for the audience. The Word can be twisted in speech, but with interpretive forms, much can enter the mind of the pewster than is possible with words.

    Just a thought. I do not exclude drama from the church. But, in worship. I have real problems with it there.


  6. [...] That being said, while I would consider myself a proponent of and adherent to the Regulative Principle of Worship, I am not so staid and rigid that I would oppose, for example, a Christ-mas Cantanta (such as our church performs annually–and which I look very much forward to each year).  Much like any rule, I feel there is the letter and the spirit of the law.  I feel the the principles for worship revealed in Scripture are important, not to be neglected, and valuable as guides for us in our worship of God.  However, I am not so certain that the principles are exhaustive; still, to me, prudence should be exercised when deviating from (or exceeding) them–which should be minimal and in keeping with the spirit therein. [...]

  7. Matt Says:

    Re: “just don’t call it worship”

    If I am correct in my thinking no gathering of believers post resurrection is called worship. They are once or twice described as worshipping but there is no delineation of a time to meet and then calling that “worship.” This is why I do not care for the RPW. We seem to be worried about something the Apostle Paul was not.

    We need to be careful that we do not take the descriptive in the NT and then turn into prescriptive for 21st century Americans.

  8. Barry Says:

    Irrespective of NPW and RPW, I think most Americans view Christmas and all the inclusive and parallel events attached to it as a time of peace and love for and with one another. It may not be worship for most of the theologically minded but I’m not sure that this short and cherished time period has to be viewed in the more straightened light that you would wish.

    I would say also that the posit that there exists no drama in scripture is confusing. I find the bible saturated with it.

    And, I am not entirely sure that the suggestion that drama plays are particularly rife in the bible belt as compared with other areas in this country or in Europe. Here in the north, these displays are evident everywhere one looks. A reformed Baptist church very near us gives Christmas plays that are advertised and anticipated every year.

    Christmas, in particular, plays on emotions and love at a time of year when we don’t have to answer to one another how (or if) we are worshiping. It’s almost, I say almost, a kind of time-out from the discourse and apologist stances we take with one another the rest of the year.

    And, by the way, I’d just like to say to all here that I wish you a happy holiday and peace and love to everyone in the SBC.

  9. Nathan White Says:

    Matt said:

    If I am correct in my thinking no gathering of believers post resurrection is called worship.

    This is an interesting statement, and something that I will have to consider more. However, just off hand, I would agree that the foundational teaching and instruction on worship is found in the Old Testament, and not the new. For example, where in the New Testament are we warned against worshiping through images and statues? We aren’t. Instead, the Apostles clearly assumed continuity on the OT teaching in this area.

    Matt said:

    We seem to be worried about something the Apostle Paul was not.

    I see your point, but of course I disagree. Paul seems very worried about proper public worship in 1 Cor 14. Nevertheless, again, it is a grave error to completely throw out the Old Testament’s teaching on the subject, which is what the Normative Principle seems to do in my opinion.

    Matt said:

    We need to be careful that we do not take the descriptive in the NT and then turn into prescriptive for 21st century Americans.

    Again, the OT is very prescriptive in this area (Deut 12:29-32, etc.), and I would see Paul in 1 Cor 14 and other places, as very prescriptive.

  10. Nathan White Says:

    Barry said:

    It may not be worship for most of the theologically minded but I’m not sure that this short and cherished time period has to be viewed in the more straightened light that you would wish.

    Barry, my sole intention in this post is *not* to restrict or suppress, but to point people to a greater means of grace. Theologically mindedness has nothing to do with it, I would hope, but only an exhortation to find greater grace and communion with Christ by following the means which He has given us. Although a severe violation/abuse of the RPW is not common in most Christian circles, in my opinion, I do believe that ignoring it opens the door for greater error, and that it hinders communion with Christ. It is my hope and prayer that people will refocus on what true and pure worship of Christ is, and that they would find greater communion with Him by following His instructions.


    Barry said:

    I would say also that the posit that there exists no drama in scripture is confusing. I find the bible saturated with it.

    Do you mind sharing an example/clarification of this statement?

  11. Barry Says:

    Nathan,

    Sure.

    Psalms 6:7-8 “I am wearied with sighing; every night I flood my bed with weeping; I drench my couch with my tears. My eyes are dimmed with sorrow; they have aged because of all my foes.”

    Job 9:16-21 “If I appeal to him and he answered my call, I could not believe that he would hearken to my words; With a tempest he might overwhelm me, and multiply my wounds without cause; He need not suffer me to draw breath, but might fill me with bitter griefs. If it be a question of strength, he is mighty; and if of judgement, who will call him to account? Though I were right, my own mouth might condemn me; were I innocent, he might put me in the wrong. Though I am innocent, I myself cannot know it; I despise my life.

    The entire chapter of 2 Maccabees 7 is a drama scarcely equalled anywhere.

    Then there is 1 Samuel 17 Wherein David meets up with a fellow named Goliath. Then there is of course the book of Jonah.

    Nearly anywhere one might care to open the bible there is drama.

    The authors of the various books used drama heavily.

    Unless, of course, we differ on the meaning of drama.

  12. Nathan White Says:

    Andrew said:

    I’d like your thoughts on differentiating between doing all things to God’s glory (in the sense that I would load boxes at UPS as an act of “worship” in that I do it the best I can to honor Christ), and the type of worship we’re indicating when speaking of the RPW.

    Andrew, I’ve been thinking about this one for awhile, and I can’t think of how to answer you without writing 5 pages, only then to say that I still haven’t worked it all out in my own mind :)

    I guess I would say that there are different elements of worship, as we are technically worshiping when we walk by the Spirit in what we do (Rom 12:1), but corporate/public worship is a different issue –more many more reasons than can be listed here.

    Do you mind clarifying your question a bit to get my mind going?

  13. Nathan White Says:

    Barry said:

    Nearly anywhere one might care to open the bible there is drama. The authors of the various books used drama heavily. Unless, of course, we differ on the meang of drama.

    Of course the scriptures use stories of past events (and parables) to teach a truth, but I was referring to acting out a drama, for a show, a presentation, but specifically as an act of worship. Drama is a useful tool in many arenas, but it is not an act of worship, and if we meet for worship, we would be wise to worship, instead of calling something worship that isn’t.


  14. Barry,

    I have to echo Nathan’s last statement. The Scripture is indeed dramatic, but not drama. We do not find drama anywhere, if what is meant is the dramatic. The historical narative is woven indeed with dramatic events, and is woven with poetry and parables. But, they are matters of congruence with the entire book, a single fabric, which is not just a story, but recorded history of a very unique kind.

    Nathan said that it was not a form of worship- but it might be. But only along the lines that I implied earlier. The control of the dialogue and settings would have to be restricted to narrow, rather than to excite the mind. Preaching and teaching, as well as the reading of Psalms or the singing of Songs are not meant to be distracting, but focusing upon the heart of the subject examined, which is Scripture, and not our imagination of what it says to us. In this sense, the interpretive dance of drama, cannot serve corporate worship, in that the participatory requirement of worship requires that we, corporatively, are of the same mind.

    If the teacher teaches, it is the message, the Word, and not the speaker that is the focus and if his speech is such that it entertains rather than teaches, he has mislead his followers. For Paul, this was of central concern saying: “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). For the Greek, oratory was drama, and drama oratory, and when they spoke it was as “oracles of the gods.” Now, we are to speak of oracles of God, but it is not to be because of the skills of an actor that the message gains credence. In fact, the message that Christ taught is foolishness and a stumbling block, and nothing pleasing to man.

    One of the greatest dangers of drama, such as the movie the Passion, is that we tend to identify vicariously with the various actors, or with the emotions, and not with Christ. The drama becomes the vicarious experience and replaces what Paul describes for us as identity with Christ: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2) Or, according to Peter, 1 Peter 4:1 and Paul again, Romans 8:17.

    Worship brings us to that partaking of, making us one with the body and blood of Christ: 1 Corinthians 11:17-32. That is why, when I said that the principle of worship must restrict us, worship is meant to be communion, not observation, and not entertaining, though we are most surely entertained (the more antiquated meaning being provided for as guests).

    You said:

    Nearly anywhere one might care to open the bible there is drama.

    The authors of the various books used drama heavily.

    Unless, of course, we differ on the meaning of drama.

    To answer the last, yes. At least I mean by drama something different. As above, it is a dramatic story. To the second, no, the writers did not use drama, they reported the facts, expressed according to the leading of the Holy Spirit. They were used of the Holy Spirit and not the other way around. And it is not dramatics (acting) mechanistically used to evoke response, quite the contrary. The Word of God is creative, not exploitive of preexisting conditions. It does pierce, but it pierces that which it has made. Yes everywhere in the bible is drama, but not the dramatic. And this is where we might get to expository preaching, which is not the expressing of the speakers interpretation, for Scripture is not given for any such thing. Expository preaching is to ex-posit, to set out, that which is the Word of God. It is to explain it, not to interpret it.

    In the end, we cannot leave it to the imaginations of the observer to draw meaning out. We must put meaning in the hearer, understanding that God has warned us clearly of judgement if we speak idle words. The words “idle words” in Matthew 12:36, literally means words that do not work and our standard is Isaiah 55.10-11.

    So, the question of the RPW, is serious.

  15. Gordan Says:

    As an RPW-friendly type, I submit the case of Ezekiel for an example of dramatic acting. Specifically, I’m thinking of the instance in which God commanded him to build a model of Jerusalem, and then construct miniature seige engines to bring against it. This was an acted-out prophecy, and certainly, without explanation was open to interpretation by those who saw it.

    I’d also point out that many of the elements of OT sacrificial worship had an aspect of drama to it, as the “players” (the priest and the worshippers) acted out certain parts. The priest was a stand-in for Christ, as were the sacrifices themselves. It’s hard to read through the Day of Atonement ceremonies without seeing that they were telling a story about Jesus through the things they were doing.

    Also, during Passover, the community had to “dress up” in their travelling clothes and act like they were about to head off in great haste, though they were going to stay right where they were.

    None of this is meant to advocate the Christmas play. I’m just suggesting that Old Testament worship did indeed contain dramatic (play-acting) elements that were meant to help communicate the message.

  16. Barry Says:

    Thomas,

    With all due respect, I can’t follow the thought that scenes in the bible may be dramatic but they are not drama. If there is one thing that seems to unite Christians this very day is our collective feeling toward Christ, his story, and his impact on us. While we might like a separation between what is written in the New Testament and how we think of Christ apart from scripture, the fact is that people are drawn to Jesus because of the drama. His birth, his life, and certainly his death is a drama unlike any other.

    I do agree with all of you that the Christmas celebrations are a sort of lighting-rod leading us into an area that has little to do with worship.

    I don’t think many would argue about that.

    But, I don’t think many would begrudge our collective desire to just enjoy the season for what it is. Little children enjoying the wonder and adults happy to call a truce for a couple of weeks and smile and maybe have a quiet word with a neigbor that during the rest of the year they don’t particularly like.

    It’s a unique time.

  17. Nathan White Says:

    re: Gordan’s comment-

    Gordan, it must be pointed out that in the examples you provided there were explicit instructions by God…which is exactly my point. In this sacrificial ‘play acting’, if you may call it, the sons of Aaron were killed by the Lord for adding an element that had not been commanded (nor forbidden).

    Nevertheless, it isn’t drama that runs contrary to scripture, for drama can indeed be used to teach; instead it is using drama as a means of worship which is a violation of scripture.


  18. Just for reference.

    I agree with Nathan, there is a place for drama in church, but not in worship. Or, perhaps I should say the solemn assembly, because there is a difference between this meeting and all others. But, that is really the subject being discussed here. Can we act out communion, no. Communion is the acting out of Scripture. And as Nathan said, even when the prophets “play acted” prophecy it was with the restrictive power of the Holy Spirit guiding their actions and thoughts. The actions were not given for any private interpretation, just as communion: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Paul’s retrictive, prescriptive observance, was indeed an acting out, it however had to be observed exactly as delievered. RPW affirmed.

    As I responded elsewhere, I am studying the whole issue. In the RPW I stated that simplistically it could be stated: Must do/must not do. And I am still trying to understand where between these a “may do” of Christian Liberty belongs. By placing the “may do” at the end, the Lutheran scheme, the NPW, appears to undo itself by allowing additions to worship. Instead, the RPW retricts the freedom by prescriptive, proscriptive, and prohibitive principles found in Scripture. And, I think that there are plenty NT references well supported by the OT.

    I hope this is not too confusing. I could explain further. But, I have the tendency to write to much anyway.

    Love in Christ,

    tt

  19. Gordan Says:

    Nathan,

    I’d agree with that. I was responding to the idea that I thought I saw earlier in the thread, that God never sanctioned drama of any sort in corporate worship.

    BTW, thanks for another thought-provoking post, brother.

  20. Bob Farmer Says:

    The worship practiced in the Old Testament is all about drama. Look at the feasts of Leviticus and the cerimonies that go with them or consider Purim and the interaction of the people with the story. In a sense, even the Lord’s Supper is a drama played out before the congregation and with congregational participation. God knows we as humans need symbols and art as a means of remembrance and creativity, and even in the design of the Temple this is vividly played out. The problem with regulative principle as practiced by many is that it is cultural and not Biblical; it is based on how one’s tradition interprets the Bible historically and often not about an expositional, systematic study of Scripture itself.


  21. Bob saith-

    God knows we as humans need symbols and art as a means of remembrance and creativity,

    Yes, but, even the memorial stones did not go without explanation. In otherwords, what is symbolic in Scripture is either expicitly or implicitly illuminated with words. Our failure to understand them or our refusal to, does not grant us the freedom to interpret them as we will.

    So you said the RPW

    is cultural and not Biblical; it is based on how one’s tradition interprets the Bible historically and often not about an expositional, systematic study of Scripture itself.

    So I would ask if you can establish that, historically and biblically. I contend that there is ample NT and OT Scripture that supports regulated worhip, such as 1 Corinthians 4:6 and Revelation 22:18 (which are a renewal of OT verses and principles: Proverbs 30:6; Ecclesiastes 3:14; Genesis 17:1-2; Deuteronomy 4:2; Numbers 22:38). What we see in these verses is that there are established boundaries that are not to be removed. We are not, either by word or practice, import meaning in worship. Nor are we to exclude anything that the Lord commands. In the midst of these commandments we have liberty, I believe, of expression, as long as they do not interfere either with our understand or anothers understand what the Word means as signified by the symbols we use. In the acceptance of drama in worship then, the question must become how we include what must be there, and how we can exclude what must not enter into the minds of the observer who is there to be built up in the faith. Tongues is of this type. It is not enough to speak, but the speaking must be with clear discernable sounds so that the hearer knows what is being piped. Even if it were not tongues, we are cautioned to make our speech clear so that the unlearned might learn. If it is the case that drama distracts from the purpose of worship, which is edification in adoration of the Lord, we have transgress the regulatory principle of worship as clearly explictly and implicitly defined by Scripture.

    Can we then have a living Lord’s Supper, or Nativity? The answer is yes, I believe, if by doing so we do not obscure the Word of God. Dramatic production is very slippery, so I wonder, just how does one make it perspicuous and without compromise?


  22. Please excuse my poor editing.

  23. Pat McGee Says:

    The Greek word for actor was the word hypocrite, literally being two-faced. Greek actors spoke from behind a mask. An actor tries to convince people he is someone he is not. That is a message we do not want to deliver as Christians. That is an awful method to use to proclaim the truth.
    Neither Jesus nor Paul had acting troupes with them. They spoke forth the truth. They did not act it out. To have done so would have been an abomination. Acting in a drama is a form of entertainment. We are not called to entertain anyone. We are called to proclaim the gospel. I think the use of drama is an awful method to use to present the truth.

  24. Bob Farmer Says:

    Dear Thomas,

    I did not say that there were not regulative principles in the Bible, I meant that often the regulative principles that binds up worshipers by law and not grace is not Biblical but interpretive based not on exegesis but on cultural conformity. If that makes any sense. According to the strict interpretation that some puritans used, Solomon’s Temple would not have been tolerated because of the carved images of palms and angels. When it comes to drama, I have never used it in the “play” sense in any worship, but of those I have witnessed there was never any question in my mind about the message they were communicating; usually’ these dramas were part of a sermon illustration. Is this wrong? Is dancing unto the Lord as King David did wrong? Is it wrong when African Christians worship outdoors in some remote Savanna with the beat of traditional drums? To many westerners, these things are wrong, but I don’t believe that thinking is based on the Bible. Tell me, do the women in your church wear head-coverings? Many would say this should be a RP for worship. My point is that we sometimes come with cultural baggage that makes it hard to be first century. But you are not of that ilk, Thomas, and I appreciate and agree with your comments.

  25. Nathan White Says:

    Bob,

    Thanks for your comments. Regarding the OT use of ‘drama’, I just put up a new post and quoted Calvin in regards to the OT shadows. I’d appreciate it if you’d take a look at it there and share your thoughts on what he/I said regarding this issue.


  26. Thanks Bob,

    Your clarifications help. As I am studying this issue my greatest concern is the conveyance of the Word of God. I tend to agree with Luther, that if marching around the Church as a form of worship as the Children of Israel did around Jericho, or dancing as David did, then yeah, the African people should exercise that freedom. And those cultural norms would not be necessarily distracting. However they must have their relevance in the Scripture, not the culture. I remember once when Pope John Paul visited Papua New Guinea, he had his ambasadors go before him to give the women PJP t-shirts. These women were in native dress, unashamed, non-offensive to the local congregations and not distracting, except to the rigid legalists of Rome. I think that that is the kind of traditionalism of which you speak, which is wrong for us to impose because it has only a show of godliness. But, you bring up a very good point. Paul was accustomed to culturally blend-in, so to speak, but only when it did not deny the Gospel that he represented. It is this last, foremost, that is my conscern. As we survey the landscape of the Church today, doctrine is not a priority, so it is even more vital that we conduct worship in ways that truly express it without unduly enforcing traditionistic cultural norms. We must also be certain not to let our liberty be spoken of as evil.

    As you mentioned, if a children’s skit, or if any skit is used to augment the sermon, that then the sermon will fully explain, then I am not opposed to it. God bless you brother for doing so. This is how we do communion. It is the partaking in the actions, with explostition.

    As a former worship leader, I have be on both sides of this issue. I have argued for certain uses, even dramatic presentation. But, to my chagrin, the content of the drama was often unbiblical, and went unexplained as such. At that point, what is a Pastor to do? He and his elders should determine before hand whether or not the presentation meets biblical muster. It should be done with content of worship songs, also, and the sermons themselves must pass the rigor of the Word of God. I have to say, that recently I have been enjoying liturgy that is a single message from the invitation to the closing doxology and blessing. The repetitious reinforcement is a wonderful aid to single-mindedness.

    May the peace of God guard our hearts and may the Spirit keep us looking toward this one thing as we worship together, that all things be done for the building-up of the body of Christ in love.

    tt


  27. [...] Read the entire post… [...]

  28. Bob Farmer Says:

    Nathan and Thomas,

    thanks for the comments. I agree that the greatest “tragedy”(to use a dramatic term) in our churches is not the use of some particular method but the total lack of doctrine or doctrinal integrety in it. I live in a state, and am part of a denomination that seems to equate theology with the Purpose Driven Church. I even had one state denominational leader tell me to stop reading Spurgeon and start reading Bill Hyballs (I don’t even know how to spell his name and don’t care if I ever do). the other thing that is disturbing to me is the total lack of respect (I use this word for lack of a better one- but whatt I mean is a sense of awe and holiness within the corporate worship service). Maybe you could help me in this area. How can we regain a sense of awe in the public worship setting, without compromising the ideals of the priesthood of the believer, etc.


  29. Bob,

    The priesthood of the believer itself would make a good discussion. But, let me lay this before you, if we are priests, and we are, how are we regulated in our presentation before God? And you bring up a very good point, awe married with humility should be our first consideration when we “present ourselves a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is our reasonable spiritual service. What think ye?


  30. [...] In this article posted at The Expositor, Nathan White of Strange Baptist Fire writes about the evils of Christmas plays in the church. Here are his three basic premises from the piece [...]

  31. Dirtbeard Says:

    I find the whole anti-drama argument lacking.

    First, it is built on an argument from silence… saying “you won’t find [drama] in scripture.” So the argument lacks strength from the opening bell.

    Second, your interpretation of silence is incorrect – the Bible does contain drama. Jesus told stories to make a point – monologue. Ezekiel was instructed to create a model – panorama. There many many examples of God instructing the prophets to use drama to make a point. And if you believe Revelation is literal – then Jesus himself played out a drama by walking among the lamp-stands – representative role playing.

    Third, it relies on a false dichotomy; between what is worship and what is not… That somehow “worship” is more valid when performed in a certain room at a certain time using certain methods (that were man-made btw).

    Fourth, it relies on the Fallacy of Generalization and Scenario; since seeker-sensitive churches employ drama it must be wrong. This of course says nothing about drama – who uses it is irrelevant to the argument of it being apropos.

    Fifth, , it is based on the fallacy of the a false correlation; the use of drama does not necessarily imply “the preached word, the Lord’s Table, prayer, singing of Psalms and Hymns, and baptism are insufficient for the Christian to grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” You may infer that… but it is not implied.

    and sixth, , it is based on the fallacy of selective reading since you only include one form of drama, yet allow for other forms.

    The greater sin is performing bad drama, or drama badly – drama itself is neutral.

    Dirtbeard

  32. Dirtbeard Says:

    …come to think of it, the best drama a believer ever performs is when they are baptized… motions that represent and proclaim biblical truth.

    Most often, we even wear costumes…so not only is it permissible – it’s commanded.

    Blessings Brother!

    Dirtbeard

  33. Nathan White Says:

    Dirtbeard says:

    it is built on an argument from silence

    Actually, I tried to build on the other posts we have written on this subject where we outlined specific scriptural instructions on worship, such as Deut 12:29-31, Lev 10:1-3, Heb 12:28-29, etc.. These clearly affirm that only prescribed worship is acceptable to God. It is from there that I made the leap to ‘drama isn’t in scripture’, meaning that it is not prescribed as worship in scripture…which is isn’t.

    Dirtbeard said:

    Jesus told stories to make a point

    Jesus told parables to specifically hide the truth from those who were under the judgment of God. Parables confused the truth; they did not illuminate the message. (See Matt 13:10-17). We, of course, should do anything and everything to illuminate the gospel, not hide it under types and shadows, which is exactly what drama does.


    Dirtbeard said:

    then Jesus himself played out a drama by walking among the lamp-stands – representative role playing.

    This has nothing whatsoever to do with prescribed worship. I’m not arguing that drama is not in the Bible at all; I am making the point that it is not a prescribed method of worship.

    Dirtbeard said:

    That somehow “worship” is more valid when performed in a certain room at a certain time using certain methods (that were man-made btw).

    It has nothing to do when or where worship is performed, but rather, what *is* worship. We will let God determine what is worship; we dare not presume to know what is acceptable and pleasing worship is to Him (Heb 12:28-29).

    Dirtbeard said:

    it relies on the Fallacy of Generalization and Scenario; since seeker-sensitive churches employ drama it must be wrong.

    No, not at all. I made that point because Arminians, those who believe man is neutral and good enough to choose to place faith in Christ naturally, think that they must do everything possible to get lost people in the church and keep them there, otherwise they are not fulfilling the great commission. This was simply a point I made in passing to demonstrate that the issue is not one that Reformed believers are likely to encounter on a regular basis. We believe that the Word and the Word alone saves, and that Christ is shown as preeminent when that is preached, no matter who comes to listen or not. Thus, my point is that if you get the sovereignty of God right, you’ll probably get this right as well.

    Dirtbeard said:

    it is based on the fallacy of the a false correlation; the use of drama does not necessarily imply…

    Again, my argument is not *based* on this supposed fallacy you again try to impose on my words. This is a statement of fact, I believe, of what the position I am opposing leads to by implication. It is not a statement meant to support the thesis I am making as if it relies on this point itself.

    Dirtbeard,

    Thanks for your comments, but please read my words a little closer before you accuse me of all these fallacies. I assume that you came over from the link above you, as that article too imposed supposed fallacies upon my words that I simply did not intend to communicate. I, like anyone, would like to be understood properly, even when disagreed with.

    But while I have you here, this issue isn’t simply about drama. The Roman Catholic system of ‘worship’ relays on all sorts of ceremonies, graven images, rituals, etc., that are not in scripture, but according to your principle, are probably OK anyway. I would humbly encourage you to reconsider, and maybe do a little more research on the historical teaching of the RPW, before you make such rash conclusions of disagreement.

  34. Dirtbeard Says:

    But while I have you here, this issue isn’t simply about drama. The Roman Catholic system of ‘worship’ relays on all sorts of ceremonies, graven images, rituals, etc., that are not in scripture, but according to your principle, are probably OK anyway. I would humbly encourage you to reconsider, and maybe do a little more research on the historical teaching of the RPW, before you make such rash conclusions of disagreement.

    Thanks Nathan,

    You are right RC worship relies on all sorts of stuff not is Scripture. But the “OK-ness” is not based on whether an example of a particular action is found in scripture… or not. Nowhere does Scripture say “Thou shalt only do what thou findest herein” – my own argument from silence. So, as above, the list of who might use something is moot. And, sorry to disappoint, I do not approve of the RC system – based on what they believe, not how they do. But this is a rabbit trail…

  35. Dirtbeard Says:

    …I suppose dance is inappropriate as well as an expression of worship?

    Dirtbeard

  36. Nathan White Says:

    Dirtbeard Says:

    Nowhere does Scripture say “Thou shalt only do what thou findest herein”

    That’s where we would differ, my friend. I believe scripture does say just that. First, there is implicitly (Cain being an example, Nadab and Abihu as well, etc.), and there is explicitly in passages such as the one I mentioned before:

    “When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.”

    “Thou shalt only do what thou findest herein” sounds a whole lot like the very words of God in saying “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.” The context as well, is very clear in that worship is what is specifically being referenced here.

  37. Dirtbeard Says:

    You are correct that Nadab offered “unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command.” Yet his offense was to break a command. Nowhere does scripture forbid drama, therefore its use is not the breaking of a command.

    And if you offer “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it” as a command to us – then we should hold to the entirety of the Law – which of course we need not.

    Also, back to your claim that drama implies “the preached word, the Lord’s Table, prayer, singing of Psalms and Hymns, and baptism are insufficient for the Christian to grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ” – that may be true of some uses. But I have been involved in plenty where no such implication can, nor could be made. Therefore, no such blanket statement can nor should be made.

    The appropriateness of drama is not in its employment, its in the heart of those employing it.

    Dirtbeard

  38. Dirtbeard Says:

    “The plain fact is that we don’t see Jesus Christ in these methods…”

    I would say this about sums it up – just because you cannot see him there does not mean none can.

    Dirtrbeard

  39. Dirtbeard Says:

    “We will let God determine what is worship; we dare not presume to know what is acceptable and pleasing worship is to Him (Heb 12:28-29). ”

    Exactly!

  40. Dirtbeard Says:

    Nathan,

    I do appreciate the exchange – thanks for letting me participate.

    DB


  41. And if you offer “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it” as a command to us – then we should hold to the entirety of the Law – which of course we need not.

    Revelation 22:18-19

    It does not need to be the Law, but the law which is required of us. The argument that the requirement to keep any commandment puts us back under the Law therefore we are exempt from keeping the law would through us into anomianism and result in antinomian practice. Though this verse in Revelation could be claimed to be only applicable to this book, I contend that the Revelation of Jesus begins in Genesis. Beside that, Revelation is addressed to the churches and some of listed were falsely worshipping according to their own imaginations. Even Ephesus is accussed of leaving its first love. What that is exactly is up for debate, but at the very least, they had left what the Word prescribed.

  42. Nathan White Says:

    Dirtbeard,

    I appreciate the discussion as well, and your kindness. Hopefully we can leave here better understanding each others position.

    You said:

    Yet his offense was to break a command.

    Well, actually, I don’t recall fire being specifically referenced as something wrong to do. Same goes with Cain when he offered fruit and vegetables.

    You said:

    then we should hold to the entirety of the Law – which of course we need not.

    Again, we would disagree here, as our presuppositional foundations are different. I believe 2 Tim 3:16 teaches that we are to look to the essence of the entire law, which in this case, is clearly that worship is to be that which is prescribed, otherwise it isn’t worship.

    You said:

    just because you cannot see him there does not mean none can.

    And yes, we would firmly disagree on this as well. For example, is pizza and beer OK for the Lord’s supper? Or, the Roman Catholics sure think that Christ is revealed in images. But I believe Christ tells us where He is revealed, instead of leaving it to our own devices. I am arguing for objectivity using the word, not subjectivity, which seems to be your position.

  43. Dirtbeard Says:

    I guess it’s a matter of perspective – of course. You say it cannot be done unless its is prescribed and I say it can be done unless it’s prohibited.

    This is, of course, an extreme oversimplification of both positions – taking mine to it’s logical extreme one would allow pizza and beer for communion – which I wouldn’t… taking yours to its logical extreme would prohibit all sorts of modern conveniences… not to mention elements indigenous to the receiving culture.

    I agree that we are to look to the essence of the entire law. I also agree that the revelation of Jesus Christ began in Genesis.

    Yet, nowhere in the essence of this revelation and law do I see a prohibition of drama, nor the prescription of how one must worship – save for having clean hands and a pure heart.

    He who has those clean hands and a pure heart may ascend to the hill… as it were.

    Dirtbeard

  44. Dirtbeard Says:

    Nathan,

    Due to the nature of the world in which I live, I tend to view things from a missiological point of view. In cases like this I think it helps us see the forest amid the trees.

    If a people come to the Lord and a worshiping group is gathered from a culture that has never known the Gospel, must they conform to a worship code that was written from a 16th Century Eurocentric position? What if these people have, say a history of worshiping what we would call demons through an indigenous form of music and dance? Are we to enforce upon them our culture’s way of worshiping? Of course not…

    God is glorified when these people stop using their music and dance for pagan worship and use it for the worship of the one true God.

    Now, I know you’ll say – but it is not based on a 16th Century European culture but the scriptures… but when you apply the RPW upon them – or me – you are forcing upon the believer a code that is extra-biblical… this is just an inconvenience when it comes to me – but for the “them” is becomes the exportation of a western Christendom – not just the truth of the Gospel.

    Dirtbeard

  45. Dirtbeard Says:

    I guess the problems boils down to 1) the fact that you have yet to show that Scripture directs the church to one acceptable style of worship, 2) and the implication that the use of drama renders preaching, et. al. insufficient.

    I understand that you don’t like it (I’ve seen plenty I didn’t like as well)… but I think (to use another reference from the other site) you’re taking a preference of yours and making it an absolute that all must follow

    I think I’ve caught up now…

    Dirtbeard


  46. you are forcing upon the believer a code that is extra-biblical…

    I think that there has been given here plenty of biblical support for the RPW- though its definition is problematic- and several times the assertion has been made that it is extra-biblical. Well, that proves it! But, where is the proof? Show where it is, don’t just dogmatically assert that it is not bilblical. Simply because it was formulated by dead white guys in the 17th century, or when ever doesn’t make it extra-biblical. We would have to through every doctrinal formulation out the window. Beyond that it is ethnicistic prejudice, bigotry, as if westerners have no sense of biblical reality and just want to corrupt the world with their cultural norms.

    It would be absolutley wrong just to transport into worship cultural expression, whether in dance or song, or in any other action which cannot find Scriptural warrant, for instance, Acts 15.

    The offerings and cultural practices of the pagans were not sanctified simply because the pagans became Christians. If it was not wrong for the Jerusalem Council to enforce their “Eastern culture” upon the Phoenicians, it is preposterous to say that councils of the West may not do so. The point is, we have to take the Word of God and make application, that presupposes regulative worship, no matter how one wants to excape the authority of Scripture. It simply cannot be dismissed out of hand.


  47. Were not talking about style. That is, are we going to pass the cup, or individual cup, or have people come forward to the table. We are speaking of specific acts of worship, that is can you serve blood instead of wine? Take a look at the chapter I recommended. Then go to Corinthians and to the Gospels and see if there are any regulations. If you cannot find them, it will do no good to point them out. For you are not interested, then, in any real answer.

    I have spent the last thirty fyears being emergent in style before it was cool to be that way, I am an old hippie. But, as I am maturing, I am becoming more aware that there is a seriousness and solemnity about worship that we have sacrificed upon the alter or our egos and popular culture. I do not wish to install some mechaninistic sacrementalism. That is not the point. But, to honor God according to his commandments is something we should all aspire to. And there it rests. The very idea of commands tells us that there is law, and we are subject to it, or we are the lawless ones. In other words, where there are commandments, we have regulations, ergo, the RPW. Even the NPW is predicated first upon regulative worship. Outside of that is flippancy, and careless handling of the Word of God.

  48. Dirtbeard Says:

    Of course there are regulations – yet none that presribe that worhship must not contain drama.

    Dirtbeard

  49. Chris Says:

    Nathan you may have addressed this above and I admit to not reading every comment here but my question is this:

    How do you feel about Drama used as a teaching tool in service?

  50. Nathan White Says:

    Chris asked: How do you feel about Drama used as a teaching tool in service?

    Chris, I’m not opposed to drama outside of worship, though I would take issue with representations of Christ, per the 2nd commandment. But I must say that I believe drama is an insufficient method of teaching biblical truth. Scripture says that faith comes by the preaching of the Word. Though we may personally believe that drama has a better effect, I believe God has said that there is no greater effect possible, indeed, there is no other real effect even possible, other than the preached word piercing the heart.

  51. Chris Says:

    Thanks Nathan!

    I see tremendous value using drama as a teaching tool. Specifically using it to set up the “question” that the sermon is going to answer using biblical principles. So drama does not replace preaching the Word but is used as an entry point.

    FYI I am not talking about Christmas pageants or Passion plays so Jesus is never represented by an actor nor is ever a character in the drama.

    My problem with those types of dramatic representations is usually they are bad and really serve little value other than engaging the congregation in a church project.

  52. Nathan White Says:

    I see tremendous value using drama as a teaching tool. Specifically using it to set up the “question” that the sermon is going to answer using biblical principles. So drama does not replace preaching the Word but is used as an entry point.

    My position would be that offering them drama is actually dumbing down the power of the gospel to pierce their hearts. It’s giving them what they want instead of what they need. Junk food that keeps them attentive, but leaves their hearts untouched.

    Of course, giving them both drama and preaching is essentially putting the same on par with each other, as well as offering worship to God that is ‘strange’ and is not worship at all.

    The preached word is the best and only remedy for their souls; why would we mix in drama and hinder the power of the Spirit? I certainly would not agree with that.

  53. Chris Says:

    Well all I can say is that it can be tremendously powerful and extremely effective! What a strange lot you poor, closed minded, misguided Calvinists are! ;)

    I don’t agree with your conclusion that it puts preaching and drama on par with each other or that drama hinders the Spirit. That belief seem heretical because what it means is that we have control over God or that we can limit Gods power.

    Once again we have to agree to disagree.

  54. Nathan White Says:

    Well all I can say is that it can be tremendously powerful and extremely effective! What a strange lot you poor, closed minded, misguided Calvinists are!

    Poor, misguided? Close minded? If you think I am, then you must hate the Apostle Paul:

    “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

    “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

    Sir, emptying the cross of its power and promoting a message that will cause men to rest their faith in your wisdom, is not exactly a loving thing to do. Neither were your comments towards me because I am seeking to look to scripture rather than the latest opinion poll as to what is ‘effective’.

    And regarding the Calvinist remark: I would submit that the doctrines commonly called Calvinism will teach you and others to take your eyes off of yourself and what makes you happy, and place them upon God, for He is the object of our faith.

  55. Chris Says:

    Wow I got a “sir!”

    Once again a Calvinist response of quoting bible verses with an incomplete understanding of the whole.

    Your assumptions really point to a lack of critical process and correct biblical interpretation and application. Not to mention assumptions about me and “others.” Sorry Nathan but the argument will always fall short due to incorrect theology.

    Paul used different approaches depending on who he was talking to. Something you might want to learn to be more effective.

    I am going to back away from this now but I will pray for you and those of like minds.

  56. Nathan White Says:

    Paul used different approaches depending on who he was talking to. Something you might want to learn to be more effective.

    This is an indefensible statement given that we have no record of Paul using drama, or wisdom, or lofty speech, or entertainment, or a band, or anything else other than the preached word to reach people. Where does he even encourage ministers to ‘learn to be more effective’, as you put it? Surely he’d mention it to Timothy, or maybe Titus, or at least the Ephesian elders?

    Your words are lofty, but your arguments are completely absent of biblical merit –which seems to be our area of disagreement: I am trying to look to scripture to answer these questions; and your implying that the answer is found elsewhere. Unless of course you can provide scripture to back your position?

    Chris,

    You insult me, tell me that I’m contradicting the plain reading of the text, condescendingly say that I don’t know correct theology and that I need to learn how to be more ‘effective’, and then you say you will pray for me? Wow. Whatever you theology is, I certainly want no part of it.


  57. So,

    Tell us, what those different approaches were?

    And, define the “right theology.”

  58. Chris Says:

    Please Nathan are you that self-absorbed to accuse me of insulting you without recognizing the insults peppered in your prior comment to me? Sadly I am not surprised.

    Yet I am convicted to apologize for making this personal. I am sorry Nathan. I don’t agree with the Calvinist theology and you do but we are both brothers in Christ and so I apologize for the lack of respect I showed in my comments.

    I am removing myself from this discussion for three reasons:

    1. Its devolved into an area that does not honor God
    2. It seems pointless to continue as you and others will just continue answering with your Calvinist take which I find incorrect theology
    3. Both of our time is more valuable than debating on a message board.

  59. Nathan White Says:

    Chris, I attacked your theology –whatever that is– and not you personally. Looking back it seems as though I implied that your eyes were on yourself –a comment I stand by regarding what appears to be your theology, but a comment in which I regret the wording given that it seemed to make the leap in applying it to you personally. Even still, you still find room in your apology to call me self-absorbed :)

    Regardless, I do find it interesting that I am just so wrong in my theology, and yet you haven’t provided any scriptural basis in explanation, –but you now pull out when you get called on to back up you arguments. Clearly, and I say this without hesitation: given your comments here, you have no scriptural justification whatsoever for your position, because it is not based upon the text, but rather on human philosophy where human experience, research, and preferences are on par with what what our mission is as New Testament Christians (make disciples of all).

  60. Chris Says:

    Alright one more post! :)

    At the heart of the issue is the Regulative Principle and some of Calvinisms basic doctrines (limited atonement, unconditional election) which I don’t ascribe to so I am not cutting and running just being realistic in my inability to convince Calvinists otherwise since smarter people than I have tried.

    Thanks for your semi apology and realization of your implications. :)


  61. [...] Ninth Inning Rally? There have been several kind folks who have asked me about my “Ask Anything” question that, for about a month, stood at #1 on Mark Driscoll’s “Ask Anything” website. Some of you will remember that exactly a month ago, I bailed out on the project as I thought things had gotten way out of hand, and the comments on the question seemed to miss the point. During this period of time, I seldom visited the “Ask Anything” site and did not vote. However, Andrew (here) and Nathan (here, here, and here) have been blogging it up, for which I am really grateful.The current vote total for my question stands (as of 12.08.07 at 7:00 a.m.) at 15,236, landing it at #10 on the top 20 list. For the question to make the cut, a spread of around 1,200 votes will have to be overcome. At this point, there are only six days left before the voting process closes. That means we are in the bottom of the ninth inning. Can the regulative principle rally and make it in the top 9? [...]

  62. Dirtbeard Says:

    …Though we may personally believe that drama has a better effect…

    I think I would agree if the issue was someone saying drama has a better effect. But the issue/question is the use of drama, and it does not follow that since drama is inferior to preaching it cannot be used.

    I believe God has said that there is no greater effect possible, indeed, there is no other real effect even possible, other than the preached word piercing the heart.

    Though I believe in the power of the preached word, I’m not sure how to react to the assertion that it is the only method for effecting.

    Dirtbeard

  63. Dirtbeard Says:

    A few years ago I saw a man, in monologue form recite the entire Acts of the Apostles as if he were Luke reciting it first person.

    It was the word of God; but it was not preached, it was drama-ed…

    Hmmm… in a sense this drama was even more pure than the purest sermon for it contained no words but those given by God.

    Dirtbeard


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