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White Horse Inn: Conversational Theology

Worship According to Scripture

Many Christians today assume that worship is something we do one hour per week, but in Scripture, worship is actually a life-long activity. For example, in Romans 12 Paul says that out of gratitude for God’s mercy and grace, Christians are to worship God acceptably by offering our bodies as living sacrifices. This is not to say that Sunday worship is unimportant. Though we’re to think of all of life as worship, we have an additional call to join with other saints on the Lord’s Day, to sing his praises corporately, and also to receive his good gifts. On this program, the hosts will begin a new series on the meaning, form, and significance of worship.


“As human beings, we’ve been made by a God for that God. He’s put us on this Earth to reflect his glory and we are to live for God. All of that, of course, was frustrated in the Fall and now that drive that human beings have to worship God is distorted and we place it on other things. That’s why there’s so many different religions in the world, that’s why people live for their passions. We are creatures made to worship. The question is, who or what are we worshipping.”

Steve Parks



Doxology is the offering of worship to God in “wonder, love, and praise”, exalting him, glorifying him and proclaiming his greatness in “humble adoration”… Theology can make no real progress without the spirit of worship. Doctrine and doxology belong together. Worship divorced from sound doctrine degenerates into superficial emotionalism. Doctrine divorced from true worship lapses into barren intellectualism.

(Adapted from The New Dictionary of Theology, s.v. “Doxology.”)

The utterance of praise to God; thanksgiving. The best-known doxologies of the Christian church are Gloria in excelsis, or the greater doxology; Gloria Patri, or the lesser doxology; and the closing stanza of Thomas Ken’s morning and evening hymns, beginning, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” sung to the tune “Old Hundredth” from the Genevan Psalter but also to “Duke Street”, by John Hatton and “The Eighth Tune” by Thomas Tallis.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

By far the most common doxology (and often simply called “the doxology”), used by Catholics, Orthodox, and many Protestants including Anglicans and Methodists, is the Gloria Patri, so named for its first two words in Latin and addressed to the Trinity:

Glory [be] to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

(Adapted from The Oxford English Dictionary)

More from this Series: Worship

  1. Worship According to Scripture Listen Now ›
  2. An Interview with James K.A. Smith Listen Now ›
  3. Body & Soul Listen Now ›
  4. The Worship Service Listen Now ›
  5. Gene Veith on Modern Fascism Revisited Listen Now ›