Theology is a reflective discipline. That is, people who do theology reflect on the truth of Scripture and the insights of the church in a systematic way. Systematic reflection on worship results in a theology, or rather, theologies of worship. In this section, theologians of various Christian traditions reflect on their worship and attempt to articulate the words and actions of this worship in a systematic form. Interpreters bring their own experience to the subject they interpret. One who constructs a theology of worship is not exempt from this hermeneutical method. Personal perspectives can often illuminate the broad and varied patterns of Christian worship. This section offers three views on the theology of worship: a liturgical approach, a free-church perspective, and a charismatic interpretation.
Christian churches experience both unity and diversity. For example, churches express the unity of their faith in the common confession of the Apostles' Creed, while their adherence to a particular confession, such as the Augsburg Confession, the Westminster Confession, or the Anglican Thirty-Nine Articles, sets them apart from other groups. Unity and diversity also characterize worship. What the churches hold in common is baptism, the proclamation of the Word, and the Service of the Table. How the churches interpret and practice these common elements of worship differ from denomination to denomination. These differences demonstrate the rich variety of insights among Christians about their common heritage of worship. Below are 13 expressions of that variety.