Protestant Worship In The Post-reformation Era

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

Between 1600 and 1900, Protestant movements proliferated in a continuous search for biblical Christianity or for renewal and restoration. The result was the establishment of many different worship traditions, as seen in these 11 entries, since these Christian groups tended to express their differences in the language of worship.

Puritan Worship

A number of Protestant churches trace their descent from the Puritan heritage. In their worship, these groups share a commitment to a common principle: worship must be ordered according to the Word of God alone. Puritan worship is also characterized by covenant theology and an emphasis on prayer.

Baptist Worship

Baptists, like the Puritans, desired a pure scriptural worship. Early Baptist worship sought to maintain a radically biblical worship that the Spirit was free to direct. Later, however, in response to what they considered to be excesses in other movements, Baptists came to place more emphasis on worship according to biblical form and order.

Congregational Worship

Congregational worship was influenced by the radical wing of Puritanism, which stressed a worship shaped by biblical teaching alone. Worship was stripped to its New Testament essentials, centering on the exposition of the Word and the observance of the sacraments. Customs and features of worship not expressed in Scripture were dropped.

Quaker Worship

Quaker worship, to varying degrees, is unstructured. It is characterized by silence and by the leading of the Spirit.

Methodist Worship

John Wesley was an Anglican clergyman who sought to bring new life to the Church of England through conversion and enthusiastic response to God in sacramental worship. In America, Wesleyan forms of worship did not survive. There Methodists tended to follow the frontier-revivalist pattern of worship.

Salvation Army Worship

The Salvation Army, founded in London in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth, is an international, evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination.

American Revival Worship

A definite pattern of worship developed in the revival movements of the American frontier and in the campaigns of American evangelists. This "revivalistic" approach to worship has continued as the dominant tradition in the "free churches" of America, and is found today particularly within the fundamentalist and evangelical communities.

African-american Worship

Churches in the African-American community share a distinct worship culture that is the result of the integration of Christian worship forms with a worldview shaped by a traditional African ontology (understanding of being). In addition to the African heritage and religious perspective, the experience of blacks in American slavery has also helped to shape African-American worship patterns.

Restoration Worship

The restoration movement of the early eighteenth century in Britain and the United States attempted to return to the practices of worship outlined in the New Testament. This movement has shaped the worship life of several Protestant groups that use the name "Christian Church" or "Church of Christ. "

Holiness Worship

The holiness movement traces its origins to John Wesley. The worship of the holiness churches, however, was shaped primarily by the liturgical forms of the camp meeting movement.

Adventist Worship

Adventist worship from the beginning followed a simple format, marked in its earlier stages by enthusiastic outbursts and an emphasis on singing. Worship was not a distinctive emphasis of the Adventist tradition, and its worship patterns were adapted from other movements, with one major exception: most Adventists meet for worship on the seventh rather than the first day of the week.