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Andrew Blackwood on the Public Reading of Scripture

In my last post I mentioned Andrew Blackwood’s book, The Fine Art of Public Worship.  He has a good chapter on the public reading of Scripture, a historic part of Christian worship rooted in Scripture which is sorely neglected today. Much needs to be said on this aspect of worship, but here I will simply provide a few quotes from Blackwood’s discussion:

The reading of the Scriptures is perhaps the most important part of public worship. (128)

…if the minister knows how to read [publicly], he is likely to be in demand by the congregation which believes what the Book says about its own inspiration. (128)

The reading of the Scriptures ought always to be set in the centre of the service, where the light falls directly upon it.  Compared to it, our own poor bits of sermons are a very trivial affair, a mere footnote in small print.” (132)  [quoting In Christ’s Stead, Warrack Lectures, Doran, 1925, p45.]

In the Christian Church the minister is the man behind the Book. (133)

What a fine art is the worthy reading of the Scriptures! (135)

One need not argue about it [the Bible], or defend it, as though it were in danger of being condemned to death.  One need only interpret, illuminate, and enforce what it says about itself… (137)

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