Talks are continuing apace between the two churches concerning the merger of Coral Ridge with New City Church. Tullian is providing regular updates on his blog. There are a few concerns I have about this whole process that I think will be rather important.
1. What will be the new worship style at CRPC? Will it turn seeker-sensitive? The purpose of worship is to glorify God, not to minister to felt needs. CRPC never needed seeker-sensitive worship to attract the people. What attracted the people was the pure Gospel preached week in and week out. Tullian seems to me to be a Gospel preacher. But what about the music? Seeker-sensitive music is usually a code-word for “me-centered” worship. I don’t know if that would happen. I merely raise the question. This is vitally important, I believe. The hymns chosen need to be deeply doctrinal in nature for people to grow. They need to be orthodox, and the music needs to fit the words. Lament is not popular in seeker-sensitive worship. However, Lamentations is in the Bible so that churches can lament their sin while they turn from it to Jesus.
2. I understand that most of the ministerial staff are not really involved in the process of the merger. Is this wise? I’m sure most of the specifics will need to be taken care of by those who really know the law (I understand there are some capable lawyers on the session). However, the more doctrinal issues need to be hammered out by the theologians. There is one very important doctrinal difference between the EPC and the PCA, and that is the role of women in the church. How will this be handled?
3. How transparent are the actual details going to be to the congregation? I realize that if everyone has their say in the matter, the issue could get ugly. However, there are many vital concerns that the congregation needs to be able to make judgments about before the merger happens and before they can make an informed vote. This is especially true, if, as I understand, the congregation will only be able to hear Tullian once, and will then be required to vote.
If you desire to comment, please be informed that first-time commenters’ comments are held in the moderation queue. After that, they are not held (if your comment is approved), unless they have three or more links in the comment. I would especially invite members of CRPC to comment on these issues.