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    The True: The Grand Weaver

    September 26, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    What is truth?” Pilate said to Jesus, not waiting for His reply. The question of what truth is isn’t as novel as the postmoderns would like to think. Pagans and seekers alike have asked the question long before I was born, and they will continue to ask it long after I have rejoined the dust of the ground.

    However, what is novel about today is that, for the first time I am aware of {though perhaps I am simply ignorant}, a massive number of Christians are asking what truth is. Jesus, however, gave us a simple answer to this question while praying for His disciples two thousand years ago: Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. {John 17:17, emphasis mine}

    So the key truth test for a work is whether or not it {1} agrees with Jesus that God’s word is truth, and {2} proceeds to handle God’s Word carefully and respectfully.

    And Zacharias was, as I expected, true to the Holy Scriptures in his writing. In his chapter on spirituality, Zacharias includes a wonderful discussion of the importance of truth, complete with an explanation of the necessity of context, as well as a warning that false beliefs sneak in when truth is neglected. At one point he says,

    How does one find the thread of truth? By looking at the One who claimed to be the Truth–Jesus Christ. In him, “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…, full of grace and truth” {John 1:14}. Truth, with its handmaiden of grace, was incarnate in Jesus Christ.

    I think, however, the most important point he makes on this topic is when he writes:

    Truth is the thread that separates true spirituality from false spirituality. Spirituality does not give relevance to life; rather, truth gives relevance to spirituality.

    The Truth About Worship
    I haven’t spent much time considering the idea of worship in recent years, other than to worry that perhaps we weren’t “doing it right,” whatever that meant. Perhaps it was the haunting feeling that something was missing in the formal worship we attend, coupled with Zacharias’ obvious grasp of the situation, that made the worship chapter impact me profoundly. Either way, I will state that, for me, some of the most poignant truths in this book were in regard to the issue of worship.

    Zacharias defined worship using the definitions of the two key biblical terms that are translated as worship: “to bow down” and “to serve.” “Plainly put,” he wrote, “worship means ‘reverence and action.’…Worship is ultimately ‘seeing life God’s way.'”

    His discussion on the five parts of liturgy {The Lord’s Supper, teaching, prayer, praise, and giving}, though only a small part of The Grand Weaver, are reason alone to read it. Here are a couple of his best thoughts:

    When we look at the five components of worship, we notice very quickly why teaching became the backbone of the entire worship liturgy. Without the teaching, the rest of the components become prone to heretical expressions. It is the teaching that guides and guards the integrity of worship. It is the teaching that gives understanding of how to be a worshiping community and calls us to remember how God has led in the past. It is the teaching that makes it possible to prepare the children of the community to understand their faith and to pass it on to the next generation.

    After telling of a personal experience at a conference where everything was moved out of the way for the praise band, and subsequently a lectern had to be searched out before the teaching could even being, the bishop’s Bible ended up on the floor because there was no place to lay it while breaking the bread, and a Communion steward had to stop distributing the bread because her cell phone was ringing, Zacharias concludes:

    Somewhere, somehow, we have been led to believe that music is the centerpiece of worship. It isn’t. It is included in “praise,” one of five expressions of worship. The clearing of the platform in order to accommodate the musicians and the displacement of everything else in order to facilitate the music set would lead us to believe that because we have sung, we have worshiped. We haven’t–not necessarily anyway.

    In Conclusion
    The Grand Weaver is written with a healthy regard for truth. And, honestly, I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Ravi Zacharias.

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  • Reply Brandy September 26, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    I, too am a Zacharias fan, though this is the first I have read of his work. All of my exposure to him has been through his speaking ministry. He is, in my opinion, far more talented at speaking than writing, even though the book is a good one!

  • Reply Rahime September 26, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Sounds like an interesting book. I’ll have to look for it, I’ve always enjoyed and found value in Ravi Zacharias’ speaking and writing.

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