altær: Living Sacrifices. Transformed by Worship.

80th Annual Torrey Memorial Bible Conference

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  • 9.5 Hours of Content

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I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2) We all worship something, and we become what we love. These twin truths are old ones and, once stated, are as obvious today as ever. Everyone, regardless of their faith (or lack thereof) is seeking something or someone to worship—even if they worship at the cathedral-like malls of consumerism, at the coliseums where athletes do battle, or at thousands of glowing, virtual sites where people “gather” to preach and celebrate. All forms of worship come with their own sacred days (“black Friday”), their rhythms (“tailgating”) and their forms of fellowship and connection (“Facebook groups”). And all these practices of worship form in turn those who practice them—for good or for ill. While some lately have been urging us (again!) to “grow up” out of our need for the transcendent (God), we hold that worship is a built-in to human desire. As Bob Dylan once sang, “You gotta serve somebody,” and he was just paraphrasing Jesus, who pointed out that you don’t choose whether to have a Master, just which one (Mt.6:24). Christians understand that we were designed to worship Someone, and we take seriously that such practices of worship can powerfully form us. In this year’s Torrey Conference, we want to consider the implications of understanding the human as a natural worshipper, and the Christian as one called to worship as a whole-life (and whole-body) practice—to present ourselves as living sacrifices. What is worship, biblically understood? What happens when we worship? How do practices of worship form us? And, how even can an understanding of secular forms of “worship” help us invite those who are worshipping at the altars of so many unknown gods to the worship of the One true God?


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