Icons and the Possibility of a Tropological Theology

Worship using icons, images and multimedia is being discussed right now, especially in relation to Calvary Church's stance on iconic worship and the emerging church. It might be helpful to look at the idea of tropological theology.

Tropological theology is found all the way through church history. "Augustine suggested a four-fold sense which would later be adopted by medieval theologians: (1) literal; (2) allegorical; (3) tropological or moral; and (4) analogical." Theology Adrift, Bible.org

According to Viggo Mortensen Snr, some scholars believe Martin Luther gave the tropological (relating to the soul) interpretation priority over the allegorical (relating to the church) in his interpretation of the psalms. (Link) Dr John Barber says "Luther’s mature exegetical approach, which was the tropological method of Bible interpretation (it emphasized the spiritual and existential side of Christian living), came to fruition between 1516-1519". [Luther and Calvin on Worship and Music, PDF]

Paul Hiebert speaks of the doxological or tropological theology that "is done in the context of worship, and stresses the mystical, sacramental and iconic nature of truth. The key question it addresses is, “How can we comprehend complex, transcendent truths about God and reality that lie beyond words, logic and human reason?” It uses nondiscursive signs and tropes such as icons, metaphors, types and parables to communicate transcendent truth." (Paul Hiebert, Spritual Warfare and Worldview, p. 167, Global Missiology for the 21st Century, ed. William Taylor)

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Getting Things Moving

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An article I wrote for Worship Leader is online. Its called "Getting Things Moving" and its about movement in worship.

I suggest the following ways to get things moving at your church;
- Pray with your bodies
- Install an interactive worship station
- Create a multi-media labyrinth
- Set up a 24/7 prayer room
- Prayer-walk your city
- Go on pilgrimage

There was a question from one person over my use of the word "labyrinth" and its relationship to new age/mysticism. If anyone is interested, I would be happy to answer questions about the article right here. Otherwise read, enjoy, and subscribe to the world's leading worship magazine.

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