“Theatrical Trifles”

Dr. Douglas F. Kelly is the J. Richard Jordan Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. In his essay entitled, “The Puritan Regulative Principle and Contemporary Worship,” which is found in Volume Two of The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century, he wrote the following:

I do not have statistics on this matter, but I wonder if the increase of dramatic presentations in churches may not be in direct proportion to the decrease of strong expository preaching and regular celebration of the Sacraments. As Augustine and Calvin have noted, the human heart longs for a tangible, visible word as well as an audible. To remove or play down either preaching or the Sacraments makes it all the more likely that what Calvin terms ‘theatrical trifles’ will not be long in filling the vacuum.” (page 91)

Who am I to argue with Dr. Kelly? His conjecture is, as the English would say, “spot on.”


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