Basing my reflections here on James B. Torrance, Worship, Community & the Triune God of Grace, I want to open up for conversation the topic of worship — and ask “What is it?”
In his 1st chp, Torrance outlines three models: the Unitarian, the Existentialist, and the Trinitarian models of worship. Today we look at the first, the Unitarian model.
1. The heart of religion is the soul’s immediate relationship to God.
2. The Father’s relationship to the Son is the same relationship of the Father to Israel, to the Church, and to individual Christians today.
3. Worship is our offering to God the Father.
4. The mediatorial work of Christ either plays no role — Jesus models for us how to worship the Father — or very little role.
At the heart of this form of worship is the conviction that the Son’s relationship to the Father is generic rather than unique: his relationship is the same as our relationship to the Father.
The Unitarian model is at the heart of Protestant Liberalism, and Torrance points especially to Adolf Harnack and John Hick as primary examples of the Unitarian model.