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Does it matter how the elements of worship are practiced? Can a biblical element such as preaching be presented in the form of dance?

As we said earlier, the “forms” refers to how elements of worship are practiced. Under the Regulative Principle we are free to change the form of an element with a few exceptions. Take for example the element of preaching. Preaching is given to us in Scripture by command, example, and principle. Each time preaching appears in the Scriptures it is practiced in the form of speech. Preaching itself, at its most basic level, is speech about the God of the Gospel. It is never given to us in any other form. Therefore to change the form of preaching from words to dancing is to fundamentally alter preaching in a way that makes it something entirely different. Preaching is an example of a biblical element of worship in which the form is essential to the element. Therefore you could say the form is mandated by the nature of the element.

As long as we do not alter an element by altering the form of the element we are free to use creative new forms. For example we are free to “devote” ourselves “to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Timothy 4:13) by reading one chapter at a time, reading responsively, or reading overtop the rhythmic finger picking of an acoustic guitar player.

So as exciting as it might be to see your pastor do an interpretive dance, it still would not qualify as biblical preaching.

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