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Welcome to Fire On Your Head, the podcast designed to "kick you out of the upper room". We're a discussion and interview-styled show hosted by me, Steve Bremner, a blogger, author, and missionary to Peru. Join me as I interview authors and other interesting people, and sometimes post shows just by myself getting something out of my system. Sometimes I'm funny, sometimes serious, but hopefully you'll find it always worthwhile.

Jun 20, 2015

This week we have returning guest Stephen Crosby on the show mostly to discuss themes in his book, Praise, Worship, and the Presence of God: A Better Way to Worship — A New Covenant Perspective 

Here are some bullet points to summarize each section of our conversation:

6:00 - The Worship leader — Access to God through Music?

Do they really take us into and out of the presence of God? Nope. No such thing exists. No brokers of His presence. Jesus has done it. We are in God’s presence because of what Jesus did on the cross, and not because of anything the worship leader does. The manifest presence of God is like oxygen in your lungs — it’s something you breathe. 

16:05 - The recent history of contemporary worship music and practices ("Restoration of David’s Tent")

Have you ever wondered or been asked WHY we do things the way we do in our charismatic services when it comes to the music before the preaching? Chances are you have little idea and neither will the person you ask. We just do it. In 1948 a move of God is where it all changed. Prior to that, hymns were typical. Out of this movement came the “restoration of David’s tent” which spread a misinterpretaiton of Amos 9:11-15 through a lot of the church and evolved during the charismatic movement of the 60s and third wave of the 80s. We discuss the need to understand what we are doing and what our theology behind it is.

26:56 - No to apostles and prophets, but yes to a modern paid position that has no NT substantiation?

You can find more churches who will fight and split over modern-day apostles and prophets despite their repeated mention in the New Testament, but yet you can’t find the modern professional musician worship leader in the NT, yet it seems nobody questions that. Why on earth is that?

If we can have the presence of God without music, then we have to ask ourselves why are we bothering and what are we doing? On the other hand, just because we can’t find something in the New Testament doesn’t mean it’s forbidden or morally wrong, however, we should be carefully to not then elevate these things to a level of status and requirement.

43:00 — Swapping one high for another: when worshipping and sensing the anointing becomes addictive

We talk about how the look and feel of a lot of the “cutting edge” worship can take on a rock concert appearance and if you muted the volume you wouldn’t know the difference. The same way the Jews of Jesus’ day had built so much tradition on what was once originally pure law code, in a sense we’ve done the same thing with various traditions related to worshipping through music. 

57:00 There are no second generation burning bushes

Dr Crosby explains how one of the ways we find ourselves in situations or methods and traditions is when one generation experiences God in a certain way, and when discipling the next one they are taught the “how tos” of the first generation’s experience, but without experiencing that same burning bush for themselves. One of two things happens:

  1. We fake it because we want to experience it so bad, or
  2. We go into despair because we not experiencing it like the previous generation did. 

Likewise, David’s life is not our example. He merely is a type and shadow who pointed the way to the Messiah who came. The One greater than David has come, and He has united Himself in Spirit with us in the inner most being. If you’re going to create a template for worship and “pressing in” to His presence, do it based on Christ who is IN you and not old covenant modalities.

Deep down in our own souls, we struggle with needing to earn and be rewarded, rather than just accepting what’s been given and freely poured out on the cross at Calvary. Charismatics and Pentecostals who are thrill-addicted struggle to believe it can all really be that simple.

We close out the last half hour or so of the discussion sharing stories and experiences, for better or worse.

Visit Dr Crosby's site at