Jordan defines the “Liturgy Trap” as seeing worship as a technique for evangelism (xiv). Whatever else our liturgy may be, it must always be a response to the Word of God. Said another way: The Word of God comes first. The rest of the introduction explains why evangelicals would be tempted to high church traditions. Since that’s is fairly well-documented by theologians and sociologists (Christian Smith et al), I won’t belabor the point.
Should we venerate the saints? We should at least ask, “What does the Bible say?” Critics might respond, “Yeah, well the Bible doesn’t say anything about the term T rinity, either” (this is a specific quote from Orthodox Bridge). True, but assuming the Bible to be part of tradition (which I don’t assume), shouldn’t we at least pretend it is the most important part?
Jordan first notes there is no biblical warrant to pray to saints (18). Since the disciples asked Jesus specifically how to pray, and he gave them a specific template, it is telling that venerating saints is absent. Jordan then gives the standard biblical arguments against necromancy, pointing out that Saul was condemned for talking to the dead Samuel.
Interestingly, had the early Christians talked to dead people, the Jews and Judaizers would have had a field day condemning them, yet we don’t see that.
The notion that the saints can hear our petitions means that a given saint can hear thousands of petitions coming from people all over the world. This means that the saint has become virtually omnipresent. What happens when that saint gets his resurrection body and is once again limited to being in one place at one time? (21)
Of course, and my critics hate to hear this, but this is a movement back towards chain of being and Hellenistic philosophy.