In this recent thread, the discussion turned to Reformed usage of the term “Sanctuary”. I had heard anecdotally that “Sanctuary” is frowned upon, because the room in which we worship is not holy, not sanctified — not like the Temple about which God said to Solomon:
I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. (1 Kings 9:3 ESV)
But if there is an understanding out there that “Sanctuary” is an unacceptable term, it seems to be a pretty well-kept secret, since I can’t find any written evidence of it.
I checked out from my church library the Bruggink & Droppers’ massive Christ and Architecture, in which the closest I could find to this issue was a footnote:
It should be noted that in Roman Catholic terminology, the “sanctuary” usually denotes the area immediately surrounding the altar, while in Protestantism the term is usually used to designate the entire room for worship. The theological implications are obvious.
Apart from that quote, the book uses the term “Sanctuary” unself-consciously and unrelentingly.
So does anybody know of any Reformed writing about the advisability of the term “Sanctuary”?
Also, I hereby announce a contest for the best alternative. From the above quote, the first nomination (which will surely lose) is “entire room for worship”.
The winning entry (chosen by me) will be henceforth used by all Reformed congregations in the world, effective immediately!