Item description for Worship By The Book by D. A. Carson, Mark Ashton & R. Kent Hughes...
Overview After exploring the biblical theology of worship, "Worship by the Book" explains how corporate worship may be worked out in three contemporary churches that are filled with life and growth: one in the "free church" tradition, one Anglican, and one Presbyterian. (July)
Publishers Description 'What is at stake is authenticity. . . . Sooner or later Christians tire of public meetings that are profoundly inauthentic, regardless of how well (or poorly) arranged, directed, performed. We long to meet, corporately, with the living and majestic God and to offer him the praise that is his due.'---D. A. Carson Worship is a hot topic, but the ways that Christians from different traditions view it vary greatly. What is worship? More important, what does it look like in action, both in our corporate gatherings and in our daily lives? These concerns---the blending of principle and practice---are what Worship by the Book addresses. Cutting through cultural cliches, D. A. Carson, Mark Ashton, Kent Hughes, and Timothy Keller explore, respectively: -Worship Under the Word -Following in Cranmer's Footsteps -Free Church Worship: The Challenge of Freedom -Reformed Worship in the Global City 'This is not a comprehensive theology of worship, ' writes Carson. 'Still less is it a sociological analysis of current trends or a minister's manual chockfull of 'how to' instructions.' Rather, this book offers pastors, other congregational leaders, and seminary students a thought-provoking biblical theology of worship, followed by a look at how three very different traditions of churchmanship might move from this theological base to a better understanding of corporate worship. Running the gamut from biblical theology to historical assessment all the way to sample service sheets, Worship by the Book shows how local churches in diverse traditions can foster corporate worship that is God-honoring, Word-revering, heartfelt, and historically and culturally informed
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More About D. A. Carson, Mark Ashton & R. Kent Hughes
D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is a cofounder of the Gospel Coalition and has written or edited nearly 120 books. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don't Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, A Peculiar Glory, and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.
Philip Graham Ryken (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the eighth president of Wheaton College. Formerly, he served as senior minister of Philadelphia's historic Tenth Presbyterian Church. He has written or edited more than 40 books, including the popular title Loving the Way Jesus Loves, and has lectured and preached at universities and seminaries worldwide.
Bryan Chapell is the senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Peoria, Illinois. He is also the host of a daily half-hour radio Bible teaching program, Unlimited Grace, and the founder and chairman of Unlimited Grace Media (unlimitedgrace.com). Bryan previously served as the president of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, and is the author of a number of books, including Holiness by Grace.
Ligon Duncan (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the chancellor & CEO and the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously served as the senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, for seventeen years. He is a cofounder of Together for the Gospel, a senior fellow of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and was the president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals from 2004-2012. Duncan has edited, written, or contributed to numerous books. Ligon and his wife, Anne, have two children and live in Jackson, Mississippi.
D. A. Carson currently resides in Deerfield, in the state of Illinois. D. A. Carson was born in 1959.
D. A. Carson has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Worship By The Book?
Good as an exposure to the ways of worship in the church. Jan 25, 2007
I appreciate the comparison and contrast found within this book of the various worhip styles and the philosophy behind each one. Such exposure only makes it obvious where our commonalities lie, and what is at the heart of true worship. Each contributor does a fine job in this regard, but such an approach has its drawbacks. The temptation to become syncretic is always here with us as we search for a way to worship- we might succomb to pick and choose what appeals to us, rather than what would please God. We often do this without any realization of the "why" of what is being done, and thus lose our way, so to speak. These authors are deeply steeped in their traditions, and are less likely to fall into such a trap, but those who are reading such brief, though well written overviews, suffer from a lack of background that is important for such wanderings.
Learn How To Worship By The Book Apr 23, 2005
Too often, when Christians discuss worship, they go little further than arguments about styles of music. The "worship wars" that have plagued the modern church are a prime example of this. Many churches have fallen apart and many Christians have been deeply hurt over styles of music. Churches that have sought to be progressive and contemporary have often done away with hymns, throwing away hundreds of years of Christian tradition in the process. Other churches have refused to sing any song written in modern times, indicating an irrational bias towards days gone by. In the process worship has come to be nearly synonymous with music. Church services are often structured around a time of worship, led by a worship pastor, and this is followed by a time of apparently non-worshipful teaching led by a teaching pastor.
These worship wars are a terrible distraction, for as believers who have access to the New Testament we know that worship extends far beyond music. Worship is to encompass all of life rather than only select parts. Worship by the Book is an attempt by four men, D.A Carson, Mark Ashton, Kent Hughes and Timothy Keller, to unravel the meaning of worship as well as to suggest ways that corporate worship, done as the church gathers together, can be most meaningful and most faithful to Scripture.
The book begins with an essay by Carson entitled "Worship Under the Word" in which he builds a framework around which each of the other authors will write. The heart of the essay is a lengthy definition of worship and a twelve-point examination of this definition. It is an unusually long and detailed definition of worship, yet one that for precisely those reasons is exceedingly useful.
Following Carson's introduction, each of the three co-authors is given one chapter to provide insight about worship within their tradition. The first of these is Mark Ashton, who is vicar of the Round Church at St. Andrew the Great in Cambridge, England. His essay is entitled "Following in Cramner's Footsteps" and he proposes that the Anglican Church recover the principles Cramner used to draft the Book of Common Prayer. He suggests each aspect of a worship service needs to meet three criteria: is it biblical, is it accessible and is it balanced? Despite coming from a tradition that seems far removed from mainline evangelicalism, I suspect the bulk of believers with agree with most of what he writes, at least until the final paragraphs where he writes about infant baptism and presumptive regeneration. I was a little bit concerned about a vague, underlying spirit of pragmatism that seemed to lie under the surface of some of what he wrote. Within the sample services, for example, is an outline of a guest service in which they have dumbed-down their Bible translation, opting for the Good News Bible in place of the New International Version. Despite this, there was much within his essay that was of practical value.
The second essay was written by Kent Hughes, pastor of the College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. At the heart of Hughes' essay, "Free Church Worship," were his six distinctives of Christian worship: it is God-centered, Christ-centered, Word-centered, consecration, whole-hearted and reverent. I especially appreciated his emphasis on reverence, as this is sorely-lacking in many contemporary churches. He closed with some useful thoughts on music in corporate worship.
The final essay was written by Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City. Keller is seen as a trend-setter within the Presbyterian Church of America, so I looked forward to his essay which was entitled "Reformed Worship in the Global City." Keller contrasted and compared contemporary worship and historical worship and proposed a middle-ground, but not one as simple as an even distribution of elements from each. His essay was built around an examination and defense of the Reformed worship tradition. He examined its variety, sources, balance, core, traits and tests. I particularly enjoyed his explanation of the service structure at their church and the cycles of praise, renewal and commitment.
While it was generally a strong essay, it seemed to come apart a little at the end. The author wrote about the importance of including unbelieving musicians in the worship team as a way to evangelize them, arguing that God's common grace given to musicians brings as much glory to Him as do believers using their talents in His service. I much preferred Kent Hughes' take on this same issue. In the previous chapter he wrote "Musicians must see themselves as fellow laborers in the Word and must lead with understanding and an engaged heart. Those who minister in worship services must be healthy Christians who have confessed their sins and by God's grace are living their lives consistently with the music they lead. The sobering fact is that over time the congregation tends to become like those who lead." I was also a bit disappointed by the content of the bulletin inserts of Redeemer Church that were included within this essay as they seemed to favorably quote Mother Teresa, writing that the most important need of the poor is to be wanted.
Despite a few small missteps, I found this book fascinating and convicting. I would encourage any pastor or worship leader to buy this book and to read it through at least a couple of times. It will provide valuable insight into planning worship services that will lead believers into a time of worship that goes far beyond the music. Worship like these men describe is becoming increasingly rare. I hope this volume can help many churches recover worship that is done by the Book.
Sane, sensible advice Nov 26, 2003
This book is worth buying for the insightful introductory article by Don Carson. He argues that there is a place for corporate worship and that church is more than sitting in a holy building and having my own little quiet time with God, or only meeting for teaching or encouraging others. In his theology of worship, he guards against some of the extremes we find in evangelical churches today. The reflection on David Peterson's "Engaging with God" is stimulating. Some have used Peterson's book to argue that in the New Testament meetings were not for the purpose of worshipping God. Carson points out that though the book shows that worship in the New Testament is meant to be a whole of life thing, and not just something Christians do on Sundays, Peterson still "wants to talk about ... corporate worship in the regular 'services' of the church." The main sections of the book are written from a variety of perspectives, from formal to fairly free, from liturgical to extemporary.
Interestingly, the article by the minister from the more liturgical background, Mark Ashton, argues from his knowledge of Cranmer [the creator of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer] that churches should have more flexibility and freedom. And the articles by those from a less structured eccesiology argue for the use of some liturgy!
And Carson suggests we should be using the best of the ways of worship from our brothers and sisters around the world, without becoming self-consciously Multicultural for the sake of it.
Follow the Book Feb 11, 2003
"Sooner or later Christians tire of public meetings that are profoundly inauthentic, regardless of how well (or poorly) arranged, directed, performed. We long to meet, corporately, with the living and majestic God and to offer him the praise that is his due." (D.A. Carson)
OK, my knee-jerk reaction to this book was, "Finally, some THOUGHTFUL words on worship!" But let's face it, books on evangelical worship are a dime-a-dozen these days with little new being said and a lack of thoughtfulness (not sincerity). As for books on worship and the theology of worship: the standard has been significatly raised.
Not so with this book! Dr. Carson's introductory essay alone is worth this book. But, there is a lot more that it offers: following some insightful remarks by the editor (Carson) there are three theoretical/applicable studies written by Mark Ashton (Anglican -- Cranmer), R. Kent Hughes (Free Church), and Timothy J. Keller (Reformed).
Each writes from their own tradition (as a pastor), providing a semi-apologetic and a passion for the approach. Further, each writer includes sample services to help show what each tradition "looks like" in practice.
I recommend this to: 1)those tired of reading the same old stuff on worship 2)those unfamiliar with the theology of worship (this is a good intro) 3)those unfamiliar with different doctrinal/denominational traditions 4)church elders and leaders who plan worship 5)those desiring more...