Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Book Review: Worship & the Reality of God by John Jefferson Davis
When we do away with ritual, we end up with anemic worship, if worship at all, according to Professor Davis. How is much of today's evangelical worship different from a contemporary Christian music concert? In order for worship to have substance, we need a return to liturgy, a theme expressed years ago by Robert Weber in his book Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail. As a pastor, I've chosen the middle ground between "high church" and "low church" with blended worship--a mix of the formal and informal, because, as Davis puts it, we are ministering to the whole body of Christ and not a "niche" group. I've seen "specialty" churches that indeed focus on one demographic, and I have tried instead to cover all the bases with a general/collective approach...and so I found much in this excellent book to say "Amen" to. The message of this book is much needed today. I spoke briefly with Professor Davis at GCTS who admitted this is a "tough sell" in many of today's churches, but I think more and more pastors are discovering the richness of ritual, culminating in substantive worship focused on God's glory; after all, He is our audience.