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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Book Reviews About Worship

THE GLORY DUE HIS NAME: WHAT GOD SAYS ABOUT WORSHIP by Gary Reimers analyzes what he calls “right worship”—what the Bible says about worship. He defines worship as “giving God glory.” Reimers says it’s about giving, not getting. He says, “The right question would be to ask, ‘Did God get anything out of your worship today?”

I thought his discussion about the platform and audience church set-up was very interesting. He states “in this performer/audience mentality, there is no role for God. . . . the people in the pew are not the audience, they are the worshipers.”

Reimers goes on to say right worship involves both spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). Truth is the Bible; the spirit is the heart of the worshiper. He investigates Preparation, Praise, Presentation, and Preaching in the context of church worship. It is all to be for God’s glory.

In his book, Dr. Reimers also explores worship style and the family and what he labels “deviant worship” which includes many biblical examples.

This is a fairly technical book and certainly not a light subject. I felt that Dr. Reimers handled the subject of worship thoughtfully and with fairness to differing points of view, while emphasizing the biblically “right worship,” which is giving glory to God.

SPIRITUAL ANOREXIA: HOW CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP IS STARVING THE CHURCH by Doug Erlandson is a thoughtful analysis of today’s worship trends versus a more liturgical-style service. He asks the key question: is worship about me (and my experiences) or about God? Mostly, Erlandson feels the new worship trends have “cheated God out of the worship and adoration that He deserves. If worship is more than something for my benefit it is primarily to be done for the glory of God.”

He objects to the popular portrayal of Jesus Christ as a great Problem Solver instead as God Himself and Lord of the Universe. This book covers the positives and negatives of how we observe praise music corporate worship, the observance of the Lord’s Supper, the auditorium itself, forms of worship, and preaching.

Though Mr. Erlandson holds a different theological view than my own, I agree with many of his observations and thoughts about true worship, showing reverence to God, group participation in the service, doctrine in the songs and hymns, etc. I differ especially with his recommendation for using a strict liturgical style of service (my personal preference, not a criticism of anyone) and his theological views about the Lord’s Supper.


  1. Es bueno poder leer los libros de otros, para así poder comprobar los distintos puntos de vista.

    1. It is always good to know different points of view. Thank you, Tere.

  2. Both sound very interesting. I think we tend to spend more time on wanting God to meet our needs than on worshiping Him, both publicly and privately.

    1. I am learning so much about true worship, and the interesting thing is that it all has to do with glorifying God, not what WE take away from it. I love your emphasis on private as well as public.


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