Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
MSJ 5:2 (Fall 94) p. 211
Donald A. Carson, ed. Worship: Adoration and Action. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. $14.99 (paper). 256 pp. Reviewed by James E. Rosscup, Professor of Bible Exposition.
This is the fifth in a series by the Faith and Church Study Unit of the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Fellowship. The other volumes dealt with biblical interpretation, the church, prayer, and justification by faith. A team of writers contributed the thirteen chapters, each addressing an area of his expertise.
Carson’s emphasis in the opening chapter is on who is being worshiped and who is worshiping. Without undercutting techniques, traditions, and the activity of worship, he aims to see worship in its essence, whatever way it is expressed. It is God-centeredness, true godliness, whether through inward reverence or outward obedience in service to God (13). Carson sees God-centered living in every area of life—in thought or in action and as an individual or in a congregation—as adoration of God (17–18). Worship, then, is far more than corporate actions in a place during a “service” or part of a “service” such as before or after a sermon (14; cf. 189). David Peterson, author of Chap. 3 in this book, has another book looking at the essence of worship (Engaging with God [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993]). In defining this essence, Peterson’s work rates high among English works during this century.
Writers who favor different traditions of worship contribute chapters describing them in their most attractive form, in some cases offering critiques. They look at worship the Presbyterian, Anglican, charismatic, Reformed Dutch, and Lutheran ways. One wonders why he finds no Baptist, Methodist, or Bible-church chapters, or discussions of other missing groups. However, he does find “Charismatically-Orientated Worship” in a Baptist church (Chap. 11).
Other chapters address “Theology of Worship in the Old Testament” (Chap. 2), “Worship in the New Testament” (Chap. 3), “Patterns of Worship Among Students Worldwide” (Chap. 12), and “Worship as Adoration and Action” (Chap. 13). These chapters, along with Chap. 1, show how worship saturates different parts of Scripture.
The discussion of how worship relates to stages of OT history is insightful, well-organized, and carefully researched. Readers who relate
MSJ 5:2 (Fall 94) p. 212
Ezekiel 40–48 to the future millennial era will have difficulty with the treatment of 43:10, however. The writer puts these details on holiness in the “final and ideal relationship” between God and his covenant peop...
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