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A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship Paperback – May 1, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"There is a distinct weariness with market-driven, showbiz worship. The pendulum has swung to the longing for transcendence, substance, challenge, and biblically driven worship. Michael Horton shows us the way."

"Horton's enlivening wisdom is surely a godsend to all evangelicals."

From the Back Cover

The Rev. Michael S. Horton (Ph.D.) is president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and editor of Modern Reformation magazine. A minister in the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA), Horton lives in Escondido, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801064686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801064685
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Horton is the founder of the White Horse Inn, a multi-media catalyst for Reformation. He is editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine (www.modernreformation.org) and co-host of the nationally syndicated White Horse Inn radio broadcast (www.whitehorseinn.org). Michael Horton is also the J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California.

Before coming to WSC, Michael Horton completed a Research Fellowship at Yale University Divinity School. He is a member of various societies, including the American Academy of Religion and the Evangelical Theological Society, and author of thirty books, including a series of studies in Reformed dogmatics published by Westminster John Knox, whose final volume (People and Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology) was published in 2008 and won the 2008 Christianity Today Book of the Year award in Theology.

His most recent book is Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World. He has written articles for Modern Reformation, Pro Ecclesia, Christianity Today, The International Journal of Systematic Theology, Touchstone, and Books and Culture.

Michael Horton is a minister in the United Reformed Churches of North America, and lives in Escondido, with his wife, Lisa, and four children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A Better Way: Rediscovering The Drama Of God-Centered Worship by Rev. Michael Horton (Associate Professor, Westminister Theological Seminary, California) is a clear and careful examination of the Christian worship of God. Individual chapters address the Biblical passages that form the source of Christian worship, and the importance of putting God and Jesus Christ foremost. Specially written for those who keep the faith, as well as for pastors and worship leaders, A Better Way is strongly recommended as a profound, life-changing book about what it truly means to express one's reverence with a Christian context of scripture and tradition.
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Format: Paperback
Overall Dr. Horton's book is excellent, particularly chapters 4 and 5. He does a tremendous job of locating the constitution of worship in Scripture and of addressing the narcissism so unfortunately prevalent in the church today.

I did find his virtual assault in chapter 2 on believers experiencing God somewhat overdone. Granted, there is far too much seeking of the experience in the church today, but that does not and should not be taken to mean that a believer cannot have some kind of experiential reality of God. Further his observations in this area seem to neglect passages like Psalm 27.7-9. And his discounting of believers seeing God at work in the present "The world is shot through with divinity and nearly everything and every experience is an opportunity to touch and see God's face" (pg. 39) seems to emphasise God's transcendence at the expense of His immanence, the latter of which is also confirmed by Scripture, e.g., Psalm 19, 50.6, Romans 1.20, etc. The overall thrust of this chapter suggests that it is impossible for a believer with, for lack of a better phrase, their theology straight, who is seeking God in accordance with His word, to witness God in His creation, which again seems to me to contradict Scripture. It is true that these experiences are not means of saving grace as defined in Scripture, nor should they be mistaken for or sought as ends themselves, but that does not - when they are truly of God - diminish their reality or significance in the life of the believer.

Insofar as the reference to ministers being formally sent or approved by an ecclesiastical body, "And, by the way, Paul clearly understood 'sent' to mean sent by the church through its appointed officers, as his insistence on the laying on of hands reminds us" (pg.
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Format: Hardcover
In this day and age, all you have to do is shop around and you can probably find the church that has a worship style of your choice. In some ways, this might be good, but it does cause some bitter division in churches that have not settled on the style that "works" for them.
Is this the right way for it to be? Has the purpose of worship gotten lost somewhere between the traditions and the new ways? Where is God in all this, in other words.
The author, one of the members of the popular White Horse Inn radio show that examines Reformed theology for the edification and equipment of the believers, realizes that worship is one of the primary functions of those God has called to Himself. Using Biblical illustration, he teaches readers what worship was meant to be, and also provides some useful material that brings aspects of the Bible to a new light and helps some parts that have not quite made sense a bit more comprehensible.
***** The man to whom the book is dedicated, James M. Boice, would be proud if he could read this educational and informative text.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Michael Horton’s “A Better Way” lays out a theology of worship based on the drama of the creator God breaking into the realm of His creation to redeem man from the consequences of His sin.

The stated thesis of the book is, “God has promised to save and keep his people through the means he has appointed and through no others; the ordinary means of grace are limited to the preached Word and the administered sacraments; God’s rationale for these means is made explicit in Scripture.” Dr. Horton obviously believes that the Word and sacraments are the central aspects of our worship and I thought he made an excellent case for his thesis.

The beginning of the book especially, makes the case that the above mentioned drama looks much like an ancient form of covenant known as a Suzerain treaty. In this form of covenant a greater king (the suzerain) would impose a treaty on a lesser king in which the great king promises to rescue/protect the lesser king and in return the lesser king gives his allegiance to the greater king. In God’s drama, He is the suzerain and we are the subjects that have been rescued by Him and who owe Him our allegiance. Our worship services were then compared to covenant renewal ceremonies.

The part of the book I found most interesting (and which made me wish I lived near a Reformed church) was chapter 9, “What Should Our Service Look Like?” This chapter described the elements that should be present in our worship services if they are to be covenant renewal ceremonies.

I found the last few chapters more difficult to digest and will not comment on them because I am not sure how well I have understood them. (I don’t consider this a bad thing though. Trying to gain a better understanding gives me something to look forward to the next time I read this book.)

Overall, I thought this was an excellent book and heartily recommend it!
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