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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Beyond the Worship Wars: Building Vital and Faithful Worship Paperback – April 1, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Long calls us all into the presence of God, reminding us why we come to worship in the first place." -- Craig Dykstra, Vice President for Religion, Lilly Endowment, Inc.

"Pastors and congregations alike will profit greatly from a book so clearly written, so well thought through, so faithfully conceived." -- William H. Willimon, Professor of Christian Ministry, Duke University

"Thomas Long is eminently wise and acutely discerning! He calls us to genuine hospitality, gripping drama, festive creativity, and mission." -- Marva J. Dawn

About the Author

Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, has been an ordained Presbyterian minister since 1971. In addition to his previous teaching positions at Princeton Theological Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary, and Erskine Theological Seminary, he also served as director of Geneva Press, a division of the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. He and his wife, Kimberly, live in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 119 pages
  • Publisher: The Alban Institute; First Edition edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566992400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566992404
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #779,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The large church I attend is clearly stuck in the wars between three styles of worship we offer (traditional, praise, and contemporary). Long, a member of the prestigious Alban Institute (a consulting group known for its expertise in church reconciliation and growth), delineates what is occurring in our churches and why (though not so much as Marva Dawn does in terms of cultural context). He then takes the reader through what worship SHOULD be in terms of music, worship space, and mission carefully critiquing both traditional and contemporary worship as to their strengths and weaknesses.

In the end, Long makes the case for something called "Blended Worship", but you'll have to buy the book to find out what this is.

My only criticism of the book is I wish he would have explored reforming traditional worship more than he did. This might be more palatable to some (like us change resistant "frozen chosen" Presbyterians) who do not want to see centuries of worship refinement thrown out the window just to please GenX seekers (and their seeming inability to make a commitment).

I highly recommend reading Marva Dawn's "Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down" first, which gives more cultural background of how we got into this mess (though it is somewhat dated, as it talks more about Boomers than GenX), then Long's book which is more solution oriented than Dawn's.
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As a pastor with very traditional views but faced with ministering in an area needing a different approach, I looked forward to this book to see what I could do better. I was hoping simple answers: Do This. In that respect, I was disappointed. I was looking for a recipe but found instead a treatise on the theory of cooking. This is not to say it was a difficult treatment. The difficulty lies in the implementation.

The author, Tom Long, approaches the issue of worship wars from a very traditional perspective. He identifies what the goals of worship are and proceeds to examine these goals from the point of view of the received tradition and from the "Willow Creek" point of view. He points out the weaknesses of both and then tries to find a "middle ground". I expected the middle ground to be some variant on blended worship. That's not exactly what it is. Instead, it ideals with how to be a more effective worship leader. It should be noted in this context "worship leader" does not imply the song leader but the person who is responsible for leading the worship. This includes the responsibility of leading others to do their part in worship.

On reading this, the answers presented should be fairly obvious to anyone who has really thought about them but all too often they are not. The book forces the reader to think more deeply. That is its strength. Unfortunately, to implement it will also require work and effort.

I do not agree with each conclusion but there is much to think about.
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Format: Paperback
Most of us who are ministers serve in churches that find themselves dealing with this issue of worship styles. Thomas Long, as he always does, nails the topic on the head. The section about the issue of hospitality and worship has caused me to rethink much about how we do worship at the church I serve.
This book has been helpful, challenging and I can't seem to put it down.
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Better than I expected. I appreciated the specific examples of actual congregations and how they addressed the various problems encountered in contemporary worship. Presented substantial material for me to contemplate in relation to my affiliated worship congregation. I better realize several components of worship services and congregational affiliation that congregants perceive as important, even critical, to their continued participation and support. I am pleased I read this and carried away useful information. I encourage any who are in positions of leadership within their congregations to read this book and sincerely contemplate what is expressed in relation to their congregation and how the concepts expressed might be used to improve the "worship" of their congregants.
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Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book. It is practical, has tremendous insights and yet is very accessible to the reader. It does not get into deep theological-speak but does assuredly have theology as a basis for its worship guidance. This is not a "marketing" piece that just shows you how to grow without a real faithful foundation. It is a book that gives many "a-ha" moments. It would be valuable for any leadership - ordained or lay to read and discuss.
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