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Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice Hardcover – October 1, 2009


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Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice + Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God + Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 9.1.2009 edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801036402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801036408
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Christ-Centered Worship calls people to go beyond 'contemporary worship' without being polemical in spirit. It takes historic worship traditions very seriously but uses the gospel itself as the way to critique and design orders of worship. It is full, balanced, and extremely practical. This will now be the first book I give people--or turn to myself--on the practice of understanding, planning, and leading in corporate worship."--Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church; author of The Reason for God

"However tempted I am to indulge in a few critical reflections, in this case it is far more important that I tell you that this is an astonishingly helpful and useful book. It is theologically rich, especially when it comes to showing, in detail, how the nature of the gospel ought to shape our public services. Yet this is far more than an essay arguing for a theological corrective. It includes many historical summaries, many lists in the needed categories. Toward the end Chapell includes examples of entire corporate worship services. No one will agree with everything he has written here, but only the most ignorant could not profit enormously from this thoughtful and stimulating book."--D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"A biblically informed, historically rooted, practical guide to the public worship of God. Bryan Chapell first builds an architecture for worship that is structured by the story of the gospel. He then provides a treasury of resources that can refresh the worship of any congregation and encourage greater unity across the evangelical church. The result is a book that seems destined to become one of the best resources available for improving the practice of Christian worship."--Philip Ryken, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia

"So many books about worship unfortunately assume that the structure or pattern of worship is not important, failing to realize that some pattern is inevitable and that no pattern is neutral. This book is a wonderful exception. It radiates with gratitude for the gospel of Jesus. It promotes both confessional orthodoxy and vital piety. But it also probes how well-grounded patterns and structures can become wellsprings for faithful, sustainable, and vibrant worship renewal."--John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary

About the Author

Bryan Chapell (PhD, Southern Illinois University) is senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois. He previously served as chancellor, president, and professor of practical theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a widely traveled speaker and the author of numerous books, including the bestseller Christ-Centered Preaching and Holiness by Grace.

More About the Author

Bryan Chapell (PhD, Southern Illinois University) is president and professor of practical theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, where he has served in various capacities since 1984. In addition to his work at Covenant, Chapell is the author of numerous books, including Christ-Centered Preaching and Holiness by Grace.

Customer Reviews

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Very well written, researched, and laid out.
B. Brandon
The book closes with a number of worship resources on the internet, which will be quite helpful to the music pastor or worship leader of any church.
Philip Thompson
I am always challenged and encouraged by his books.
Erik Raymond

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Zachary M. Hicks on January 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
People in my generation and down are prone to exaggeration. It's part of our cultural ethos. "That was the awesomest thing I've ever seen." "That was the nastiest thing I've ever tasted." "That was like a million times worse than anything I've experienced before." So in light of my generation's over-indulgence in superlatives, I preface what I am about to say by pointing out that this is one of those times when my superlatives actually should be taken at face value.

Bryan Chapell's Christ-Centered Worship is one of the best books on worship I have ever read. It now rests firmly in my top three (not sure what the other two are, but I'm giving myself some wiggle room). Some may not want to read the lengthy review which follows, so I'll start with overall bullet points that I hope will be helpful to people.

* Pastors, worship leaders, and worshipers who cherish a robust understanding and experience of the gospel should read this book.
* Evangelical worshipers interested in incorporating "liturgy" into their worship should start with this book.
* Evangelical worshipers not interested at all in liturgy should still read this book because it will wake them up to something profound about their worship practice.
* Liturgical worshipers interested in understanding the basis for their liturgy should start with this book.
* Liturgical worshipers who think they know all the what's and why's of their liturgy should still read this book, because I bet you'll be hit with at least one profound "aha" moment.
* The book is split into two parts, and the first part (pages 1-155) is the book's meat and potatoes.
* If you didn't get much out of Chapell's Christ-Centered Preaching (I'm one of those), don't count this book out.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mike Graham on October 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't believe I am the first to review this book. Perhaps the rest who have read it are still sitting with their mouth open in praise or mental gears grinding or bent knees in repentance or contiuing to experience some Aha moment.

Usually I will express my gratitude to Dr. Chapell privately. As his former student, and one who has read just about everything he has written, sometimes multiple times (Christ Centered Preaching), Christ Centered Worship did not just inch up my favorites list, it pole vaulted to first place.

Being a young pastor, I have learned so much about worship and its importance from many other of my heroes. I have not had the benefit of working as associate pastor and learning that way. It has been most trial and error, with lots of error and confusion (Thank God our church is so gracious), lots of podcasts by Tim Keller, DA Carson, John Piper, and others (thank God for the internet and these pastors who continue to teach me about the Gospel and Worship), and through lots of reading (thank God for kindle though I crashed it three times this morning trying to highlight and make too many notes in this book). I almost copies the whole thing!

One of the things that has been so hard for me as a pastor is to see the historical flow of worship liturgy and its relationship to the gospel and why we do the things we do. Many of these things I learned at Covenant. But after preaching for 8 years, and having them "represented" so clearly pushes understanding and appreciate and freedom deeper and broader.

In so many ways this was very practical. Let me give you three, in my words (not Dr. Chapell's), that will give you some "lived body detail" of the effect this book has had just in its first reading (definitely a re-read).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael H. Smith on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are numerous books on worship printed; most of which take a side in the continuing and often heated discussion about worship. Having read many of these books, it is obvious that most conversations about worship center on style. Even well-meaning theologians try to back up personal preference with scripture. The reality is that worship is not about style, it is and should be about the story of God and how we have been invited to participate.

In Christ Centered Worship by Bryon Chapell, a well-known theologian, we are taken on a journey to investigate the worship practices and service outlines from church history. It is through this investigation that Chapell shows us that from the earliest inception of the organized church there has been a common story to tell in worship; the story of God. He points out that corporate worship is a model of our personal journey, a continuation of our daily conversation with God that is brought to a grander scale when believers gather.

In one area of the book Chapell writes that worship can be seen in two simple words and how we respond to these words. The words: Glory and Grace. God reveals His glory, we are given the chance to respond. God reveals His grace, we are given the chance to accept and then respond through a surrendered life.

As I read through the first part of the book I was waiting for the `shoe to drop.' As Chapell exposes history I was waiting for him to say we needed to get back to the old ways, follow the liturgy of the historical church, including the songs and style of days gone by. The `shoe never fell.'

Chapell simply stated that it is not about style but about the story of God and how we expose the pieces of the story in worship and allow our congregations to respond.
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