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on June 20, 2005
I think that many of us involved in the technical aspects of ministry are prone to leap headlong into concepts just because 1) it's cool, and 2) we can. This book explores many of the dangers of this process and draws light to the idea that sometimes simpler is better, and it gives valid reasons why. I recommend it as a reality check for any tech minister to consider seriously. Its observations on the pre-worship announcement boards and its effect on the mood of the following worship service are especially insightful.
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on December 7, 2006
This is a book about worship and how to employ technology and the technology enthusiasts who want it to be a part of your corporate worship experiences. It is not an equipment spec book, but a book that will help put the common pitfalls we have all experienced with technology at the center so that they can be addressed and resolved. All technology - sound, lighting, video must be to lead all of us in worship of God, not dazzle us with someone's technological knowhow. Technology can bring all worship to a complete standstill, when it is not operated properly. This part of your team must be trained and also see themselves as worship leaders. This book will be an asset toward that end.
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on May 21, 2014
The thesis of Quentin J. Schultze’s High-Tech Worship: Using Presentational Technologies Wisely (Grand Rapids: Baker Boooks, 2004) is that “liturgical wisdom (i.e., wisdom about how to plan, order, and conduct worship) should direct how we employ presentational technologies.” (Kindle Location 114) High-Tech Worship consists of eight chapters in which Schultze holds this thesis up like a diamond, examining a different facet each time. Schultze recapitulates the process of problem (the technological cart before the liturgical horse), thesis (liturgy should order technology), and wisdom (reflections on how technology might properly serve and enhance worship of the Triune God) in each chapter.

Schultze argues convincingly that American culture’s infatuation with technology as an end rather than a means, nonspecific and unverified assumptions about technology’s role in the cultural relevance of the church, and association of technology with broader cultural offerings of either consumer-oriented entertainment or bullet-point information have come together to create substantial misuse of technology in worship. As a person involved in parish ministry my whole life first as a participant, then as a leader, and now as an ordained minister, I find Schultze’s diagnosis of the fundamental problems Americans face in terms of worship and technology to be on target. All that Schultze writes points to the definition of worship he provides: “Worship has its own, God-ordained purpose: gratefully expressing gratitude to the Creator in the most fitting means possible and inviting God’s grace to move us to sacrificial lives of service.” (Kindle Location 253) The thesis of the book requires, and in fact the book delivers, competent working conceptions of what both liturgy and technology mean and how they function or should function in terms of worship.

Schultze believes most churches approach technology in one of three ways: outright rejection, unreflective adoption, or discerning adaptation. (Kindle Locations 620-621) He argues throughout the book for an adaptive approach to technology and posits contemporary approaches to worship and technology that do not neglect the rich Christian liturgical tradition.

While I highly appreciate the trajectory of High-Tech Worship, musical literacy is one area in which Schultze made significant assumptions without giving any justification for doing so. He assumes the maintenance of “musical literacy” which he describes as the ability to sing harmony and read music is a good which is in some sense the obligation of the church to itself and to society. (Kindle Locations 784-798) It would be exceedingly helpful to have some basic explanation from Schultze in the text of the biblical, cultural, and theological framework behind this assumption he makes.

Schultze’s High-Tech Worship is an excellent book that gets to the root of common American problems when it comes to worship and technology. I highly recommend this book to those who long for wisdom when it comes to getting technology right, whether they lead a worship team on Sundays or are a Christian who uses a cell phone or computer. Schultze offers critical reflection, but what makes this a very good book is that he changes the subject from technology to bringing technology into rightly ordered service of the worship of the Triune God.
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on August 7, 2006
This book is an amazing resource for church folk just looking into integrating technology and worship. The emphasis on the integrity of the worship service is especially helpful. We plan on ordering many for more our entire Worship Team!
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on February 6, 2013
Good book. However, it appears that the author comes from a high church perspective. For those unaware of that term (high church), it refers to churches / denominations with a more traditional form of worship, using a set and pre-determined, and many times ancient, liturgy (not a knock, just a reality - every church uses some type of liturgy). This would include churches such as Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, (mainline denominations), etc. Understand that this is not a hard / fast rule. I'm sure that there are mainline denominations that are integrating technology into their worship. That said, they may have more difficulties (older historic buildings, much elaborate worship art and architecture, stained glass, lighting, etc.) with presentational technologies than perhaps Charismatic, non-denominational, some Pentecostal, and independent churches. The great thing about this book is that it gives you a "heads-up" to some of the motivations (good and bad) and the pitfalls of introducing and using presentational technologies. It is a very short book. But it is packed with good suggestions and thought material. If you are considering installing computers, projectors, sound systems, etc., (regardless of your denominational affiliation), you will need to give this book a look FIRST.
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on July 26, 2012
I believe this book has some good information regarding technology and worship. However, the way it's written is somehow hard to follow and provides a lot of facts and statistics of technology in worship but no actual tools or examples on how to improve on the use of such technology for worship.
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on October 5, 2010
I am utilizing this text for a college course I teach on "Multimedia in Worship." Schultze hits the nail on the head in the introduction:

"The key in using presentational technologies wisely is employing them well in a service of worthy purposes, not for their own ends. We should not use technology for the sake of technology but in support of commendable worship." (p13)

Worth checking out for a thoughtful, pastoral perspective.
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on December 15, 2010
This book is a must read for any churches that are using multi-media in their worship. Schultze reminds us to use presentational technologies wisely - with worship as it's starting point. This book is short, and is a really easy-read. His advice is dead-on useful and well-thought of - fruit of many reflections and experience!
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on April 20, 2009
Good resource to review and have. Not quite what I expected but good reading.
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on March 5, 2006
Excellent addition to the family of online-religions, religions-online, cyber worship, e-worship, e-church.

A handy source for those who wish to develop a cyber congregation, as well as, have a sustainable development. That is, the book prescribes a bottom line: don't be in a rush to become synchronous; rather, visualize your capabilities and do the right thing at the right time.
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