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Perspectives on Christian Worship: Five Views Paperback – March 1, 2009

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Perspectives on Christian Worship: Five Views + Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship + Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice
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Product Details

  • Series: Perspectives
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805440992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805440997
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. Matthew Pinson is president of Welch College in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to that he served as a pastor of churches in Alabama, Connecticut, and Georgia. He has received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of West Florida, a master's degree from Yale, and a doctorate from Vanderbilt. He lives with his wife, Melinda, and their children, Anna and Matthew, in Nashville.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chase Vaughn on June 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Pinson, J. Matthew, ed. Perspectives on Christian Worship: Five Views. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2009. 360 pp. $24.99.

J. Matthew Pinson is the president of Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, Tennessee. He has degrees from Yale University and Vanderbilt, and he has been the pastor of several Baptist churches. In Perspectives on Christian Worship Pinson has collected a sample of views on worship in the Christian church today. Determining the general categories of worship philosophy, two historic approaches and three that arose out of American evangelicalism, he presents views on liturgical, traditional, contemporary, blended, and emerging worship. Each approach is attempting in unique ways to remain faithful to the gospel and to communicate that gospel faithfully to the present generation.

Timothy C. J. Quill presents the liturgical view from an American Lutheran perspective. He teaches Pastoral Ministry and Missions at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, so he is very capable of presenting the reasons why Lutherans advocate a liturgical approach to worship. What is fundamental for Quill in the liturgical approach is that worship is grounded in theology, specifically Lutheran theology. For Lutheran theology, what is vital is how God has chosen to deliver his gospel to his people, and Lutheran theology has a clear answer: God delivers his forgiveness in Word and Sacrament (19). Quill presents the theological underpinning of liturgy contra evangelicalism's emphasis on an immediate experience of grace, which he argues is the theological reason for why other groups have rejected liturgical worship (20). Lutheranism, in contrast to evangelicalism, believes that grace is always mediated by preaching the Word and administering the Sacraments.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jack Turner VINE VOICE on February 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
As with the related book, Exploring the Worship Spectrum (Zondervan, 2004), this book possesses serious conceptual and methodological which are difficult to overcome in this reviewer's opinion. Pinson's introduction inclines me to believe he has misunderstood Bradshaw's Origins of Christian Worship (Oxford, 1992) and its judgment of the so-called Constantinian revolution. Pinson, citing Bradshaw, argues that the fourth century represents a "thorough transition" from the simplistic worship of the ante-Nicene; such a conclusion is not itself immediately warranted from reading Bradshaw. Bradshaw argues that, while the fourth century is a time of dramatic change in Christian worship, this change is an advancement in trends already underway in the third century, not the change from one thing into something else. Furthermore, while Pinson does not state directly that early Christians were aliturgical, those who are inclined towards the Free Church tradition might infer this from his comments, although a reading of Bradshaw would not support such a conclusion.

There is also Pinson's claim that pagan worship exercised greater influence on Christian worship during and after the fourth century also represented an increase in pagan influence on the Western liturgy. This has some truth it, but it is also possible to see Christian worship in this era entering a period of organic development rather than development influenced primarily by external sources. While it cannot be argued that Christianity is not affected by paganism since Christianity comes to displace paganism in the fourth century as the official religion of the Empire, the extent and nature of those changes certainly can be disputed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven Wall Jr. on February 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perspectives on Christian Worship is a compilation of five essays, each written by a different author, presenting five divergent approaches to Christian, evangelical worship. Each essay forms one chapter of the book, and is immediately followed by a chapter in which all other contributing authors present a formal response to it. This structure has the benefit of presenting each view along with its criticisms, affording the reader a well-balanced and thoroughly researched spectrum of ideas from which to draw his or her own conclusions. The five perspectives and their authors are as follows: Liturgical Worship written by Timothy C. J. Quill; Traditional Evangelical Worship written by Ligon Duncan; Contemporary Worship written by Dan Wilt; Blended Worship written by Michael Lawrence and Mark Dever; and Emerging Worship written by Dan Kimball.

After a brief introduction by editor, J. Matthew Pinson, which presents a broad timeline of the development of Christian worship, the first view is presented: Liturgical Worship. Considering the fact that the other four perspectives have developed from and within one another (blended worship is a measured response to the values of both contemporary and traditional worship, while emerging worship is in essence an extension of the contemporary worship movement), liturgical worship may be the most foreign to many readers, unless, of course, they have spent time in a liturgical church. Fittingly, this chapter is quite length and very thorough.

The greatest distinction that Quill makes between liturgical worship and any other non-liturgical approach is the question of who is primarily taking action in worship: man or God? He argues, "If worship is primarily something we do, then we can never be certain we did enough.
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