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Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for This Urgent Time Paperback – July 10, 1995
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"Few books on worship are as articulate, thought-provoking, well researched, and prophetic as this volume. . . Dawn displays a broad awareness of the popular trends and conclusions presented in contemporary church growth literature as her quotations, discussion, and ample footnotes demonstrate."
CBA Bookstore Journal
"Dawn's perspective on worship is refreshingly theocentric. . . An interesting work that addresses a key topic for Christians."
"In her warmly encouraging book, Dawn explores ways that congregation members and leaders can plan appealing and accessible worship services without 'dumbing down' to the lowest common denominator of popular culture. . . An especially helpful guide to the literature on church growth, authentic contemporary worship and music, and doing theology in congregations."
"A vigorous defense of more traditional worship. . . Reaching Out without Dumbing Down represents a prophetic voice raising probing questions about worship that evangelicals ought to consider."
"An insightful treatment of the 'worship wars' that afflict many Protestant denominations and are being felt also among Catholics. Marva Dawn provides much-needed help in understanding why worship that is really the worship of god cannot be compromised to the goal of 'church growth.' No friend of traditionalism, Dawn knows the most astute appreciation of contemporary culture cannot be a substitute for a solid grounding in authentic Christian tradition. An important book."
"This is a serious and accessible call to uncompromising liturgical reform."
New Theology Review
"Liturgists and musicians alike would profit from this pastorally oriented text. The author's genuine, convincing, impassioned account of the meaning of worship and its importance in the life of the worshipper should enable the fulfillment of her hope that it will lead to asking 'better questions."
Southwestern Journal of Theology
"This book is must reading for pastors, musicians, and laypersons who seek to deal with the 'worship wars' in a biblical and practical way. If you read only one book on worship this year, make this the one!"
The Anglican (Canada)
"For those who are longing to find an answer in the morass of today's muddle of worship, Marva Dawn's book is not only a source of hope, but indeed a source of strength. . . For all Christians who take their faith seriously, this is a book to be read and pondered. There is material here for everyone. . . Easy to read, but leads one into deep channels of thought."
The Christian Ministry
"A helpful contribution to any discussion about appropriate life-giving worship."
The Clergy Journal
"Sobering, significant, well written, and well documented. . . Her analysis and observations are persuasive and must be taken seriously."
"A welcome study of the state of the art of worship at the end of this century."
Word & World
"Anyone interested in a book that sizzles and pops while probing important matters of worship and church life might well enjoy (and be challenged by) Marva Dawn's passionate attempt to articulate a theology of worship for the turn-of-the-century culture."
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Top Customer Reviews
Contrary to popular notions, "contemporary" churches don't appeal to all young persons. Dawn tells about a college student who left a "contemporary" service saying his intelligence was insulted. Many tire of being entertained, especially when their lives become rough and upbeat songs don't cut it, and the power-point presentations become indistinguishable from any other self-help seminar. Worship should subvert culture. Since the true gospel is shocking, it is not something that is able to be mass-marketed.
Dawn is not an old-timer. She believes that some traditionalists have let the liturgy become stale. The idolatry of "doing things as they always have been done" is no better than embracing secular society. She is not a future-fearing hidebound; she wants us to engage Christianity's rich history, but not just follow it blindly. She believes that liturgy, "the work of the people," should indeed be the people's work, not just the pastor's.Read more ›
I agreed with much of what Dawn had to say; a person who is into "praise songs" and the church as mall probably wouldn't agree with her. She is pretty harsh on the "marketing-driven" churches, but I do think much of that harshness is deserved, considering what could happen to Christianity if it becomes just another "lifestyle choice."
The book's clarion denunciation of the easygoing, narcissitic "gospel" is a real eye-opener and a prophetic challenge to the contemporary church. Though somewhat repetitive, her points are made clearly and with good support from both Scripture and theological tradition. The passion in her critique stems from what's at stake, which is the very life and death of God's people today. Her case for the traditional liturgy is particularly compelling in how she describes its effect on children and newcomers to the church. Having a set, repeated, and Scripture-rich liturgy following the church calendar will do much more to shape the worshiper's character than most of today's informal services.Read more ›
Passionate proponents of "contemporary" worship will at the very least find points of disagreement. In fact, they may very well be offended. Nevertheless, this excellent book is a much needed and well-researched counter to the current trend towards assuming that traditional worship has no connection or meaning to contemporary culture.
I highly recommend this book to anyone planning, contemplating, or participating in Christian worship in any form or denominational tradition. Warning: It may very well change things you have believed for a long time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think this book will challenge your view on worship and cause one to do a self-elvatuation on the topic. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book. Great resource In Understanding the importance proper worship.Published 12 months ago by Charles A Rogers Sr.
Interesting read for traditional and modern worship leaders in a time of division between the two perspectives.Published 13 months ago by Donald Armstrong
This is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read, very informative and relevant to the times we are in. Read morePublished on February 18, 2014 by George
Excellent insights and counsel regarding the worship life and future of Christ's church. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in developing a deeper worship life in their... Read morePublished on January 23, 2014 by Leon G Hebrink
Although used, the book is in good condition and is as I expected it would be. I am happy to have it.Published on November 3, 2013 by Lois Parsons
I received an older edition. Did not receive what the picture showed. I am not satisfied with the purchase I made.Published on July 11, 2013 by charmaine d.
Marva Dawn's "Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down" is a classic in the field of books that, for want of a better term, are meant to be dissections of the contemporary worship scene. Read morePublished on February 25, 2013 by Doug Erlandson