- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Baker Books (May 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801064686
- ISBN-13: 978-0801064685
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship Paperback – May 1, 2003
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"There is a distinct weariness with market-driven, showbiz worship. The pendulum has swung to the longing for transcendence, substance, challenge, and biblically driven worship. Michael Horton shows us the way."
"Horton's enlivening wisdom is surely a godsend to all evangelicals."
From the Back Cover
The Rev. Michael S. Horton (Ph.D.) is president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and editor of Modern Reformation magazine. A minister in the United Reformed Churches in North America (URCNA), Horton lives in Escondido, California.
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The stated thesis of the book is, “God has promised to save and keep his people through the means he has appointed and through no others; the ordinary means of grace are limited to the preached Word and the administered sacraments; God’s rationale for these means is made explicit in Scripture.” Dr. Horton obviously believes that the Word and sacraments are the central aspects of our worship and I thought he made an excellent case for his thesis.
The beginning of the book especially, makes the case that the above mentioned drama looks much like an ancient form of covenant known as a Suzerain treaty. In this form of covenant a greater king (the suzerain) would impose a treaty on a lesser king in which the great king promises to rescue/protect the lesser king and in return the lesser king gives his allegiance to the greater king. In God’s drama, He is the suzerain and we are the subjects that have been rescued by Him and who owe Him our allegiance. Our worship services were then compared to covenant renewal ceremonies.
The part of the book I found most interesting (and which made me wish I lived near a Reformed church) was chapter 9, “What Should Our Service Look Like?” This chapter described the elements that should be present in our worship services if they are to be covenant renewal ceremonies.
I found the last few chapters more difficult to digest and will not comment on them because I am not sure how well I have understood them. (I don’t consider this a bad thing though. Trying to gain a better understanding gives me something to look forward to the next time I read this book.)
Overall, I thought this was an excellent book and heartily recommend it!
Regarding the book itself: The two chapters on liturgical worship alone are well worth the price of the book!
R. E Formed
This impressive volume is endorsed by:
- J.I. Packer
- Robert Webber
- Marva Dawn
- And dedicated to the late Dr. James Boice.
Dr. Michael Horton (Westminster Seminary: Apologetics and editor of Modern Reformation magazine) presses the truth that the Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of the Redemptive Historical revelation in the Tenach and that without Christ, His person and His atoning work, the Old Testament is meaningless and incongruous. The truth of the Son of God coming to redeem His people, He died on the Cross and rose again, is the primary ground and the motivation for Christians to offer worship to God.
John 4:23-24 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
Professor Horton argues that the Lord revealed a pre-picture of the Redeemer in the OT and this Redeemer came to provide an effectual atonement as the sufficient and necessary propitiation. Furthermore, as the sovereign Lord, he has furnished the instrument of grace in Christ and God outlines the proper structure for worship that honors God Almighty.
Horton opines: "Liturgy is a word that conjures up different images for different people. Some, reacting against being raised in formal churches in which nearly every
word was scripted and carefully followed, view that word as a threat to the
Spirit's freedom and an invitation to lifeless routine. Others place so much
confidence in the formal liturgical patterns that they seem to diminish the
role of the sermon and confuse human traditions with divine command. No term
is neutral. Each is inevitably embedded in practices for which those using it
are either grateful or suspicious."
Thus the author makes a solid case that Worship must have God as the center for correct expressed devotion utilizing His liturgical priorities revealed in the bible. All honor and glory must be ascribed to the Lord God because He is God and He alone has accomplished and applied redemption required for peace with God. Worship is our appropriate response to an awesome and merciful God revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 19:1-2 After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! 2 For true and righteous are His judgments...
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