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The God We Worship: Adoring the One Who Pursues, Redeems, and Changes His People (Best of Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology) Paperback – March 31, 2016
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From the Inside Flap
It's not about any person who's going to pick it up. No, these addresses fix on a much more glorious, worthy, and fascinating topic: the God, the Creator, the Redeemer as revealed in the Bible. The study of God is like a brilliant diamondwe should keep holding it up to the light to see new details ofits beauty. Before the awe of such a God, what room is there to focus on man? Our only place is to respond to himand even our response does not depend on us! We must not only worship him, but alsoif our worship is to be meaningful and not cheapenedlearn how he is to be worshiped. The Princeton Regional Conference on Reformed Theology presents the following pastor-scholars, who delve into the glory of God and into his grace in making sinners into worshipers: Bryan Chapell - God's Glory Revealed Charles D. Drew - Called by God to Worship Richard D. Phillips - Sought by Christ to Worship Joseph "Skip" Ryan - Guided by God's Sovereign Providence Philip Graham Ryken - Redeemed by God's Sovereign Mercy Michael S. Horton - Sanctifying Grace Richard D. Phillips - Our Holy Redeemer Michael A. G. Haykin - The Spirit of Holiness R. Albert Mohler - Know the Truth D. A. Carson -I Am the Truth Learn from these teachers about the glory of, the providential work of, and our proper response to the amazing God we worship.
About the Author
Jonathan L. Master is dean of the school of divinity and professor of theology at Cairn University. He also directs Cairn's undergraduate honors program. In addition, he is executive editor of the online magazine Place for Truth and is host of the podcast Theology on the Go.
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How do we know God seeks worshipers?
Why should we say yes to Gods pursuit of us?
Richard D. Phillips continues this same line of meditation with "Sought by Christ to Worship" covering on New Testament revelations of Christ. Joseph Ryan touches on God's providence in "Guided by God's Sovereign Providence" through the three types of providential care (planning presumption; personal presumption; and positional presumption) as described in James 4:13-14. Philip Graham Ryken sees God as Redeemer in "Redeemed by God's Sovereign Mercy" addressing the reality of pain and suffering while acknowledging God's sovereignty over all. Focusing on Romans 9, Ryken sees the distress experienced by Paul, agonizing over the depravity of man while affirming the mercy of God. He settles on the position that God is not merely concerned about mercy per se, but the full revelation of Himself, Truth personified. Michael S. Horton shares about "Sanctifying Grace" and argues that before we can understand the process of salvation (Romans 6-8), we need to disengage from our culture of self-help and therapy-obsession. For grace is a full acceptance of what we cannot do for ourselves and the undeserved grace we receive. Through the already and not-yet theological model, we are reminded about our limitation and that it is up to God to fully reveal Himself according to His perfect timing. Richard D. Phillips looks to Christ as Royal King, High Priest, and Redeemer. He concludes with the vision of the glorious kingdom to come in Revelation. Out of this beauty of God's holiness comes our desire to serve God even more. Michael A. G. Haykin speaks of the Holy Spirit in "The Spirit of Holiness" arguing that the essence of worship is God's holiness. Al Mohler describes worship through "Know the Truth" believing that right worship comes with right belief. Worship is not manipulation but an affirmation of the Truth of God as declared in the Bible. D. A. Carson in "I Am the Truth" brings together the biblical passages in both the Old and New Testament and shines the limelight on Jesus Christ, and how the Holy Spirit enables us in worship as God's truths get embedded in our hearts.
On and on, each contributor begins with the Word and concludes with a declaration that worship begins with God, proceeds with God, and concludes with God. All of them belong to a coalition of pastors, scholars, and clergy who hold on to the Reformed faith, called the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. The breadth of topics make this book respectable, though some would argue that worship is a much bigger topic and deserves a lot more pages to cover. That said, the series of sermons are ongoing as each year, a conference is held to allow different members of the community to express their understanding of worship. It is definitely very instructive to people who tend to think worship only in terms of music and song. For them, this book is an eye-opener that worship is way more than the musical instruments and melodies played. The number of contributors could have been more.
Who should read this book? First of course are the worship leaders. Being able to lead is not just about the ability to play a musical instruments or to throw in a few songs to fill in the time space. It is about elevating the goodness and Triune Godhead. It is in ascribing to God His full attributes and who God is. It is about proclaiming the truth of God as affirmed in the Bible. The worship leader must always be worshipers themselves. Second will be the teachers and Bible facilitators. Having a good understanding of worship will teach us that our service flows not from our motivations or talents but on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to help us know God and then to make God known. Third, it is for the lay persons, and anyone wanting to understand worship from a Reformed perspective.
Anyone who wants to know the heart of worship from a Reformed perspective should get this book. It is anchored in biblical truth and is consistent with Reformed theology.
Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me courtesy of P&R Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
From the preface,
All of these sermons explore and expound upon the nature of God--who he is, how he draws sinners to himself, how he is at work providentially, and how he is to be approached by us in worship. In a sense, the glory of these sermons is that they never begin with man as their subject. They are focused on the triune God revealed in the Bible: the Creator, the Redeemer, and the source of all that is true.
I definitely enjoyed reading The God We Worship. I enjoyed reading these sermons. While I was familiar with most of these preachers, one or two were new to me. I particularly liked the focus of these sermons: God. These are good and meaty sermons that any Christian can benefit from reading and reflecting upon. Each sermon is built around expounding particular scripture verses.
(Adoring the One Who Pursues, Redeems and Changes His People)
[Edited by Jonathan Master; P & R Publishing; 2016; 174 pp.]
Most years the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (ACE) hosts the Princeton Regional Conference on Reformed Theology. The messages are given by top-notch pastor-scholars who know how to inform the head and enflame the heart. These ten transcribed messages begin at the beginning—THE GOD WE WORSHIP. Every
bit of reality revolves around the kind of Being Who God is.
This vibrant collection gives us a sure and safe foundation from which to build our Christian faith and our very lives. Having served as a local pastor for 31 years and for a decade in ministry to students. I have seen
the importance of a good theological foundation as critical for Christian growth to maturity. Just as children
who are not fed and nurtured well struggle through life, so young Christians may struggle for a lifetime when
they are not properly grounded in the faith early on. This book is a primer to get Christians started and then
showing the reader the Christians they endorse and the charlatans they expose.
Like a baseball manager bringing out his line-up at the beginning of the game, let me show you who is going
to be the ‘players’ in this most important book:
1. GOD’S GLORY REVEALED by Bryan Chapell
2. CALLED BY GOD TO WORSHIP by Charles Drew
3. SOUGHT BY CHRIST TO WORSHIP by Richard Phillips
4. GUIDED BY GOD’S SECRET PROVIDENCE by Joseph ‘Skip’ Ryan
5. REDEEMED BY GOD’S SOVEREIGN MERCY by Philip Ryken
6. SANCTIFYING GRACE by Michael Horton
7. OUR HOLY REDEEMER by Richard Phillips
8. THE SPIRIT OF HOLINESS by Michael Haykin
9. KNOW THE TRUTH by Al Mohler
10. I AM THE TRUTH by Don Carson
I commend this to all serious Christians—serious about knowing more of the God they profess to know, serious about honoring Him in their lifetime; serious about speaking the truth about Him to whosoever will listen, and serious about enjoying Him forever!
31 years a pastor in Atlanta
Coordinator, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
Dean of Students; IRBS Theological Seminary; Texas