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Grand Entrance: Worship on Earth as in Heaven Paperback – April 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"With eloquence and ecumenical hospitality--as well as laser-like insight--Edith Humphrey has given us a much-needed biblical and practical theology for entering into the worship of the Triune God. Anyone who participates in worship and especially anyone who leads in worship, whether traditional or contemporary, liturgical or free, should read this timely book now."--Michael J. Gorman, The Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary's Seminary & University

"In a study that is at once biblical, theological, historical, and practical, Humphrey explores the essence of true Christian worship. Her insights illumine a wide range of traditional and contemporary practices, and she poses probing questions that often challenge popular wisdom about liturgy. This is a book not only for worship leaders but also for the whole congregation to study together."--Ellen F. Davis, Duke Divinity School

"Worship, like Bible reading, is not about finding something new but about entering into the Old Story. Don't expect Humphrey's book to settle the worship wars. Expect it to go behind the wars into the great tradition where worship was about entrance into the presence of God."--Scot McKnight, North Park University

"Through Scripture, the early church fathers, and the author's own personal experience, Grand Entrance examines the centrality of liturgy in biblical religion and the Christian tradition, bearing witness to the rites of East and West in the process."--Scott Hahn, St. Vincent Seminary and Franciscan University of Steubenville

"Instructed by the great biblical categories of redemption, covenant, worship, and assembly, Humphrey has written a book rich in theology, contemplative wisdom, and practical insight."--Patrick Henry Reardon, author, Chronicles of History and Worship; pastor, All Saints Orthodox Church, Chicago

"A must-read for anyone interested in a scholarly yet accessible treatment of Christian worship. Humphrey's meticulous scholarship, accessible writing, insightful questions, and balanced critique highlight the radical nature of what it means to enter--together--into God's presence for worship."--Judith M. Kubicki, Fordham University

"An especially welcome tonic for all of us exhausted by the quest for endless innovation in church life. This is a book of prophetic insight that you will wrestle with, talk back to, argue against, and sing along with."--John D. Witvliet, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary

About the Author

Edith M. Humphrey (Ph.D., McGill University) is the William F. Orr Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the author of several books, including Ecstasy and Intimacy: When the Holy Spirit Meets the Human Spirit, and of numerous articles on the literary and rhetorical study of the Bible.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587432528
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587432521
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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To date, in all of her published works, Edith Humphrey offers her readers more than solid academic research presented in a highly readable style. Her readers are served illuminating biblical exegesis with an all-to-rare integration of historical theology and spirituality. Grand Entrance maintains this beautifully woven three-fold strand as Humphrey introduces the reader to a glorious vision of the Church fulfilling her eternal destiny, encountering God's presence in worship on earth as in the heaven.

Worship, in Old and New Covenants, Edith illustrates, is a collective call to experience the communion of parallel realms, earth and heaven. Within this holy communion, the worshiper is never solo, but surrounded by Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God, thousands upon thousands of angels, the church of the firstborn, God, the spirits of righteous men made perfect, Jesus and the sprinkled blood ... (Hebrews 12:22-24). John's Apocalypse provides a similar vision of earthly / heavenly connections. The author of the Apocalypse sees the door of heaven standing open and hears a voice summoning him to ascend and see what much take place. St. John's "grand entrance" concludes with seeing the end of the old order, the heavenly Jerusalem coming down, creation restored to experience the marriage of the parallel realms, united and made whole. Edith points to these and other key passages to establish her thesis of worship as entry, an entry into parallel realms.

From deeply stirring biblical exegesis, the strands of historical theology and spirituality enter the landscape to provide a rich vision of continuity within redemptive history and the developing liturgical life of God's people.
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Grand entrance
Humans are rightly called by Fr Alexander Schmemann homo adorans. Who we are is only understood in relation to we worship. And what we do in worship is "a response to God's own invitation" to "enter more deeply into his care for us" to acknowledge "the only real one from whom all good things come...who is the all in all and Truth itself." Therefore worship is an entrance into the presence and reality of God, and thus the reality of the world and ourselves.

Tracing this understanding from its scriptural origins, where the reality of heavenly participation through worship is clearly sated and assumed, and even participated in to the point of eating God in the Eucharist (no, the real presence is not a medieval invention), the author shows how various Christian traditions flesh out (or purposely do not incarnate) their adoration of God. In fact, she shows how some denominations actually seem to preach and practice a "real absence" in their architecture, hymnody and theology. Although she is Eastern Orthodox, and thus rooted in a highly liturgical Christian tradition, she is sensitive to other approaches to worship that are often radically different from her own (and traditional Christianity). She does, however, have little good to say about the theater-style, Saddleback, Rick Warren approaches to "worship" since it turns worship into personality cults and entertainment and, taken to its logical conclusion, self-worship. There is no "mystery of holiness" within our sinful selves as directed by our own desires, and even less so when it is to be titillated in the guise of worship, which only makes a mockery of the sacred.

While she doesn't make the next connection, I was reminded of the definition of idolatry: "Creating God in our own image".
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Very helpful
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Great Book. Thanks
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