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Recalling the Hope of Glory Hardcover – November 15, 2006
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From the Inside Flap
"For any significant change to occur in our worship activities," writes Allen Ross, "we have to get behind forms and methods and changes in style and focus on the biblical theology that informs worship." Out of his concern for worship to be as glorious as it should be, Ross has provided readers with a methodical, detailed study of all the biblical testimony on the subject of worship.
Many "biblical" studies of worship explain Scripture only where it is most applicable to the authors own views, but very few, if any, have attempted an inductive study of worship throughout the entire Bible. Beginning not with early Israelite worship but with creation itself, seasoned biblical scholar Allen Ross uncovers the glories and beauty of worship as it is progressively revealed from its beginning in the Garden of Eden to its climax in the new heavens and new earth. Along the way, the historical development of worship is considered from the religious world in antiquity and worship in the early church to modern traditions and liturgy.
Neither technical, simplistic, nor specific to one denomination, Recalling the Hope of Glory is designed for all Gods people. Pastors, worship leaders, professors, students, and laypeople will find exposition that challenges, informs, and furthers our understanding of glorious worship. Through this study, readers will see patterns and principles of worship emerge, understand more fully our great heritage and its traditions, and discover ways to improve their worship.
From the Back Cover
“The publication of Recalling the Hope of Glory is a splendid addition to the growing number of works on biblical worship. Not only is this work a comprehensive theological vision of creation, incarnation, and re-creation, it is also a genuine work of praise.”
—ROBERT E. WEBBER, author of more than forty books on worship and the church
“Stunning in scope, Recalling the Hope of Glory provides a historical-theological study of worship from creation to the new creation. The logic of Allen Ross’s ranging exposition across the flow of biblical history will challenge every reader and grace every church, regardless of tradition. Here is dazzling substance for recovery of robust worship of our sovereign and holy triune God. Sure to be a standard work.”
—R. KENT HUGHES, pastor, College Church in Wheaton
“This book deals expertly and thoroughly with worship in the Bible. What is most refreshing: it is not at all ideological. People of all persuasions will find it valuable as a reference work. It also gives us a large perspective on worship that is likely to moderate the current discussion.”
—JOHN M. FRAME, professor of systematic theology and philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary
“Allen Ross takes his readers back to the Bible itself to paint a colorful picture of worship that is spiritually vibrant, theologically sound, and focused on Christ. His passion for worship that glorifies God and his thorough knowledge of Scripture are obvious throughout. For the western church, which needs desperately to recover its biblical and theological roots, this book will be an extremely helpful resource.”
—DANIEL I. BLOCK, professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College
“It is remarkable that so many books about worship have so little to say about God. Recalling the Hope of Glory is a welcome exception. Through its patient reflection on specific biblical texts and themes, it evokes a vivid awareness of the God of glory. By developing the theme of glory, this book hones a vision of worship that is at once luminous, transcendent, and inexhaustible.”
—JOHN D. WITVLIET, director, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
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The Bible has much to say about worship and Allen Ross has written an excellent book examining this topic throughout the whole of scripture. His approach is an inductive study of worship beginning at Creation in Genesis and progressing through the history of God’s people ultimately culminating in the new creation in the book of Revelation. Dr. Ross is a scholar of very high caliber but he writes in a style that is warm and inviting. This book has become to me an instant favorite.
Here are a few of the reasons that I found this book to be among my favorites:
1. Dr. Ross’ high view of scripture.
Sometimes when someone is an expert in the original languages, it seems to erode their confidence in the veracity of scripture. Although Dr. Ross is an expert in Hebrew, his writing shines with the certainty that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word.
2. The doxological nature of the book.
After reading the introduction (which is an extended doxology), I found myself in an attitude of Thanksgiving to this great God who has revealed Himself to us in His Word. And that was just the beginning. I found myself putting the book down often to reflect on God’s glory, majesty, and holiness. If this book did not bring me to such worshipful meditations, I would have finished it much sooner. I found myself relishing every chapter.
3. The encompassing scope of this book.
This is truly a biblical theology of worship. I found myself transported to creation, Mt. Sinai, and the temple (to name a few) as Dr. Ross helped me to think deeply about what worship looked like and what principles I could draw from those experiences. Worship is the business of God’s people and it unifies us with those who have gone before as well as those who will come after. It is the business of eternity.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a fuller understanding of what it means to worship God. Thank you Dr. Ross and Kregel for this aid to God’s people in knowing and loving Him more.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Kregel in exchange for my unbiased opinion.
This book is overwhelming and complex .. and a fascinating read.
Mr. Ross gives historical perspective on early worship, putting life to the descriptions and rules in the Old Testament. Chapter by chapter he lays out the practices and traditions of worship from the very beginning. And he weaves in the necessary application we can draw to our own modern day understanding of who God is and what he deserves from us.
I have to read the chapters more than once to get it all, but it's definitely worth it.
I highly recommend this book.
What is the foundational element of worship from a theological perspective? Why do we worship in the way we do as Christians? All these questions are encountered in the delightful and carefully written book, Recalling the Hope of Glory by Professor Allen Ross. Ross is known for his insightful works on the Psalms (both from Kregel Academic) and his work on Biblical Hebrew. In this book on worship, Allen begins by cataloguing the lowly and unsatisfying picture of worship in many of our churches as a mundane affair that is casually done by its participants. Instead, Ross rightly posits worship as “a transcendent meeting with the living God (39).” The reason that so much of our worship is lacking in substance and vision is the deficit of a robust biblical and theological of worship that undergirds all of what we do and say concerning worship (38).
When we come to the fount of meaning concerning worshipping God, where do we start? Ross clues us in on the answer by bringing us back to the Scriptures, specifically Isaiah 6. In Isaiah 6, the holiness of God is in view, and the proper response to God’s holiness is fear and adoration, confession and commitment (52-53). While I thought this first chapter was very illuminating, Ross’ discussion of ritual acts of worship developing our four senses was especially helpful. He identifies in ritual actions in worship four senses which are touched in worship; namely the intellectual, aesthetic, corporate, and moral sense (57-60). These senses taken together include the cognitive apprehension of what is going on in worship (doctrine and ritual), the beauty of the art of worship, the nature of the worshipping community, and the moral formation that is caused by engaging in worship. This is a helpful delineation of worship and our senses because without one of these components, worship does not affect lasting change in our lives.
In the midst of Allen’s discussion regarding the Perversion of Paradise, he looks at some compelling passages that shed light on both God’s grace and God’s remedy for sin. He writes, “When Adam and Eve admitted their sin, God replaced their temporary coverings with animal skins. Clothing thus became a symbol of God’s grace…” (115). Ross connects this idea of clothing with what we find in later Scriptural texts, namely that righteousness and holiness are connected to the garments of holiness, whether white linens or other glorious apparel. The point isn’t so much the apparel itself but the holiness that comes from being in relationship with God and us revealing the holiness of our Savior. As God’s grace was evident in God giving our first parents garments of animal skins, so it is God’s grace which grants us the white linens of holiness as we approach God as witnessed in the Book of Revelation.
This is a beautifully written and well-researched book. I hope you will enjoy it as I surely did.
Thanks to Kregel Academic for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.