Friday, September 25, 2009

Called to Worship by Vernon M. Whaley

Combining my explorations of Christianity with my love of reading, I have recently become a reviewer for Thomas Nelson Publishers. My first book, Called to Worship, was a powerful and informative exploration and explanation of worship in the scriptures, from Genesis through Revelation. Examples of appropriate and inappropriate (in God’s eyes) principles and practices of worship throughout history are discussed, with guidance on how to apply lessons learned to our own worship experience.

To be honest, I began this book with some trepidation. Was it going to tell me that everything I had been doing in worship was wrong? Would I be bored to tears reading the nuts and bolts of biblical examples of worship? Happily, neither one of these occurred. Whaley begins at the Creation account and shows us how it is God’s call to worship for us. Working through the account the author reveals that through Creation, God established precedent for building relationships with people and showing them how to worship Him (12). Further study of the biblical books delves into worship wars (Satan’s desire to corrupt God and man), worship and promise (God’s lessons on obedience and reward), and other examples of worship as seen throughout the bible.

This book was both informative and thought-provoking. The author’s chapter on Joshua pointed out that obedience is the groundwork for authentic worship. I took that a step forward in my own meditations to debate active obedience vs. apathy. Professing to worship while simply going through the motions doesn’t count! The book provides many other opportunities for legitimate self-questioning.

In conclusion, the author’s statement on page 298 sums up why we should consider worship as more than just going through the motions: “…Jesus Himself made it clear that worship was about more than rites…It was also about charity, integrity, acts of service, attitudes…” Called to Worship is a book worth reading for all Christians who desire background, rationale and guidance for beginning or strengthening their own worship lives.

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