There might never be an end to worship wars this side of heaven, but for a topic that has been so hotly fought over, it is surprising to see not many books on the theology/biblical theology of worship. What comes to my mind immediately about this topic is the book by David Peterson “Engaging with God”. But now, I think there is another solid contribution on this topic.
Daniel Block has written a 400+ page study on the biblical theology of worship. This book according to the author, in contrast to the one by Peterson, is able to present more deeply the topic of worship from the Old Testament, and after i’ve finish this book, I fully agree with him!
Block has done a comprehensive study on worship, he examines all the nooks and crannies of worship, and in my opinion has truly left no stones unturned (maybe other than spiritual gifts bit).
It would make this review far too long to examine every topic within the book. So I will give broad comments on book as a whole. First Block brings the readers to see how the audience in OT and NT first understood worship, giving many valuable insights to this topic that is not often found elsewhere. From it, he derives his definition of worship, which he expands in the chapters that follows.
Block then logically moves from point to point within his definition and covers everything within the topic of worship. He would first examines from the Old Testament (he uses the word First Testament instead) what it says about the topic, discuss about them in their context, and make a quick summary based on what is covered. Then he will move to the new Testament, and examine what has changed/remained, and explaining why these changes have happened. Sometimes, for certain topics, he would also enlarge his findings to the records found in the early churches. Next he moves on to give some of his suggestions or thoughts on the particular topics and what it implies for us today.
Block’s observation from the text has been very detail, showing his depth of research and work put into this book. Block’s suggestions and thoughts often found at the end of each chapters was also very perceptive. Through them he guides readers to think even more deeply about these topics and how that should affect our worship.
One tiny critique to this book, in his definition, Block defines worship only as human acts, however don’t the angels in heaven also worship the Lord alongside with us? This lack however will in no way affect the content of the book.
This might not be Block’s magnum opus book for the laymen, but will surely be one of the best reference book on worship for a long time to come. Highly recommended for pastors and worship leaders to think deeply, biblically on this topic. Be warned though, to complete this book will be no walk in the park, but you will be deeply rewards for your efforts, and thankful to God for what Block has done for the christian community.
Rating: 5 / 5
Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.