Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Book Review: Called to Worship

While I’ve heard of studying the Bible this way, this is probably the first time I’ve seen the results from someone who’s done it. In Called to Worship, Vernon Whaley follows the biblical theme of worship from Genesis to Revelation to give us a comprehensive picture of the concept.

The book is divided into three sections: Old Testament Principals of Worship, New Testament Principals of Worship, and Worship in Heaven (Principals from the Book of Revelation). Within each chapter, he tells the stories or gives examples of worship presented in the book or group of books he is discussing. Then he summarizes what we can learn about worship from that section of the Bible with Principals of Worship from This Chapter. The book is more than a word study; it’s a theme study. It’s meant to help us believe, understand, and know that God calls His children to worship Him, and it offers biblical guidance as to how.

As Director of the Center for Worship at Liberty University, Whaley definitely understands and has a heart for worship and for helping others to worship. Looking at familiar Bible passages from this point of view definitely gave me new insights and understanding. There were a few, but not too many places, where Whaley’s ideas seemed a little contrived, where perhaps he stretched things a little to make the passage fit the theme. But if the reader studies the Bible passages along with the book, there is much to learn. There is also much to look forward to as Whaley guides us to practice now what we can look forward to enjoying through eternity.

Our wonderful Lord is worthy of all worship and praise!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Book Review: Fearless

Imagine your life without fear—that’s hard to do. Yet Max Lucado has made a list of many of the things we fear daily and, in this book, shows us how to turn that life-stunting fear into a healthy trust in God. He also teaches us why we should and why God is worthy of that trust—in all situations.

As always, Lucado uses catchy titles, relevant stories, and poignant illustrations to clearly make his point, to bring God’s message to life. My favorite was the story of the lawyer warning the newborn of the all the negative things that might result from being born in order to avoid being sued. Now that was clever, and he made his point. But I won’t give it away—you’ll have to read the book.

Fearless includes a discussion guide for deeper study. My copy also came with a small booklet, a synopsis of the book, that I can give away to encourage a friend facing fear.

If you’re a fan of Max Lucado’s books, Fearless will not disappoint you. If he’s new to you, Fearless will encourage you. It will also make you smile. A quick read, relevant to the concerns of our day, Fearless is a book I recommend.