Book Review: Engaging with God

Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship

Title Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship
Author David Peterson
Pages 317
Publisher InterVarsity Press
Year 1992 (the 2002 print was reviewed)
ISBN 0 8308 2697 1
Purchase Moore Books

Worship … is essentially an engagement with [God] on the terms that he proposes and in the way that he alone makes possible. page 55

It’s always rather strange that the concept of worship is such a controversial subject in churches today. One of the root causes of the controversy is probably a lack of understanding of what worship is, or more precisely, what the Scriptures teach what worship is.

It is in this context that David Peterson brought an insightful treatment on what the Bible says about the subject. The approach taken here is biblical theology (which is pretty much the “standard” in my sphere). This deals with the whole Bible as a single book, tracing through the concept of worship from Genesis to Revelation, but always given the fulfillment of the whole biblical message in Jesus.

I should warn that the book is “semi-academic” in the sense that it is aimed at the thinking Christian. You don’t need to be a Bible college student to understand it, but it does get technical with the Bible from time to time.

I must admit a bit of laziness on my part—it took me about three months to finish this reasonably short book. And I was not as diligent in checking biblical references a I should have been. Nevertheless, my biggest learning would be the quote at the beginning of this post. In my words, we must worship God in, and only in, his terms.

Overall, the book is like a hearty meal. Provided that you are willing to spend the effort, you will find it rewarding, and provide you with a clearer understanding of what worship is.

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