Saturday, May 25, 2013

How Then Shall We Worship? by R. C. Sproul

Sproul notes it is the nature of man to worship God. But since the Fall, this nature has been damaged. We tend to idolatry. We cannot just follow our desires for worship. We must direct ourselves, he argues, to worship following the instructions in Scripture.

With that introduction, Sproul sets out to give the basic principles of worship found in Scripture as well as the models displayed there. Our overriding concern needs to be what is pleasing to God. We cannot neglect the Old Testament. There we can discern patterns of worship God has revealed. Worship for Israel was understood basically as praise, prayer, and sacrifice. Sproul explores the attitude of the worshiper as well as the meaning of spiritual worship.

He then examines the sacraments of the New Testament church, baptism and the Lord's Supper. After beginning with why God gave sacraments, he explores the meaning of baptism and defends infant baptism as the biblical view (by inference). He explains the various views of Christ's presence, or lack of it, in the Lord's Supper.

Sproul speaks of the desire to sense the presence of God in worship. He shows how Israel's worship involved all the senses. He then gives examples of how worship today can also involve all the senses.

There is an extensive study guide at the end of the book is nearly eighty pages long. It could be used by a person with the aim of teaching a class on worship or used by a group for discussion. This book would a good choice for Sunday School class or a church board discussion.

I encourage Christians to read this book. Even if you do not agree with all Sproul teaches, such as infant baptism, there is much important material in this book. If you truly want to understand how to please God in your worship, this is a good place to begin.

Note: this is a reprint of the book that came out in 2006, A Taste of Heaven: Worship in the Light of Eternity.

Dr. R. C. Sproul is the founder and chairman of Ligonier ministries. He also serves as co-pastor at Saint Andrew's, a Reformed congregation in Sanford, Florida, and as the president of Reformed Bible College. He is the author of more than eighty books. He and his wife live in Longwood, Florida.

David C. Cook, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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