Perspectives on Christian Worship

By J. Matthew Pinson
Nashville : Broadman & Holman (2008). 360 Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Alex Montoya
20.2 (Fall 2009) : 281-282

Perspectives on Christian Worshippresents five views on worship as seen through five distinct branches of the evangelical community. The book begins with a brief survey of Christian worship by J. Matthew Pinson, who is the president of Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville, Tennessee. The book is then arranged with each contributor explaining a certain perspective followed by the other contributors giving a critique of each perspective. The explanation of each perspective was clear and the responses were in a friendly and fair manner.

The five perspectives are:

  1. Liturgical Worship given by C. J. Quill, Dean of International Studies at Concordia Theological Seminary.
  2. Traditional Evangelical Worship by J. Ligon Duncon, Adjunct Professor of Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and Senior Minister of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi.
  3. Contemporary Worship by Dan Wilt, the Director of the Institute of Contemporary and Emerging Worship Studies in partnership with St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, Canada.
  4. Blended Worship by Michael Lawrence and Mark Dever, who serve as Associate Pastor and Senior Pastor respectively of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
  5. Emerging Worship by Dan Kimball who oversees the Sunday worship gatherings and teaching at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California.

No real surprises appear in the discussions provided by the contributors to the perspectives on worship. W hat one does find is a well articulated explanation of the perspectives on worship with an expression by each contributor as to why he holds to his particular perspective. One walks away with a deeper appreciation for the respective views and a fuller comprehension of other perspectives. This book helps to get “inside the heads” of those who practice a different perspective than the readers hold. One can only gain by reading it.