Written by theologians and liturgical scholars from a wide range of churches and countries, these chapters explore the history of Reformed worship on every continent from the sixteenth century to the present. Surveying the most significant developments in the growth of Reformed worship, the book identifies the major "ingredients" that make the Reformed worship tradition distinctive and highlights those aspects of Reformed worship that are particularly relevant to present efforts at renewal. Indeed, an important component of this book is the inclusion of "A Common Reflection on Christian Worship in Reformed Churches Today, " the result of a major consultation in January 2001 at the International Reformed Center John Knox.
Revealing the rich variety of forms and diversity of perspectives that have made and do make up Reformed worship worldwide, this volume will be a valuable resource for church and worship leaders both in and outside the Reformed family.
CONTRIBUTORS: Horace T. Allen Jr.
Emily R. Brink
Gerson Correia de Lacerda
Alan D. Falconer
Kasonga wa Kasonga
Baranite T. Kirata
Elsie Anne McKee
Ester Pudjo Widiasih
Alan P. F. Sell
Joseph D. Small
Bryan D. Spinks
Leonora Tubbs Tisdale
Isaiah Wahome Muita
Marsha M. Wilfong
John D. Witvliet
In comparing contemporary Christians with believers of previous eras, author George Stroup sees an "eclipse" of life lived before God. This eclipse is tragic because the Bible presupposes human life as a daily, personal relationship with God. Stroup here offers help by exploring anew the biblical view that Jesus Christ models most clearly what life lived before God and neighbor looks like. He then suggests that describing Christian life as "gratitude naturally evokes a sense of life lived before God. The book concludes by examining whether life before God requires a sense of God's presence -- and whether it is possible to live before God even in those times when he seems to be absent.
Offering thought-provoking analysis of modern faith and sound direction for spiritual renewal, "Before God is perfect for churches, study groups, pastors, and individuals pursuing genuine discipleship.
He begins with the question: "What does God ask of us?" He answers: He asks us "to be disciples" -- to follow Jesus with our hearts, our minds and our strength, within a community of faith.
The author emphasizes, for example, the commandments of fidelity and worship, bearing witness and sharing burdens, at the heart of which lies the commandment of evangelization -- the joyous proclamation of God's Good News in Jesus.