Discerning Reader's Best Book of 2003We are not created to worship. Nor are we created for worship. We are created worshiping.Too often Christians have only thought of worship in terms of particular musical styles or liturgical formats. But a proper view of worship is far larger than what takes place in churches on Sunday mornings. Worship is not limited to specific times, places or activities. God is by his very nature continuously outpouring himself. Because we are created in his image, we too are continually pouring ourselves in various directions, whether toward God or toward false gods. All of us, Christian or not, are always worshiping, whether or not that worship is directed toward God. We are unceasing worshipers.The fruition of a lifetime of study, reflection and experience, this volume sets forth Harold M. Best's understanding of worship and the arts. Widely respected as one of the foremost thinkers and practitioners in his field, Best explores the full scope of worship as continuous outpouring in all settings and contexts. With careful exposition and eloquent analysis, Best casts a holistic vision for worship that transcends narrow discussions of musical style or congregational preference. On this broader canvas, Best addresses popular misunderstandings about the use of music and offers correctives toward a more biblically consistent practice of artistic action.Incisive, biblical, profound and comprehensive, Best's landmark volume is one by which all other statements on worship and the arts will be measured.
Best understands that all of life is a matter of worship—of honoring and serving that which (or the One whom) we value. Moreover, Best understands corporate worship to be a continuation of the worship Christians do even when they are not assembled together. Thus, there is no need to have a “call to worship” at the beginning of a corporate worship service, as though worship was something Believers need to begin doing for a while (and which they will stop doing in an hour’s time or so). Rather, there is only One call to worship and once we respond to it, our lives are lived out in continuous worship. Interestingly, if all of the Christian life is a matter of worship, then evangelism can easily be seen as an invitation (or a call) to the Unbeliever to worship.