Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review: Worship: The Ultimate Priority (4 stars)

Worship: The Ultimate Priority by John MacArthur has been in print the longest of any of his books. I’ve enjoyed his radio program, his Study Bible, and many of his books. Countless numbers of my generation have benefited from his ministry either directly or indirectly through other’s who’ve learned and passed on many of his insights. Since he’s from an older generation than I am, I find that I disagree with him on some matters of taste, but even where I disagree with him I find his opinion worth considering.

His book on worship is not about matters of traditionalism vs. contemporaneity. He does address that towards the end, but he focuses more on the object of our worship (God) and how we should approach Him. Most people equate music (or even a specific music style) with worship, but MacArthur aims for a biblical view. True worship is, as Jesus says in John 4, done “in spirit and in truth.” His emphasis is largely on the latter, which is a good antidote to the emotional emphasis we often get in more contemporary congregations. We can’t really worship what we don’t really know.

MacArthur sounds very traditional, but that is what I would expect of someone of his age and experience. But I need to hear what he has to say. When he finally does discuss hymns, praise choruses, and the like, he is fair and pleads his case not for traditional music, but for biblically-informed music. The appendix alone is something I’d like to share with everyone on our church’s music team.

The opinions expressed are my own. I received an audio book download of this work from christianaudio.

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