Sunday, November 29, 2009

Called to Worship by Vernon Whaley

This book was written to provide answers about God’s plan for worship, what worship is, and how to go about worshipping in a Biblical manner.
The author does a very good job of presenting worship practices from the Bible in an easy-to-read style.  He takes the reader through both the Old and New Testaments as he examines  recorded examples of worship.  
While I feel that there is quite a bit of good information to be taken from this book, the overall tone of the author was a bit off-putting to me personally.  The writing seemed a bit contrived, as he tried (too hard in my opinion) to speak in a familiar tone, often sounding as if he were explaining his ideas to a small child.   He also used many Wikipedia citations, which caused me to question the depth of his research.
Also, it seemed to me that much of the same information presented in this book could be found simply by reading the Bible on one’s own. 
While the author did stress the importance of obedience as the beginning of true worship, I felt he often confused praising God with worshiping Him.  Praise certainly has its place in worship, but the words are not entirely interchangeable. 
Sacrifice was a part of worship in the Old Testament, and the sacrifice of Christ was the main focus of worship found in the New Testament.  Sacrifice was very seldom mentioned in this book, which I felt constituted quite a large oversight.  Songs of praise, private prayer time… these things have their place in our times of worship, but they are not in and of themselves worship.  The apostle Paul tells us,
 “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” – Romans 12:1 (NAB) 
All in all this book was easy to read and did a good job of presenting stories of the Bible pertaining to worship.  However, I felt that a crucial element was missing – a look at how offering our lives as a sacrifice to God, day in and day out – in everything we do – is at the very core of worshipping Biblically.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishers (  for providing me with a copy of this book to review.

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