We offer the
following book free to church leaders in
County, Pennsylvania (one book per church).
"But an hour is coming,
and now is, when the true worshipers
shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such
Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit;
and those who
worship Him must worship in spirit and truth"
(John 4: 23-24, NASV).
With Reverence and Awe: Returning to the Basics of Reformed
D.G. Hart and John R. Muether. Phillipsburg, New
Jersey: P&R Publishing, 2002.
Are you perplexed or confused about the
growing movement of contemporary worship styles which seems to be
swallowing up church after church? Are you doubtful about the casual,
informal and "whatever" attitude that seems to increasingly
characterize worship in churches? Are you concerned about the
weakness and superficiality of the Biblical message in many churches?
Are you concerned about the shallowness of much modern worship music?
Are you concerned about the replacement of Biblical exposition with
drama, dance, skits and felt-needs messages by upbeat speakers?
This is an excellent book to help us think
about the kind of worship the Bible calls acceptable to God. What is
Reformed worship? The authors believe this is the best expression of
what the Bible teaches about worship. The word
"reformed" refers to the Protestant Reformation of the
1500s when the biblical gospel was reclaimed from neglect and the
dust-bin of man-made and man-centered teachings. The Protestant
Reformers returned to the Bible to find out what God wanted.
In the Bible the Protestant Reformers found
that the Bible alone was the authority upon which all church teaching
and practice was to be based. They found that sinners could be
accepted by God only on the basis of Christ's obedience and sacrifice
upon the cross. They discovered that salvation was by grace alone
through faith alone and no human works or merit contributed to
In the Bible they found how to worship God.
They rejected the traditions of men that obscured the simplicity of
Here is how the authors of this book
summarize the characteristics of Biblical worship:
worship is founded on the Word of God."
The Bible alone directs our worship.
The Bible is also the content of worship as it is read sung
worship is theocentric."
Worship is to be God-centered because it seeks the
glory of God. Adoration of God springs from an appreciation
of His majesty. We approach
God only through Jesus Christ with reverence, awe and joy.
God hates false worship.
There is no place for irreverence or casualness.
worship nurtures God's people through the means of grace."
that worship is the means by which His people grow in their
faith. Worship is central to
this growth in grace through the means of the Word of God and
the sacraments (Baptism
and the Lord's Supper).
worship is dialogical."
Worship is a meeting between God and His people.
God speaks through His Word and His people respond to Him in
song, prayer and
confession. It is a service between God and His people; it
is not a form of entertainment
or a conversation among believers.
worship is simple."
The Bible is central in all parts of the worship. The order
of worship is regular and not a spectacle or theater. The
simplicity of worship is also
observed in its weekly pattern. Worship is designed for the
Lord's Day; one day in seven
set aside for holy service to God.
worship is eschatological."
We are united with Christ in worship. We worship
in spirit and therefore, do not need material supports.
Ornate sanctuaries are inappropriate
for worship. Our direction is heavenward where Christ is.
Worship is a foretaste of being
with Him forever.
What kind of worship style is acceptable?
Here is how the authors sum up their argument for Biblical worship:
variety in worship is described as the difference in style, whether
or traditional, seeker-sensitive or liturgical. These styles
do not affect content, supposedly,
but are interchangeable according to the needs and
preferences of the congregation. But
from a biblical perspective this is the wrong way to think
about worship style. In Scripture
there are ultimately only two styles of worship: true and
The test for any worship style is whether it
is pleasing to God. Does it bring glory to God and is it worship that
He has commanded? Is it worship that is governed by the Word of the
worship is worship where Christ is truly acknowledge as Lord and where
to what Christ has taught in his Word by himself and his
apostles. We can distinguish true
worship from false worship by what God has revealed through
his Holy Spirit"
The motto of the Protestant Reformation was
"always reforming." That is the our goal for
Baptist Church. We hope it is the goal for your church. This book
will help you reach that goal.
May God be praised.