“Recalling the Hope of Glory”—Book review

Why should you read this book?
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
John 4:23-24
The Father is seeking us, the worshipers. He designed us as the perfect fit.

But who we worship and how we worship sometimes gets confused.Recalling the Hope of Glory by Allen P. Ross

If you want to worship our creator God, and you want to do it according to the patterns and principles that God taught his believers through all of Biblical history, here is your book to clear up the confusion.

It’s the most thorough I’ve read on the subject (other than the Bible itself, of course).

Recalling the Hope of Glory by Allen P. Ross gathers in one place, in context, the worship passages of the Old and New Testaments. Starting with worship at the beginning of creation, going through the patriarchs, the time of the judges and kings and prophets, through the New Testament and the early church, and ending with the Revelation of worshiping Christ in his fullest glory.

Logistically, I love how organized the book is. Very systematic, but not forced. Very purposeful, but rarely preachy.

The bibliography is another book in itself. Would you believe 54 pages? (See what I mean by thorough?) If you need more to read, it’s an incredible source of information. It’s divided into multiple subcategories. A few are: Israelite Worship, Polemics and Pagan Worship, Holy Places of Worship, Holy Communion, Music and Praise, Art and Symbolism in Worship, on and on.

My only dislike is the heavy footnotes. Almost every single page is 1/4 footnotes at the bottom. It often broke the flow in the reading, but maybe that’s because I’m obsessive about actually reading the footnotes. But if you have that much extra to say on each page, either write a separate book, or incorporate it into the body of the book itself.

I wasn’t going to take notes on this book. Just read it through and enjoy. But I couldn’t help myself about halfway through the book. There were just too many good thoughts that I couldn’t risk slipping through my mind’s fingers.

Like the following. Ross was very sparse in adding commentary like this—he was faithful to mainly exposit biblical texts specific to worship—so when he did venture into chillier waters, I paid close attention.
Too many Christians have settled into a familiar routine called worship; they are not comfortable with change, and they are afraid to do things that might look like what other denominations do.
But worship is one of those aspects of the Christian faith that must continue to grow and flourish, or it will cease to have the dynamic impact it can have on believers who must cope with life in this world.
There is no reason for individual congregations to change everything they have been doing; but there is every reason for all congregations to evaluate everything they are doing to see how they can do it better.
And the test for this evaluation is how well the worship activities transform the lives of believers for service in this life and fit them for glory.
The book closes with 15 basic principles for more glorious worship of God. Here is a sampling.

1. The revelation of the exalted Lord God in glory inspires glorious worship and fills us with the hope of glory. 
4. Sound biblical proclamation informs all worshipful acts.
5. The ministry of the Word, an act of worship itself, is the key to coherent, corporate worship.
6. Individual public praise and thanksgiving is the evidence of the spiritual life that is alive in the church.
8. Worship is the response of people to the divine revelation.
9. Worship prompts moral and ethical acts.
12. Worship possesses a balance of form and spirit.
14. Prayer enables all the acts of worship to achieve what God intended.
15. Worship transcends time and space.
 

All believers need to worship. And if we’re going to do it, let’s do it all out. God deserves no less than everything we have.

Be a worshiper.

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