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Review: The Air I Breathe

Multnomah, 2017. 162 pp.
Worship goes beyond Sunday morning services and far beyond the three or four songs played by a band. When we understand the greater purpose of worship, transformation and revival will occur. Thus, there is a need for a renewed "liturgical literacy" among laypersons and ministers alike. The heart of true worship has been hidden among decades of worship wars, and we have been seeing an increased shift toward a deeper understanding of liturgy. Such is the purpose of Louie Giglio's updated The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life (Multnomah, 2017).

In this book, Giglio seeks to recapture a more profound theology of worship, one that is a response to who God is. To Giglio, the passion of the Christ demands our fullest devotion to following God. Giglio makes the claim that we are all worshippers and, regardless of our awareness, we become what we worship.

Giglio sets some important foundations about worship as a way of life; however, he trades further exploration with seeker-sensitive illustrations. Clearly tailored to his Passion, young evangelical audience, Giglio introduces the subject of worship but fails to explain its most significant potentials. Furthermore, Giglio claims that worship moves from personal to corporate, whereas the biblical vision of worship is a corporate response that leads to individual transformation. It seems as if Giglio's seeker-sensitive philosophy of ministry shades his philosophy of worship. This book is a watered-down primer on worship, tailored to the emerging, postmodern crowd most comfortable with God's immanence, and neglects some crucial features of liturgical study.

I would recommend this book hesitantly to those who are interested in understanding the basics of worship as a way of life. However, there are more scholarly and detailed works—while remaining accessible to laity—which detail the mechanisms of worship within the Sunday morning context, and how that shapes how we live (see "Further Reading").

(This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.)

Further Reading:

  • Smith, James K.A. You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2016.
  • Warren, Tish Harrison. Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2016.
  • Webber, Robert. Worship is a Verb. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1998.

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