|IVP Formatio, 2018. 224 pp.|
At its core, this is a spiritual formation resource targeted especially (although not exclusively) toward worship pastors. Luz lays some of the foundational concepts for a theology of worship, and then applies it to the identity of the worship leader. Instead of becoming absorbed in a postmodern culture, Luz argues, the worship leader must submit to the grand vision of worship—a reenactment of the Story of God in community. Each chapter ends with a worship practice that can be applied to a worship leader’s weekly rhythm, and there is a discussion guide at the end of the book with questions for laity and pastors. I found these resources invaluable when processing the book.
"We must not mistake the smoke for the spirit." (Luz, p. 17)I was impressed with this book. As a student in the school of thinkers such as Robert Webber, James K.A. Smith, and Constance Cherry, it was delightful to hear reverberations of their teaching accommodated for a popular audience. Luz is evenhanded in his balance of liturgical theology and practical application. For worship leaders who adhere to a similar philosophy of worship but do not know how to practically realize it, especially within the postmodern Church, this book is a helpful start. It is medicine for the self-absorbed worship leader, encouraging him or her to pursue a life of worship and approach God authentically so that Sunday services can, in turn, glorify God. I highly recommend this book to worship pastors who are feeling burnt out, pressured to be more creative each week, or obsessed with a cultural stereotype of stardom. Read each chapter slowly, and consider how God might want to shape you to lead others in encountering God.
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(My thanks is given to IVP for providing a complimentary review copy in exchange for an honest review.)