In The God We Worship Nicholas Wolterstorff takes a ground-up approach to liturgical theology, examining the oft-hidden implications of traditional elements of liturgy. Given that “no liturgy has ever been composed from scratch,” Wolterstorff argues that the assumptions taken into worship are key to perceiving the real depths of historical Christianity’s understanding of God.
Across the liturgies of the Orthodox, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, and Reformed churches, Wolterstorff highlights theologically neglected elements of God, such as an implicit liturgical understanding of God as listener. A dissection of liturgy is not only interesting, Wolterstorff argues, but crucial for reconciling differences between the God studied by theologians and the God worshiped by churchgoers on Sunday.
Nicholas Wolterstorff is Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology at Yale University. Before going to Yale he taught philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for thirty years. His other books include Justice in Love, Educating for Shalom, The God We Worship, and Lament for a Son.
Cornelius Plantinga Jr. -- Calvin Theological Seminary “Nicholas Wolterstorff writes on Christian worship with enormous expertise. . . . This book is a flood of light. It has all the Wolterstorff marks, including brilliant clarity and powerful illumination of his subject.”
William Dyrness Fuller Theological Seminary “In his usual graceful way Wolterstorff leads the reader to see what is implicit in Christian liturgy, and to find there a God who listens and hears, who is vulnerable to being wronged and resisted. . . . A major contribution to liturgical theology.”
John D. Witvliet -- Calvin Institute of Christian Worship “Offers a thought-provoking vision of God as an empathetic listener, a vision implicit in so much of what the church does in public worship, but relatively underdeveloped in the church’s long history of formal theological reflection. . . . This is the rare kind of book that can simultaneously challenge common assumptions about theological method, make bold theological claims about the character of God, correct readings of significant theologians in the history of the church, and inspire a deeper liturgical spirituality of wonder, expectation, and hope.”
Jeremy Begbie -- Duke University “For many years, Nicholas Wolterstorff has helped us penetrate the character of worship, combining the acuity of a philosopher and the wisdom of a lifelong practitioner. Now he brings all this to a head in a superbly written study. . . . Those familiar with Wolterstorff will not be disappointed; newcomers will be greatly stimulated and refreshed. All will be made to think at the deepest levels about this supremely important question: Just who is the God Christians worship?”
Leanne Van Dyk -- Western Theological Seminary “Nicholas Wolterstorff here gives us a true liturgical theology -- not a theology about liturgy but, rather, the explicit and implicit theology in the actions and order of worship. The ripple effects are profound, implicating understandings of God, persons, time, prayer, lament, and much more. There is little doubt that this book will be a landmark in the terrain of liturgical theology.”
Bryan Spinks -- Yale Divinity School “A good many books on liturgical theology discuss everything under the sun other than actual liturgies themselves. In this timely study Wolterstorff brings his sharp philosophical and theological mind to bear on specific liturgical texts and explores how the church, in enacting the liturgy, hands on its implicit understanding of God. This work will be a crucial text for any serious study of liturgical theology.”
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