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Discerning the Spirits
A Guide to Thinking about Christian Worship Today
PAPERBACK; Published: 11/18/2003
ISBN: 978-0-8028-3999-2
Price: $ 22.50
186 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
Series
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DESCRIPTION
Series: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies (CICW)

Christian worship in North America has undergone great change in recent years. But change always brings uncertainty -- at times even division -- about what constitutes "authentic worship." This important book reviews a wide variety of current perspectives and offers a fresh outlook on the contemporary practice of Christian worship.

In order to provide the widest, most insightful discussion on present-day worship practices yet assembled, the authors gathered a team of church musicians, ministers, worship leaders, and educators from eight church traditions. Discerning the Spirits is the fruit of their work. Shaped by the wisdom of men and women like Marva Dawn, Justo Gonzalez, C. Michael Hawn, and John Witvliet, this book broadens today's "worship wars" into a bigger, richer discussion that moves from arguments over musical tastes to good thinking about the overall purpose of worship in relation to church life and God himself. Sidebar articles and quotes are meant to draw readers and study groups into dialogue on these issues.

Whether one plays a leadership role in church worship or is simply grappling with questions about it, Discerning the Spirits is a must-read.
REVIEWS
Clayton J. Schmit
"Discerning the Spirits is an important and much-needed book. As the so-called 'worship wars' come to an end, the church in North America finds itself stuck with a loaded and confusing term — 'contemporary worship.' The contributors to this volume look carefully at the issues surrounding contemporary worship practices and offer solid theological insight as to what the church in North America is up to in its assemblies. They hold for continued debate over worship forms and styles even as they teach us to argue in love, always discerning, never judging. And they suggest that the church might simply be enriched in its local gatherings if we learn to value the gifts of diversity and use them wisely."
James F. White
"The most pressing questions facing churches today have nothing to do with sex. Rather, they concern the proper functions and appropriate forms of Christian worship. This book surveys in an open and impartial way the incredible variety of worship options that have developed in recent years. Beyond simply describing, however, it helps readers make discerning choices in planning and leading worship through approaching worship as 'narrative engagement with the triune God.' Thus theory becomes a highly practical tool for worship leadership. "
Robert Webber
"There are so many new books on worship being published that one needs to choose wisely. The scope, balance, and practicality of Discerning the Spirits put it at the top of my list."