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A Primer on Christian Worship
Where We've Been, Where We Are, Where We Can Go
POD; Published: 2/5/2009
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6038-5
Price: $ 21.50
164 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Series: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies (CICW)

"For all the declarations of advance and creativity made for contemporary worship," William Dyrness says, "the controversies that swirl around it are anything but new. And they call us to reflect on the sources of our inclinations in our current circumstances."

A respected scholar of theology and culture, Dyrness here explores where the church has been, theologically and historically speaking, and how that shapes -- and needs to shape -- where the church will go. He shows how both medieval worship and Reformation spirituality have continued to determine the development of Christian worship in both its Catholic and its Protestant forms.

Through accessible language, clear examples, and thoughtful questions for reflection and discussion, Dyrness makes a very vital conversation about worship available to a wide audience of pastors, worship leaders, and church members.
"In this small book Dyress seeks to make accessible to evangelical free-church Protestant pastors, worship leaders, and laity some of the contemporary ecumenical conversation about liturgy. He largely succeeds at this goal through an accessible style and through the suggested supplementary readings and discussion questions he provides at the end of each chapter. "
C. Michael Hawn, author of Gather into One: Praying and Singing Globally
"A Primer on Christian Worship explores the history and current state of worship with clarity and humility. William Dyrness does not resort to soapboxes but shows careful discernment. As the chapters unfold, one is invited to rethink what we do when we 'tell the story of God's love' each time we gather. At once foundational and practical and visionary, this book will be superb for worship committees that want to think about worship theologically and historically — and want to learn how various styles of worship shape our faith. Those who come to this book with an open mind and heart will finish it knowing they have encountered wisdom."
Robbie F. Castleman, author of Parenting in the Pew
"It is all too rare to find a book that is as practical and useful for the real challenges of congregational worship as it is theologically insightful and richly rooted in church history. The historical theology of Bill Dyrness's Primer on Christian Worship leads clearly to the actual practice of worship without limiting worship by 'style' or other superficial concerns that beset so many congregations. Dyrness's thoughtful, engaging book is enhanced by his clear and warm writing style, the questions for discussion at the end of every chapter, and its well-focused breadth as a useful introduction to the history, shape, and practice of Christian worship."