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Inclusive yet Discerning
Navigating Worship Artfully
POD; Published: 1/13/2009
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6256-3
Price: $ 23.50
173 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Series: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies (CICW)

Worshiping communities today have access to more arts and styles from more times and places than ever before. In this volume Frank Burch Brown explores how Christians can navigate this increasingly diverse world of worship.

Brown combines an abiding admiration of classical idioms with an appreciation of new possibilities for the arts in worship. Interacting with a wide range of religious thinkers and leaders -- from Augustine and John Calvin to Rick Warren, Marcus Borg, and the Pope -- he addresses questions concerning "good" art and "good" music for worship.

A lively and thought- provoking book, Inclusive yet Discerning is permeated by Brown's wide-ranging knowledge and deep love of the arts and his desire to articulate a theological aesthetic that, as he says, "will have teeth but not fangs."
Art & Christianity
"A number of the chapters speak of the need for a greater discernment regarding the use of the arts in worship, and the discussion of the relationship between culture and context is nuanced and insightful. In offering practical advice, the author steers a middle way between the mere performance of 'high art,' and the danger of an uncritical and wholesale adoption of ephemeral styles and artistic expression."
"The reader with some knowledge of the arts and aesthetics will find this book useful for reflection on how artful worship can assist and challenge a congregation in its encounter with the divine."
Jeremy Begbie, author of Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music
"Frank Burch Brown has given us several writings on the complex interweaving of theology, the arts, and worship. Here, as before, he treats his themes with great patience, carefully probing each issue in turn. Inclusive yet Discerning will doubtless enrich a lively and important debate about how we handle the ever greater diversity of resources available to Christian worship today."
Graham Howes, author of The Art of the Sacred
"Brown takes us far further and deeper than his modest subtitle suggests. Drawing creatively yet critically on a wide range of material — from Calvin to Kierkegaard, from Bach to Pope Benedict XVI — he identifies 'a potentially central role for aesthetic and artistic imagination within religious life as a whole, and within the Christian life specifically.' Written with great clarity, high intelligence, and a refreshing open-mindedness, this powerful little book should do much to reactivate the aesthetic dimensions of Christian worship."