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Called to Worship: The Biblical Foundations of Our Response to God's Call

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Long but Thought-Provoking

    An insightful look at the Biblical view of worship, Vernon M. Whaley's "Called to Worship" makes for a compelling read... if you don't mind the length. Though repetitious and long-winded, the book provides principles of worship based on the various people, events, and books of the Bible.

    Whaley spends well over half of the book discussing concepts from the Old Testament, recounting well-rehearsed stories from the Bible and drawing applications for worship. His complete recounting of these stories, however, adds an unneeded length to the book and often makes for a tedious read, giving "Called to Worship" the unpleasant feel of a textbook.

    Perhaps Whaley could have saved some extra space (and some of his readers) if he had organized his book by theme instead of by book. Some of the most important principals, found in the New Testament portion of Whaley's book, are not given enough pages, and many of Whaley's points are lost in confusion due to what seems like contradictions that may be explained in the latter half of his book if only he would put half and half, one and one together.

    Whaley does call attention to one of the most important and compelling aspects of worship: putting God first in our lives (in other words, dedicating our lives to Him in full obedience). Whaley reminds his readers that Christians should not allow idols to replace God. Some of his points on this topic are confusing and contradictory (at least they seem that way - he doesn't account for the difference in covenants when he writes about the consequences of sin), but for the most part, Whaley gives a strong, scripturally-based argument that makes the reader think.

    "Called to Worship," overall, does make the reader think... that is, if the reader has enough patience to finish the book. God designed man to worship Him, but man often tries to fill the God-shaped hole in his life with worldly idols. Whaley brings readers back to God's "call to worship," the kind of worship man is meant to act out.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    We are in a worship war.

    Called To Worship
    by Vernon M. Whaley
    With the basic premise of defining worship using clear biblical evidence Whaley offers a lengthy tome loaded with plenty of historical facts. A better title for the book after taking about three analyzing weeks pouring over the chapters could be: The War For Worship, tracing the history of worship in the bible. Or I might suggest: Worship Wars.

    This is a very nice view of the history of the bible, worship style.
    I really liked the historical overview of the bible with the emphasis on worship.
    Other than a couple of research errors, more like misspoken statements such as pg. 56 where he says, "Now rewind, thousands of decades..." Even if you took the plural here in the most limited sense as two that would add up to 20,000 years. I believe he meant to write, "thousands of years" which would be more in line with the roughly 3,500 years between Martin Luther King Jr's speech and the Egyptian monarchy of Moses day.

    What is worship and does the bible offer guidance for the modern worshipper and more importantly the modern worship leader? Yes, and Whaley gives the church a much needed history of worship. Much of today's worship and the ever interesting modern 'worship service' will be better served because of this book. I think the worship wars concept speaks dead on and from a perspective that I've never heard before. Over the course of the ages worship of God really has been under attack from enemies like Satan and enemies within like our wicked hearts. Everyone and everything ends up being worshipped over the course of time instead of the one true and living God. Not only does Whaley draw out an interesting perspective on worship from history but add wonderful principles of worship from those same stories.

    Whaley shows the reader that God has worship standards, a worship plan, and has put an innate desire within each of us for worship. We are worshipping creatures and if we are not worshipping the one true God then we fill that void with cheap substitutes and the war for worship is continued.

    Some areas of concern: I think the author must mention the use and abuse of alcohol at least in five different places which reveals one of the pet sins of the whole conservative Baptist, Liberty crowd. Yet the sin of overeating is never mentioned which seems in my mind just as big (pun intended) of a problem for mankind than someone who enjoys a glass of red wine with a nice steak and ends up having too much and driving home drunk. In both cases of eating a whole box of Twinkies or consuming a whole six pack of beer the issue is worship and over indulgence of something other than God which is the sin. Also to watch out for early on is a small creeping in of Arminianism. Like most of modern evangelicalism we are plagued with this insidious 'me centered' theology that it just slides in to our common dialog. On page xvii of the introduction we read, "Above all, you will read about God's love for you," Really? God's love for us is above all? I do not think that it is above His glory and His desire to be worshipped by every aspect of His universe. Then on page 215 he does get it right: "Yes, but it all begins with the worship-the right worship-of Yahweh, and that starts with recognizing the glory of God-and giving Him glory." So all is not lost with his theology.

    I think the biggest impact this book made of me was filling in some missing elements of my theology

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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