Reaching out without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Cultureby Marva J. Dawn
Pub. Date: 07/28/1995
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Why do churches fight “Worship Wars?” Why do discussions about how to conduct worship often split into two vitriolic polarities over “traditional” versus “contemporary” styles or into two opposing camps, such as organists/ guitarists, baby boomers/elders, returnees/loyalists or clergy/musicians? These “worship wars”
Why do churches fight “Worship Wars?” Why do discussions about how to conduct worship often split into two vitriolic polarities over “traditional” versus “contemporary” styles or into two opposing camps, such as organists/ guitarists, baby boomers/elders, returnees/loyalists or clergy/musicians? These “worship wars” prevent us from being the Church.
In Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down, Marva Dawn writes to help local parishes and denominations think more thoroughly about worship and culture so that they can function effectively in contemporary society. She roots her discussion of worship issues in a careful assessment of significant aspects of the present technological, boomer, post-modern society and names criteria by which to judge the various cultural influences. She then sketches essential attributes of worship. Dawn recognizes that the vitality and faithfulness of our personal and corporate Christian lives and the effectiveness of our outreach to the world depend on the character that is formed in individuals and communities.
How can churches best reach out to society without “dumbing down” this essential character formation? Dawn discusses music, preaching, and all the accouterments of worship and offers practical suggestions for choosing the best tools and forms to deepen worship life, nurture faith development, and increase believers’ outreach throughout the universal church and to the world.
- Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
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Table of Contents
- Why This Book Is Critically Needed
- Inside the Technological, Boomer, Postmodern Culture
- Outside the Idolatries of Contemporary Culture
- Upside-Down: Worship as a Subversive Act
- God as the Center of Worship: Who Is Worship For?
- The Character of the Believer: Having Content or Being Content?
- The Character of the Church as Christian Community: What Is at Stake?
- Throwing the Baby Out with the Bath Water or Putting the Baby in Fresh Clothes: Music
- Worship Ought to Kill Us: The Word
- Discovering Our Place in the Story: Ritual and Liturgy and Art
- Reaching Out without Dumbing Down
- The Church as Its Own Worst Enemy: Is It Happening Again?
Foreword by Martin E. Marty
PART I: Our Culture and the Church's Worship
PART II: The Culture Surrounding Our Worship
PART III: The Culture of Worship
PART IV: The Culture in Our Worship
PART V: Worship for the Sake of the Culture
Appendix: Sample Children's Sermons
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Having heard Dr. Dawn speak in various circumstances, I looked forward to reading this book. However, as I began to slog through it, I noticed that she continually quoted other writers to a very distracting extent. I think I appreciate her point and various insights, but the endless lengthy quotations had a significant negative effect on the flow of the book. This book could have been half as long!