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A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship

A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship [Kindle Edition]

Michael Horton

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Product Description

Product Description

Now in paper!

"There is a distinct weariness with market-driven, showbiz worship. The pendulum has swung to the longing for transcendence, substance, challenge, and biblically driven worship. Michael Horton shows us the way." --Robert Webber, president, Institute for Worship Studies; author of Ancient-Future Faith

"Horton's enlivening wisdom is surely a godsend to all evangelicals." --J. I. Packer, Regent College


"There is a distinct weariness with market-driven, showbiz worship. The pendulum has swung to the longing for transcendence, substance, challenge, and biblically driven worship. Michael Horton shows us the way." -Robert Webber, president, Institute for Worship Studies; author of "Ancient-Future Faith". "Horton's enlivening wisdom is surely a godsend to all evangelicals." - J. I. Packer, Regent College.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 549 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0801064686
  • Publisher: Baker Books (1 May 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006T46MYO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #343,713 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommended as a profound, life-changing book 5 Jun. 2002
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
A Better Way: Rediscovering The Drama Of God-Centered Worship by Rev. Michael Horton (Associate Professor, Westminister Theological Seminary, California) is a clear and careful examination of the Christian worship of God. Individual chapters address the Biblical passages that form the source of Christian worship, and the importance of putting God and Jesus Christ foremost. Specially written for those who keep the faith, as well as for pastors and worship leaders, A Better Way is strongly recommended as a profound, life-changing book about what it truly means to express one's reverence with a Christian context of scripture and tradition.
34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Exposition on Worship 25 Sept. 2004
By C. W. - Published on
Overall Dr. Horton's book is excellent, particularly chapters 4 and 5. He does a tremendous job of locating the constitution of worship in Scripture and of addressing the narcissism so unfortunately prevalent in the church today.

I did find his virtual assault in chapter 2 on believers experiencing God somewhat overdone. Granted, there is far too much seeking of the experience in the church today, but that does not and should not be taken to mean that a believer cannot have some kind of experiential reality of God. Further his observations in this area seem to neglect passages like Psalm 27.7-9. And his discounting of believers seeing God at work in the present "The world is shot through with divinity and nearly everything and every experience is an opportunity to touch and see God's face" (pg. 39) seems to emphasise God's transcendence at the expense of His immanence, the latter of which is also confirmed by Scripture, e.g., Psalm 19, 50.6, Romans 1.20, etc. The overall thrust of this chapter suggests that it is impossible for a believer with, for lack of a better phrase, their theology straight, who is seeking God in accordance with His word, to witness God in His creation, which again seems to me to contradict Scripture. It is true that these experiences are not means of saving grace as defined in Scripture, nor should they be mistaken for or sought as ends themselves, but that does not - when they are truly of God - diminish their reality or significance in the life of the believer.

Insofar as the reference to ministers being formally sent or approved by an ecclesiastical body, "And, by the way, Paul clearly understood 'sent' to mean sent by the church through its appointed officers, as his insistence on the laying on of hands reminds us" (pg. 42), while that is true, I would offer that what Paul did not have in mind are the formal scholastic hoops now required by many of those same bodies before they will even consider recognising (much less ordaining) a person as a minister. The idea that one cannot be a theological sound and truly called minister unless formally educated and ordained (which seems to be what Dr. Horton is getting at) is contrary to the Scripture to which he appeals. Timothy had no formal education that we know of other than being brought up with an understanding of the Scriptures and his being mentored by Paul. Neither did Titus, or for that matter Peter, James, John; nor in all likelihood did the many house church leaders like Priscilla and Aquila, Nymphas, etc. While I agree that seminary and ordination is the common and perhaps even preferred route into ministry, that does not mean that God cannot/does not sometimes call and equip people without their having done everything according to some set of denominational rules and requirements.

In closing, while the bulk of this review takes issue with the author's views as mentioned above (thus the 4 star rating), the book on the whole is well worth reading. It speaks particularly to a serious problem in the church today and should be read and heeded by far more people than it probably will be.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reading 11 Jun. 2003
By Huntress Reviews - Published on
In this day and age, all you have to do is shop around and you can probably find the church that has a worship style of your choice. In some ways, this might be good, but it does cause some bitter division in churches that have not settled on the style that "works" for them.
Is this the right way for it to be? Has the purpose of worship gotten lost somewhere between the traditions and the new ways? Where is God in all this, in other words.
The author, one of the members of the popular White Horse Inn radio show that examines Reformed theology for the edification and equipment of the believers, realizes that worship is one of the primary functions of those God has called to Himself. Using Biblical illustration, he teaches readers what worship was meant to be, and also provides some useful material that brings aspects of the Bible to a new light and helps some parts that have not quite made sense a bit more comprehensible.
***** The man to whom the book is dedicated, James M. Boice, would be proud if he could read this educational and informative text.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worship God in Spirit and in Truth 17 May 2010
By Mike Robinson - Published on
If one wants to find a calendar that begins each week with Sunday, not Monday, your search grows ever more difficult as more and more calendars begin their week with Monday. Yes, the Western world attempts to avoid Christian truth as it embraces a secular way and worldview; yet this is not a godly way forasmuch as it's anti-biblical. And regarding a more important issue than calendars, the book "A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship," Michael Horton reveals that the better way to practice proper worship is to affirm and embrace the biblical structure and goals of worship. Dr. Horton presents his potent treatise in a very useable and readable format (his usual writing approach).

This impressive volume is endorsed by:

- J.I. Packer
- Robert Webber
- Marva Dawn
- And dedicated to the late Dr. James Boice.

Dr. Michael Horton (Westminster Seminary: Apologetics and editor of Modern Reformation magazine) presses the truth that the Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of the Redemptive Historical revelation in the Tenach and that without Christ, His person and His atoning work, the Old Testament is meaningless and incongruous. The truth of the Son of God coming to redeem His people, He died on the Cross and rose again, is the primary ground and the motivation for Christians to offer worship to God.

John 4:23-24 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Professor Horton argues that the Lord revealed a pre-picture of the Redeemer in the OT and this Redeemer came to provide an effectual atonement as the sufficient and necessary propitiation. Furthermore, as the sovereign Lord, he has furnished the instrument of grace in Christ and God outlines the proper structure for worship that honors God Almighty.

Horton opines: "Liturgy is a word that conjures up different images for different people. Some, reacting against being raised in formal churches in which nearly every
word was scripted and carefully followed, view that word as a threat to the
Spirit's freedom and an invitation to lifeless routine. Others place so much
confidence in the formal liturgical patterns that they seem to diminish the
role of the sermon and confuse human traditions with divine command. No term
is neutral. Each is inevitably embedded in practices for which those using it
are either grateful or suspicious."

Thus the author makes a solid case that Worship must have God as the center for correct expressed devotion utilizing His liturgical priorities revealed in the bible. All honor and glory must be ascribed to the Lord God because He is God and He alone has accomplished and applied redemption required for peace with God. Worship is our appropriate response to an awesome and merciful God revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 19:1-2 After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! 2 For true and righteous are His judgments...

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book on the Theology of Worship 13 Feb. 2014
By Paul Kurtz - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Michael Horton’s “A Better Way” lays out a theology of worship based on the drama of the creator God breaking into the realm of His creation to redeem man from the consequences of His sin.

The stated thesis of the book is, “God has promised to save and keep his people through the means he has appointed and through no others; the ordinary means of grace are limited to the preached Word and the administered sacraments; God’s rationale for these means is made explicit in Scripture.” Dr. Horton obviously believes that the Word and sacraments are the central aspects of our worship and I thought he made an excellent case for his thesis.

The beginning of the book especially, makes the case that the above mentioned drama looks much like an ancient form of covenant known as a Suzerain treaty. In this form of covenant a greater king (the suzerain) would impose a treaty on a lesser king in which the great king promises to rescue/protect the lesser king and in return the lesser king gives his allegiance to the greater king. In God’s drama, He is the suzerain and we are the subjects that have been rescued by Him and who owe Him our allegiance. Our worship services were then compared to covenant renewal ceremonies.

The part of the book I found most interesting (and which made me wish I lived near a Reformed church) was chapter 9, “What Should Our Service Look Like?” This chapter described the elements that should be present in our worship services if they are to be covenant renewal ceremonies.

I found the last few chapters more difficult to digest and will not comment on them because I am not sure how well I have understood them. (I don’t consider this a bad thing though. Trying to gain a better understanding gives me something to look forward to the next time I read this book.)

Overall, I thought this was an excellent book and heartily recommend it!
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