Friday, February 29, 2008

Book Review # 5: The Dangerous Act of Worship: Living God's Call to Justice

Mark Laberton, one of PCUSA's best thinkers, has written a book that I think is an excellent bridge between the evangelical world of spiritual transformation and the liberal world of social transformation ( forgive the broad sweeping stereotypical descriptions).

Mark gets right to the heart of the matter; while we spend time and resources discussing and debating worship styles, people are being lost, both spiritually and physically. In a culture that looks for comfortable worship, this search has lead us away from God's call to feed the hungry and cloth the naked; often not comfortable at all.

Laberton simply believes that how we live, particularly in relation to the poor, is our greatest act of worship; not whether or not we sing hymns or praise songs. As Christians, we need to wake up to the culture we live in and be salt and light to that world through the good works we do, which in return will cause the community to give praise to God.

The book is well written,with plenty of stories and personal experience. Mark fills the book with wonderful quotes; " If we don't live truth, reflect our praise or enact our confessions, our faith can't possibly change us."

The one critique is that I think Laberton could have said the same thing in fewer words and stories.

Like many books, looking to hook into the small group craze, there are questions for reflection for each chapter at the end of the book. This would be a great book for churches trying to discover their place in service. I think it has plenty to offer, regardless of your theological stance.