Christians form a worshipping community so learning how to worship is an important part of being a Christian. Behind every act of worship there are theological ideas but such ideas are not always well grounded in the story of what God has done in Jesus Christ. This book is a brief introduction to Christian worship, surveying biblical and historical patterns of worship. It takes an ecumenical approach in introducing readers to a variety of worship practices across a range of Christian traditions. The place of music, symbols, sacraments and the church year are all considered. Not a ‘How to’ book, it suggests, rather, how we ought to think about worship. The book does, however, include practical suggestions along the way on the basis that the best practice always arises out of a solid theological grounding; and includes a chapter on the construction of worship services.Though based on scholarly research, Christian Worship: A Theological and Historical Introduction is addressed to the interested general beginner, undergraduate student or participant in a small group study. It also serves well as an introductory liturgy text for both vocational and degree level studies and can be used to supplement a classroom setting where students can put the ideas they are learning into practice. Reflection questions at the end of each chapter may be used for small group discussion, personal journaling, or as an assessment task. Suggestions for further reading are provided at the end of each chapter for readers who wish to go further.
Glen O’Brien is Senior Lecturer in Church History and Theology in the Sydney College of Divinity. A Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church, he is an employee of The Salvation Army and serves as Head of Humanities at Booth College in Sydney. He has degrees in theology and biblical studies from Kingsley College and Asbury Theological Seminary, and completed a PhD in history at La Trobe University. His articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and he is co-editor of a forthcoming history of Australian Methodism. Married to Lynda, he has four children and three grandchildren.