Story Shaped Worship by Robbie F. Castleman – Review
Story Shaped Worship – Following Patterns from The Bible and History by Robbie F. Castleman asks what is the right way to worship? Even though I don’t agree with Mrs. Castleman completely doctrinally and attend a church with a less formal liturgy than the standard she presents I think she’s done a good job of answering that question.
Castleman has done a very thorough study of the Bible and church services throughout history. The book is written on a scholarly level but is still accessible to the common lay person.
She points out that the Bible does not give us a detailed plan for worship; partially because worship practices were such common knowledge to the early church members that they felt no need to document them, and partially because many things can influence the style of our services.
What shouldn’t change is the focus of our worship, Jesus Christ and the opportunity for salvation he has provided. To keep this focus she believes the Bible teaches that all services should include in some form or another seven things -a Call to Worship, Praise, Confession, Declaration of Absolution, Hearing God’s Word, a chance to Respond to God’s Word, and a Benedicition.
There is a workshop at the end of each chapter with questions to help you think through the ideas presented. Working through them will help you figure out how you and your church measure up and where and what kind of changes might be needed . The book also includes a glossary, subject index, scripture index, and a list of books for further study.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand what “worshipping” God really is. Even if you don’t agree with everything Castleman says this book will make you think about the way your church conducts it’s services and how you personally react and participate. It will challenge you to take the focus of your services away from pleasing the congregation and put the focus where it belongs – Pleasing God.
IVP Academic provided this book free for review. I was not required to give a positive review- only an honest review.