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|Title: When God Draws Near: Exploring Worship from Seven Summits|
By: Paul E. Engle
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: P & R Publishing
Publication Date: 2019
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Weight: 11 ounces
Stock No: WW955970
Author: Paul E. Engle
Located in: Charlotte, NC
Submitted: August 19, 2019
Tell us a little about yourself. Paul Engle (BA, Houghton College, MDiv, Wheaton College Graduate School, DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is an ordained minister who has pastored churches in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Illinois, and Michigan. I have taught as a visiting instructor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, New Geneva Theological Seminary, Knox Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Dallas Theological Seminary. I also teach church leaders in the Philippines, Romania, Egypt, Uganda, Cuba, Israel, and East Asia. My writing includes nine books, including The Baker Wedding Handbook. My wife and I live in Charlotte and have two daughters and five grandchildren. I love international travel and drew from that in writing this book. This comes out in some of the stories included in When God Draws Near.
What was your motivation behind this project? A desire to add to the company of worldwide worshipers and to motivate church-attenders to come alive to the awesome privilege of entering the presence of God in preparation for what will occupy us for eternity.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? Reading When God Draws Near should give you a fresh appreciation for how God made his presence known through the centuries of biblical history when his people assembled for worship. It provides a big-picture overview of God's plan that begins in the Garden of Eden and ends with the New heaven and earth. Along the way we visit 7 mountains where God draws near. Reading this book should give a renewed sense of the presence of God when readers attend church services. All-too-many people attend church but don't worship. Readers can come to view worship with its invisible spiritual realities as the high point of their week, an appointment to meet with God. An appendix gives suggestions on how to personally prepare for attending a worship service. Some readers may find this a good resource for their small group, or Bible study, or Sunday School class. Each of the 11 chapters includes discussion/reflection questions.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I have lived with this topic of God-centered worship for years, beginning with some doctoral studies at Westminster Seminary. I've planned and led hundreds of worship services, taught this to people in multiple churches, and trained church leaders in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. Feedback from students has helped shape the book. It's made me see so much more when I enter a service of worship. A recent revisit to the mountain sites in Israel helped the topic come alive for me in a fresh way.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? As you read When God Draws Near you'll see numerous references to the writings of C.S. Lewis, especially his Narnia Chronicles. I'm also fond of the writings of A.W. Tozer, Greg Beale and many others whose works I digested in thinking through this book. Working with Dr. Ed Clowney as a faculty mentor in past years at Westminster Theological Seminary helped set me on a path of loving biblical theology and what it adds to one's understanding of worship. Traveling around the world and teaching around the world has also given me helpful perspective. A recent revisit to Israel, exploring on my own in a rental car, helped me in the writing process.