Right from the start this book about Biblical worship soars in worship. I was immediately overwhelmed by the introduction to this book in its challenge to modern worship in contrast to our exalted God of glory. If I hadn't stopped myself, I would have highlighted every line of those six pages in bright yellow..
Far from being polemical in nature, this book sets out a positive view of worship straight from the Scriptures. While no one will agree with all of his conclusions, everyone will benefit in some way from his exposition.
Dr. Allen Ross takes the reader on the journey through each stage of redemptive history, from Creation to New Creation, diving into the details of each seeking to learn more about God and how we are to worship Him. Once I reached the end I really enjoyed how the book was laid out in this way. Though, while I was in the first few chapters I wasn't as thrilled about it. The reason why was that, while Dr. Ross was making connections to the New Testament, I wanted much more. I knew a great transformation was coming in the worship of the Old Testament. And so, anything we gleaned from what we saw there had to first come to us through Christ and the transformation that the New Covenant in Him brought.
As a result, this is one of those books that must be read until the end. For the sections on the new covenant, worship in Christ, and especially the perfection of worship in glory were amazing! What a breathtaking view of what worship will look like when we see God face to face on the New Earth!
Also, the detail covered is amazing. Periods I wouldn't have considered looking at aren't forgotten. Insightful and interesting details abound as he paints pictures of what worship looked like in each stage of history.
Finally, the ending section on "Basic Principles for More Glorious Worship" was very helpful. It took some of the best and most prominent points on the book and summarized them as hopefully a platform off of which to apply these things to particular local churches.
All in all, a very informative, interesting and inspiring book! I was moved to worship as well as informed about things I had not considered or known before.
While many books on worship focus on modern practices or examine historical forms or denominational distinctives, Recalling the Hope of Glory develops a biblical theology of worship that will provide a solid foundations upon which Christians from different traditions can build their worship of God. As the subtitle suggests, the book traces the theme of worship from its beginnings in the Garden of Eden to its completeness in the New Jerusalem. God is consistently shown to be the one object of worship who should be feared, confessed, praised, celebrated, and served by his covenant people who properly respond to his self-revelation and await the fulfillment of his promises in glory. Ross devotes 22 of the 28 chapters to worship before the advent of Christ, introducing readers to ideas developed in few other books on worship, and demonstrating that the practices of ancient Israel (and the early church) are still of theological and practical importance to those who worship God. In his exposition of NT texts, Ross rightly identifies Jesus as the new center of worship who is to be worshipped along with the Father. Overall, this is a readable and balanced introduction to biblical worship, showing how worship should influence both congregations and individuals. Ross's book is a welcome addition to worship literature that will benefit pastors, worship leaders, professors, students and educated lay people.
I have been a Christian for over 25 years and have an M. Div and TH. M from a leading conservative bible oriented seminary and found this book to be most refreshing. This book is a keeper and sits next to Luther's Liturgy and Hymns in my bookcase. Ross gives a great overview of the essentials of worship regardless of one's denomination and worship style. I found his research very refreshing, especially in light of the contemporary church movement and its emphasis on entertainment rather than glorifying worship of God. The last chapter and his Bibliography are the best part of his book. His last chapter on "Basic Principles of More Glorious Worship" should be studied by every Pastor and worship committee. His Bibliography is a great place to look for other resources on the theology of worship. I have worshiped in both liturgical and non-liturgical churches and have found liturgical worship to be the best form of worship in bring God glory and assisting in one's Christian growth and walk. I recommend this book for pastors and "lay" persons.