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Worship by Mark Sweetnam



About the year AD 30 the Saviour sat by Jacob's well, in the dusty heat of a Samaritan afternoon. With none of His disciples nearby He engaged in conversation with a sinful woman whose physical thirst was far surpassed by a deep spiritual longing. As she listened to the Man Whom she would shortly recognise as the Christ, she heard the Saviour speak of the Father's desire for true worshippers who would worship Him in spirit and in truth. Among the many goals encompassed in God's purpose for His people, there is nothing that rises higher than this. We are called to work, to watch, and to wait, but above all we are called to be worshippers of our God. The chapters of this book consider the principles and pattern of Scripture in order to help us understand how we can ensure that God does not seek our worship in vain.
About the author:

Mark Sweetnam

is in fellowship in the assembly at Rathmines, Dublin, Ireland. He is an Assistant Professor of English with Digital Humanities in the School of English at Trinity College Dublin, specialising in seventeenth-century literature and the history of evangelicalism. He is the author of a number of books including Sanctify Them Through Thy Truth: God's Word in Human History (published by John Ritchie), The Dispensations: God's Plan for the Ages, Worship: The Christian's Highest Calling, and To the Day of Eternity: Future Events in Bible Prophecy (published by Scripture Teaching Library).

Book Reviews:

Worship: The Christian’s Highest Calling - By Mark Sweetnam

Reviews should be unbiased accounts of the value of a book. I have some trouble being unbiased since I greatly enjoy brother Mark Sweetnam’s style of writing, command of the language, and insightful thoughts. However, I am glad to say that even an unbiased reviewer of Worship, The Christian’s Highest Calling would have to recommend its value to any child of God.

A careful reading of brother Sweetnam’s book will assist us in that lofty endeavour. Tracing the Biblical subject from its first usage in the Old Testament and on into its exalted employment in the New, Mark supplies us with numerous examples and helpful depictions. There are cautions and warnings, encouragements and suggestions, humbling examples and heart-warming exhortations. Along the way, the book also serves as a reliable commentary on numerous passages that pertain to the subject at hand. All of this will not only assist a brother or sister in his or her functions in an assembly but will also prove an invaluable aid in the believer's personal walk with the Lord.

If being able to worship our blessed Lord with a greater understanding of His worthiness is something to which you aspire, then I would strongly urge your reading of this excellent and important book.

Review by Eugene Higgins
Worship - By Mark Sweetnam

'Timely' and 'relevant' are words which spring to mind as one reads this work on Worship. Worship is one of the maligned and misunderstood words of Christian vocabulary in our modern era. The Christian public thinks in terms of 'styles' of worship; a worship leader; worship music - contemporary or traditional. With so much confusion concerning a subject of such importance, this work clearly articulates what worship is and what it means, rescuing the word from the clutter of its popular misunderstanding and relocating it in its scriptural context.

The author takes us from the earliest expressions of worship in the book of Genesis right through to the celestial chorales of the book of Revelation, and reminds of the duty, demands and dignity of the worship due to Deity. The book is also sensitive to God's revelation through the ages and it clearly marks dispensational differences which are all too often overlooked.

A very interesting section addresses the subject of instrumental music in the public gatherings of believers and clarifies the New Testament perspective on this debated topic. A must read for all, especially in these days of the Emerging Church movement.

Review by David Gilliland
WORSHIP - By Mark Sweetnam

In Worship – The Christian’s Highest Calling (9781909789104), Dr Sweetnam seeks first to define worship – never an easy task! Quoting J.N. Darby, he calls worship “…the honour and adoration which are rendered to God, by reason of what He is in Himself, and what He is for those who render it.” But how is worship to be offered? Looking at worship dispensationally, the author explains that the old covenant’s temple service with its physical features – its music, vestments and incense – do not belong in the present age, during which believers gather to the name of the Lord Jesus “outside the camp”. Throughout its 138 pages this excellent volume gives helpful, accessible and scriptural teaching on this vital topic which will richly repay careful reading. Assessing the Contemporary Christian Music scene, Dr Sweetnam says “In the narcissistic emotionalism of its content, the unscriptural banality of its lyrics – with their seemingly endless repetition – in its aping of the music of the world and its glorification of individual musicians or ‘worship leaders’, this ‘worship’ falls very far short of anything mandated by the word of God. That such a distorted and deformed substitute should, in the eyes of God’s people, pass for real worship is indicative of a serious failure to grasp the true nature of worship as presented in the Word of God.”

Credits: Review by Michael Penfold
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