Unceasing Worship, part 1

Posted: 28th September 2007 by ElShaddai Edwards in Uncategorized

3229.jpgI’ve received a copy of Harold Best’s book Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts and have begun to read as I can on the bus to and from work. I’m hoping to post thoughts here as I make my way through it; not really a “book report” per se, but more my impressions and summary of key points that Best is making.

The keystone definition that Best introduces and will build on throughout the book is the following:

“Worship is the continuous outpouring of all that I am, all that I do and all that I can ever become in light of a chosen or choosing god.”

His point in chapter 1, “Nobody does not worship”, is that as beings created in the image of God, imago Dei, we are not created to be continuous outpourers, or to worship, or even for worship, but that our natural essence and condition is of worship, an image of the outpouring relationship within the Trinity.

Best makes no distinction between the worship of God and the worship of god(s) inasmuch as it is our natural condition. If we are not outpouring worship toward God, then we are worshiping something else. The fact that we are fallen now only means that we have to be instructed in what we worship, not instructed that we should worship.

I really connect with the idea that Best’s definition of worship bridges the Fall. That is, our intrinsic nature has not fundamentally changed as a result of sin, just our perception of our nature and as a result our response to each other and the rest of Creation.

P.S. In his introduction, Best acknowledges David Peterson’s book Engaging with God as a foundational work in the area of “worship theology”. I ordered this as well and will delve into it after finishing Unceasing Worship.

  1. voxstefani says:

    Good thing you mentioned Peterson’s book in your PS–as I read your comments, it occurred to me that I needed to mention his book to you for further reading. I’m glad you’ve already ordered it!

    Peterson’s book was pivotal to my own thinking about worship, and decidedly pushed me in an unforeseen, but wonderful, direction, and all by the sheer weight of his impeccable biblical-theological argument. I’m still struggling to live out its vision in every area of my life, and hope that I’ll persevere in that struggle until the end.


  2. Good to know! I almost put Unceasing Worship down after reading the Introduction in order to read Peterson first, but I was standing in a full bus and couldn’t get to my bag, so I kept on reading… now I’m into it and I hate bouncing between books!

  3. […] Worship, part 2 Preface: see here and here for earlier posts in this […]

  4. Steve says:

    “Nobody does not worship.” This is a great point. It also spotlights the continuous nature of worship, worship outside the music.

  5. […] best, continuous outpouring, theology, unceasing, worship Preface: see Introduction, Part 1 and Part 2 for earlier posts in this “book review” […]