God In Focus

O Come, Let Us Worship, by Robert G. Rayburn (Baker, 1980, 319 pp., $8.95), is reviewed by George W. Long, pastor, Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

Quickly establishing the importance of worship, “‘the Father seeketh such to worship him’ … Nowhere in all the Scriptures do we read of God seeking anything else from the child of God,” and lamenting the lack of attention to it in evangelical churches, Rayburn offers help.

Asserting that “worship of the true and living God … can be acceptably offered only by those who have been redeemed,” Rayburn examines its basis in both the Old and New Testaments, points to the rich (yet neglected) heritage of the church from centuries past, and becomes quite specific in offering suggestions, even citing passages appropriate for a call to worship and naming hymns that would be suitable for morning worship services, weddings, or funerals.

The author develops a philosophy of worship and offers specific help in implementing it. Rayburn’s specifics are not to be taken as “canned” programs, but rather as examples of what a thorough study of the nature and purpose of worship would produce.

At the heart of this book is a discussion of the objective and subjective aspects of worship. The worshiper is indeed to experience a blessing in his relationship with God, but God himself is to be the primary focus in private and corporate worship. His honor is the primary concern.

This work covers possibilities for glorifying God through worship that are exciting, and the author’s challenge to give as much time and thought to preparing for worship as to sermon preparation pricks the conscience.

If the evangelical community to which Rayburn’s book seems to be directed follows ...

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