Michael Horton, professor of apologetics and theology at Westminster Seminary California, believes that "churches across the denominational landscape regard themselves as department stores in a shopping mall that must sell a product to choice-obsessed consumers." In response, Horton sets out to develop biblical foundations for understanding worship.

"We have to develop a theology of worship that avoids biblicism on one hand," he writes, "and on the other a dogmatic traditionalism that justifies its positions by saying 'that's the way we've always done it.'"

But is worship style neutral? Style matters, Horton says--especially the extent to which it not only reflects but shapes content. "We cannot praise God as he is while emptying the form of its corresponding seriousness."

Horton discusses Christ-centered reading and preaching, music ("we need new hymns"), and communion and baptism. He also presents what he believes should be the order of service in "new covenant worship."

Although his perspective is limited (Horton, editor of Modern Reformation magazine, is unabashedly Reformed), and mining the pertinent material is sometimes heavy going, his ideas should appeal to those favoring a more liturgical service.

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