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Christian Worship (Foundations of Christian Faith Ppr) [Paperback]

By Ronald P. Byars (Author)
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Item Number 153707  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.54" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.39"
Weight:   0.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 9, 2010
Publisher   Geneva Press
ISBN  0664501362  
EAN  9780664501365  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Christian Worship deals with the importance of the Word and sacrament in a time when congregations are questioning the form and relevance of worship. Does it matter what happens in worship? What is the motivation for worship? Can more than one generation worship together? Commissioned by the Office of Theology and Worship of the Presbyterian Church (USA), this volume suggests that the answers to these and other questions have always been available in the rich treasury of the Church's theology. That treasury need only be reexamined in light of contemporary faith to provide renewal and a sense of vitality to worship.

Publishers Description

This second book in the Foundations of Christian Faith series explores such questions as, who cares about worship? what are the meanings for contemporary Christians of worship and the sacraments? what motivates people to worship God? and what constitutes meaningful worship today?"

The Foundations of Christian Faith series enables readers to learn about contemporary theology in ways that are clear, enjoyable, and meaningful. It examines the doctrines of the Christian faith and stimulates readers not only to think more deeply about their faith but also to understand their faith in relationship to contemporary challenges and questions. Individuals and study groups alike will find these guides invaluable in their search for depth and integrity in their Christian faith.

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More About Ronald P. Byars

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ronald P. Byars is Professor Emeritus of Preaching and Worship at Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Education in Richmond, Virginia. He is the author of several books, including"Christian Worship" in the Foundations of Christian Faith series, "The Future of Protestant Worship", and "The Bread of Life".

Ronald P. Byars currently resides in Lexington Richmond, in the state of Kentucky. Ronald P. Byars was born in 1950.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Out of date...  Nov 3, 2006
Theologically, this book was out of date for me, focusing too much on just "Christian worship" without considering the growing awareness of cultural influences from other religious sources. It was also too evangelical for me, preferring a much more unitarian approach. It will work for some, but if people begin asking deeper questions about our historical resources, it will come up short.
Clarity  Aug 2, 2005
The book is easy to read and understand. It presents clear explanations for basic tenets of the Christian faith that should help anyone who is confused about Holy Communion and Baptism.
Rediscovering the Value and Meaning of Word and Sacrament  Sep 17, 2001
From the onset of this book it is apparent that it was commissioned by the Presbyterian Church. It addresses the particular worship concerns of that denomination. Although the purpose for writing was for a specific audience, much can be gleaned from these pages by readers in other denominations.

Byars emphasis on the importance of balancing word and sacrament in Christian worship can not be missed. This worship is rooted in a Trinitarian God, a God who is "above, along side, with-in and among." And our worship to this God all about us can not happen in isolation. We can only worship as the community of believers, linked together by our common faith. While we come together to worship, the ebb and flow of worship in word and sacrament also dictates that we not only gather, but scatter back into the world, only to re-gather again the following week and scatter once more.

The majority of the book looks at the sacramental practices of baptism and communion. Much time is given considering child baptism. I feel that Byars helped readers from traditions that practice only adult believer's baptism better understand the justification for child baptism (for children of church members). While insightful, I still perceive grave weaknesses in this position.

Considering the Eucharist, Byars helps the reader understand the historical currents that have produced the various views and practices of this time of remembrance. His challenge to view communion less in terms of the last supper and more in terms of the feeding of the 5000 would bring about significant change in the way many churches approach the somber time of communion in their services. Byars reminds us that while we remember, we also celebrate with the knowledge of knowing that Jesus Christ is alive and real today.

While not necessarily an inspiring book, Byars does a nice job in addressing some of the historical shapings and theological foundations of baptism and the eucharist.

Restoring Word and Sacrament in Worship  Sep 16, 2001
Byars, writing for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), brings to light the importance of the Word and sacrament in worship. He suggests that the shape of Christian worship - the combination of Word and sacrament - "blends and balances the exercise of the mind with the nourishment of the soul" (2000:32). Prior to the Protestant Reformation the church had lost the idea of the Word in worship. Worshipers became so awed at the giving of the Sacrament that the service of the Word seemed forgotten. The Protestant Reformers sought to bring back the service of the Word while not neglecting the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

The author carefully addresses the Sacraments and gives explanation and clarification for baptism and communion. The author's greatest fear is that the church has moved more to the service of the Word and thus a negation of the Sacraments.
Byars concludes by saying, "worship that is identifiably Christian must be scriptural, oriented towards hope, serious about praying for and serving the world outside our doors, and confident that God is in charge. And it will always root itself in the two gifts that have distinguished it from the very beginning - Word and Sacrament" (2000:112).

Joining Word and Sacrament in Worship  Aug 8, 2001
Byars makes a brilliant case that "Fully Christian Worship must bring the Sacrament alongside the Word" (2000:100). Christian Worship is one volume of the Foundations of Christian Faith series published by the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Its appeal is, however, not limited to Presbyterians. This relatively short book is helpful to Christians of all denominations. Byars begins by asking, "What's the point?" Why do people worship? He next explores the shape of Christian worship. He describes the distinction between tradition and traditionalism. Byars embraces Christian worship traditions rooted as far back as the Jewish synagogue. He suggests that Christians should utilize the traditions of word and sacrament, use their minds, but also respect the mysteries of faith. These traditions must, of course, be adapted to contemporary circumstances. In a brief historical review, Byars demonstrates how Roman Catholicism, strong on sacraments, gradually drifted away from the ministry of the word. He also shows that Protestantism, while strong on the ministry of the word, drifted away from sacraments. He argues, both Catholics and Protestants are moving toward restoring both word and sacrament in their worship. Byars is not stuck on a rigid of definition of sacrament. He appreciates the Orthodox use of the word "mystery". He writes: "Something is sacramental when it becomes a means by which Jesus Christ, in his life, death and resurrection, becomes manifest to his people" (2000:92). He helpfully discusses Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Byars closes by considering where the church is heading. He asks critical questions about seeker worship. Christian Worship is a timely, readable book that seeks to restore the importance of both word and sacrament to worship. I recommend it.

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