There are various tensions in Christian worship and, rather than opting for a balanced approach or a one-sided approach, Philip Greenslade recommends that Christians learn to embrace both extremes of each polarity.
1. Worship is about glorifying God by enjoying him. So it is about pleasing God and self.
2. Worship is world affirming (with a positive view of creation) and world denying (confronting fallen political powers).
3. Worship is charismatic and liturgical.
4. Worship is a transforming intimacy and an engagement with transcendent majesty.
5. Worship is both prophetic praise and realistic lament.
Worship remembers the past and anticipates the future.
6. Worship embraces spontaneous, instinctive cries and a learned language.
7. Worship is Trinitarian and Christ-centred.
It is by worshipping at the extremes that we can experience deeper riches in our knowledge of God.
‘In this hugely important book, Philip Greenslade offers us a paradoxical vision of worship that both liturgical and spontaneous; tearful and festive; reverent and intimate. It is a great riposte to so much ‘middle-of-the-road’ Christianity.’
Ian Stackhouse, Senior Pastor, Guildford Baptist Church, UK
‘Here is a biblical vision of worship as God-centered, passionate, intimate, world-shaping, explosive, politically subversive, brutally honest, prophetic, Spirit-led and yet rooted in tradition. If this does not inspire you to worship then you may be dead!’
Robin Parry, author of Worshipping Trinity
‘In this highly readable book Philip Greenslade has convincingly demonstrated that integrated worship is not an option but a necessity. I highly recommend it to pastors and church leaders.’
Simon Chan, Earnest Lau Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Theological College, Singapore
‘This is an erudite guide to a new (and yet perhaps old) way of thinking about how we do church.’
Ron Man, Worship Resources International
‘A timely and important challenge to the contemporary church to recognise the limitations of polarised, one-dimensional worship.’
David Peacock, Head of Music & Worship Department, London School of Theology
Philip Greenslade has been a full time lecturer and tutor with CWR since 1991 and is the general editor of the Cover to Cover Bible study notes.