Book Intro

Click to read the full Introduction to the book at the publisher's website. It includes the below overview of its contents.

Worship on the Way Contents

Chapter 1 is an exploration of the relationship of culture and worship. Does culture really matter when it comes to worship? Doesn’t Scripture give us all the instructions and details we need to plan worship?

Chapter 2 looks at the cultural trajectory of Scripture from the Old Covenant to the coming of Jesus and the direction of the early church. What is the basic narrative of that trajectory? What are the key passages and how do they help us understand where we are culturally right now in regards to worship?

Chapter 3 is an attempt to describe and explore Asian North America as a culture, not a place or race. I try to be descriptive and specific enough to be useful without trying to be definitive about what is, all would agree, a still-young culture, not fully emerged or expressed.

Chapter 4 is an extended explanation and reflection on worship as transcultural, contextual, counter-cultural, and cross-cultural (the “Nairobi Statement” categories). How can we avoid getting “stuck” in unhelpful understandings and attitudes towards the role of culture in worship? How can we approach culture with balance, discernment, and skill? How can we bridge the boundaries and barriers between cultures? I also correlate the Nairobi categories with H. Richard Niebuhr's "Christ and Culture" categories.

Chapter 5 suggests a number of reasons why ANA worship is at an early, perhaps somewhat delayed state of development. Why are we in this particular state of both need and opportunity? Why is ANA worship a question or problem at all? What particular challenges do we need to address in order to move forward?

Chapter 6 narrates a series of my own explorations through several years of worship renewal projects and conferences. I try to draw out how this journey has helped me hopefully ask better questions and discern promising directions in cultivating ANA worship.

Chapter 7 focuses on the cup of the Lord’s Table as a test case for contextualization in worship. Nothing is more culturally specific than food and drink, so a consideration of them helps take us deeply into our ideas and choices about culture and worship. What are our scriptural boundaries and freedoms in worship? Might we have far more freedom than we are used to thinking when it comes to what we set on the Lord's Table?

Chapter 8 goes more deeply into the question of matters of conscience, and how to approach them as we experiment with different forms in worship. We know everyone has different likes and dislikes in worship forms. But how do we know how far to stretch people? And what might be some helpful strategies for navigating changes in forms?

Chapter 9 is a small, suggestive collection of examples of ANA worship. While they are hopefully usable or adaptable for your worship settings, my greater hope is that they can kindle your creativity and imaginations to many further expressions of ANA worship.

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