My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Review: Historical Foundations of Worship

Historical Foundations of Worship Historical Foundations of Worship by Melanie C. Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is primarily a collection of 18 academic essays/chapters grouped into 5 parts and written by a different expert focusing on a specific element of christian worship (for most traditions, this means an examination of how the liturgy or worship service evolved) with a significant portion of the book (37%) given over to citations. This was an especially timely read for me as I had just finished my Liturgy and the Sacraments class and had just started my Canon Law class … so this fit right into what I was already learning about. The format of each chapter opened with a bit of context before digging into the subject at hand, then ending with a section on “Practical Implications for Worship” (sort of a where are we now review) and suggested Further Reading … which is great because the biggest complaint that I had was that I always wanted to explore the topic more after finishing the chapter. 

Part one of the book looks at what all of the main line christian denominations have in common: baptism, communion/eucharist and celebrations (aka liturgical time). Then in part two, we get a survey of what we think the early church looked like (as well as acknowledging that there is still a lot that we just don’t know). In the next three parts, we get a look at Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholicism and several flavors of Protestant churches. Sadly, the tradition I grew up in (the Stone/Campbell Restoration movement) doesn’t get much press here, but that is okay, because it actually pulls a lot from the traditions that are covered; namely Lutheran, Calvinist/Reform, Anglican/Episcopal, Methodists, Anabaptist, Baptists, Evangelicals and Pentecostals. That last one was perhaps the weakest of the essays (or I just didn’t get it … which is also possible). Still, this book is an easy to read primer on a wide variety of christian societies that would be useful to any academic or lay person interested in ecumenical outreach (which I am).

Part 1 - Common Roots of Worship
- 1 Baptism
- 2 Eucharist
- 3 Liturgical Time
Part 2 - Early Christian Worship
- 4 Worship in the Early Church
- 5 Worship in Late Antiquity
Part 3 - Eastern Orthodox Worship
- 6 History of Orthodox Worship
- 7 Icons and Eucharistic Theology
Part 4 - Roman Catholic Worship
- 8 Medieval Catholic Worship
- 9 Reformation in the Catholic Church
- 10 Vatican II and the Liturgical Renewal Movement
Part 5 - Protestant Worship
- 11 Lutheran Practices of Worship
- 12 Calvinist and Reformed Practices of Worship
- 13 Anglican and Episcopal Practices of Worship
- 14 Methodist and Wesleyan Practices of Worship
- 15 Anabaptist and Mennonite Practices of Worship
- 16 Baptist Practices of Worship
- 17 Evangelical Practices of Worship
- 18 Pentecostal and Charismatic Practices of Worship

I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#HistoricalFoundationsofWorship #NetGalley

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.