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Adoration and Action

1. Worship: Adoration and Action – D.A. Carson
  (Wipf and Stock Publishers) 1992
 This collection of essays reminds us of the biblical underpinnings for worship, as well as giving us some practical advice for worship services. A terrific companion to Carson’s Worship by the Book.

Worship in Spirit and Truth

2. Worship in Spirit and in Truth – John Frame
  (P&R Publishing) 1996
 Frame’s biblical insights into the nature of worship help us avoid the worship wars that plague North American churches. He grounds his book in the abstract principles of the Word, but also offers terrific practical advice to worship leaders and worshippers in general.

Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime

3. The Divine Hours – Phyllis Tickle
  (Doubleday) 2000
 Phyllis Tickle draws on the Book of Common Prayer and the early church fathers as she compiles this terrific source of psalms, prayers and readings for those interested in fixed hourly prayers. The written prayers here are a terrific supplement to one’s prayer life.

Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts

4. Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts – Harold Best
  (Downers Grove: Intervarsity) 1993
 Best reminds us that worship encompasses all our life and not just what we do on Sunday morning. Christians are always worshipping, even if our worship is not always directed towards God.

For All God's Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church

5. For All God’s Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church – N.T. Wright
  (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans) 1997
 A terrific book that is divided into two parts. The first part focuses on the God worthy of praise and the second part shows how can we reflect God’s image in the world. Wright is unique among worship writers, because he not only calls for a renewal of worship but also a renewal of the Christian witness of today’s church.

A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture

6. Reaching Out without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for this Urgent Time – Marva Dawn
  (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans) 1995
 Dawn makes the case for traditional worship by showing the underlying problems of the contemporary worship movement. Dawn’s advice is radical in that it calls us back to verticality in worship and demands we not dumb down our theology for an increasingly impatient generation.

Eight Principles for Transforming Worship

7. Worship is a Verb: Eight Principles for Transforming Worship – Robert Webber
  (Hendrickson Publishers) 1992
 Webber reminds us that worship is something we do, not a service we attend. The book reminds us that we must celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as we worship.

Straight Talk on Music and the Church

8. The New Worship: Straight Talk on Music and the Church – Barry Wayne Liesch
  (Grand Rapids: Baker Books) 1996
 A balanced approach to the worship battles between traditionalists and contemporaries. Liesch brings reasons why both sides should understand and appreciate each other. He also brings helpful advice to worship leaders who plan worship services week-to-week.

Luther's Comments on Life, the Church and the Bible

9. Table Talk: Luther’s Comments on Life, Church and the Bible – Martin Luther
  (Christian Focus Publications) 2003
 Luther writes candidly about worship practice in his section on the church. His passion for the Lord is clearly in view as he denounces sinful tendencies and promotes biblical practice.

Knowing Christ

10. Knowing Christ – Alister McGrath
  (Galilee Trade) 2002
 McGrath relates his own spiritual journey, using biblical descriptions of the encounters with Christ that demonstrate the various ways that Jesus can be known. McGrath’s insights into personal worship make this book a must-read.

A Royal

11. A Royal “Waste” of Time: The Splendor of Worshipping God and Being the Church for the World – Marva Dawn
  (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans) 1999
 Dawn shows how postmodernism affects our theology of worship. She emphasizes the need for Christians to “be” the church all the time and not just “do” church on Sundays.

Introduction to Christian Worship

12. Introduction to Christian Worship – James F. White
  (Abingdon Press) 2001
 This is a comprehensive look at the history of traditional worship. The book explains many of the traditions that churches maintain and why these traditions arose in the first place.

The Complete Library of Christian Worship

13. The Complete Library of Christian Worship – edited by Robert Webber
  (Hendrickson Publishers) 1995
 A terrific resource for worship leaders and pastors. These books contain a wealth of important information, together with sample service outlines, liturgies, and historical research.

Celtic Daily Prayer

14. The Rhythm of Life: Celtic Daily Prayer – David Adam
  (Morehouse Publishing) 1997
 A little book of daily prayer focusing on a different aspect of Christianity each day. The prayers are taken from Christian tradition and many Christian saints of old.

A Hunger for God

15. A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer – John Piper
  (Crossway Books) 1997
 Piper lays out the biblical guidelines for a correct practice of fasting in the Christian life. He sees fasting as an act of worship by which we show that our supreme hunger is for God Himself.

written by Trevin Wax  © 2007 Kingdom People blog


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6 thoughts on “15 Must-Read Books on Worship”

  1. Doug Smith says:

    Did you consider including Ryken/Thomas/Duncan (editors), Give Praise to God? I’m reading it right now and profiting from it (although they would not agree with John Frame concerning the regulative principle).

  2. trevinwax says:

    I haven’t come across “Give Praise to God.” Thanks for the feedback. I’ll be adding that to my wish list.

  3. Thanks! The ones I am familiar with, I really enjoyed and are glad to see here, the others I am adding to my wish list.

  4. Doug Smith says:

    I have found GPTG to be very good – I plan to have it finished in a few weeks and write a (probably lengthy) review of it. Thanks for your post!

  5. Hello, my name is William F. Holland Jr. and these books all seem wonderful and praise our holy God for pouring out His Spirit for such a time as this. I have led worship and written spiritual music for over 30 years and this summer released my new book called: “A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP – living in the awareness of God’s presence” I pray that people around the world become thirsty for a deeper spiritual intimacy with the Lord Jesus and we can never have too many resources that inspire us to seek Him and drawer into His presence. The book video trailer is on youtube and I am excited to see bookstores around the world making it available. Blessings to all of you, sincerely, William.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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