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Review of book in Worship Leader magazine

 

“You have probably heard the word ‘postmodern’ circulating either as a delight or as a disease.  The word has sparked many debates, formed strong opinions and sometimes even division in the Church today.  But do we even really know what it means?  Where did it come from, where is it going, and what are we called to do in the mean time?  Daniel Radmacher is a worship leader at Christ Church of Pasadena as well as a Talbot Theological Seminary graduate where he received his M.Div degree.  We don’t know about you, but if we are going to learn a new term, we want to hear it from someone who knows their stuff.  In  his book, Experiencing Worship and Worshiping Experience:  The Changing Face of Evangelical Worship in Postmodern Culture, he explains in a well-laid out manner the history, the shift and the implications of the shift from the modern to the postmodern world.

 

At times the book can read as a bit academic, requiring some heavy lifting for the average reader, but it is worth it.  He takes seriously that which has serious implications for worship today.  The ‘Postmodern Worshiper,’ as Radmacher defines this new subset, is, of course, a product of the surrounding post-modern culture, but more importantly, a complex mix of both positive and negative aspects of the culture.  And Radmacher does an excellent job of delineating the current worship landscape.  The chapter, ‘Two Worship Paradigms (divided into Part I and II),’ is extremely helpful for any worship leader looking for direction toward the most effective insights for helping to lead his or her congregation.  He discerns and names some powerful distinctions that help clarify different mindsets in the post-modern worship culture (‘Worship as Edification’ and ‘Worship as Experience.’)  It proves once again that just when we thought we had the formula down, there is more to learn.  As to experiencing God in worship, Radmacher reminds us of the all-important truth that it’s not about the bells and whistles, but striving to encounter the one true God.

In addition to his own observations, Radmacher points to the work of other important scholars in the field, such as Robert Webber, John Piper, Karen Lafferty and contemporaries like Brian McLaren.  Reading the book is like a refresher course on worship.  Not only is the writing smart and full of great, applicable information, but it is also moving.  Clearly Radmacher has a heart for the subject.  Well worth the read.”

--Worship Leader magazine, September 2008

2 Comments

  1. Jon Cline · September 12, 2008 Reply

    Sounds interesting. I look forward to reading it.

  2. Jon Cline · October 23, 2008 Reply

    This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. Besides giving a context for how we got here and where we came from, I felt it served as a progressive self-revelation. Dan helped me understand me and why, as a postmodern man, I used “I felt” in the previous sentence.

    Thanks for the call to engage culture critically.

    Jon

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