Sing. Play. Edify.

Book Review: “The Art of Worship”

July 10, 2016

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The Art of Worship: A Musician’s Guide to Leading Modern Worship
Greg Scheer
Baker, 2006; 224 pages


Scheer’s book is a helpful overview for church musicians who are new to the contemporary paradigm— but it also filled in some helpful gaps for me. Band musicians tend to often just “do it” without always understanding why or how, and Scheer provides some great explanations of basic principles that undergird contemporary church music.

I give the book 5 stars for practicality, but 2.5 stars for theological precision. Scheer seems to affirm a broad range of doxological philosophies, including experientialism and postmodernism. He has no problem with unbelievers leading on the platform. And he portrays any number of service models as valid, including those that are devoid of any Scriptural basis. Scheer is obviously writing from a position of broad influence that seeks to encompass every denomination and movement, even Catholicism. The result is a book founded more on pragmatism than on principle.

Nonetheless, the principles are there, as well as moments of deep conviction regarding biblical practices. Despite his ecumenicism, Scheer offers a number of gems regarding philosophy of corporate worship. And he displays a breadth of experience in both the classical and contemporary paradigms that is immensely helpful.

The ideal audience for this book is a music minister who is already theologically grounded, but who is looking to deepen his knowledge of contemporary church music. Greater theological precision would have placed this book in my top five on the subject.

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