Renovare

The Dangerous Act of Worship

Living God's Call to Justice

by Mark Labberton

What’s at stake in our wor­ship? Everything.

Wor­ship is the dan­ger­ous act of wak­ing up to God and God’s pur­pos­es in the world. But some­thing has gone wrong with our wor­ship. Too often wor­ship has become a place of safe­ty and com­pla­cen­cy, a nar­row­ly pri­vate expe­ri­ence in which soli­tary indi­vid­u­als only express their per­son­al ado­ra­tion. Even when we gath­er cor­po­rate­ly, we often close our eyes to those around us, focus­ing on God but ignor­ing our neigh­bor. But true bib­li­cal wor­ship does not mere­ly point us upward – it should turn us out­ward as well.

In this prophet­ic wake-up call for the con­tem­po­rary church, pas­tor Mark Lab­ber­ton recon­nects Chris­t­ian wor­ship with bib­li­cal jus­tice. From begin­ning to end, wor­ship must pur­sue jus­tice and seek right­eous­ness, trans­lat­ing into trans­formed lives that care for the poor and the oppressed. Lab­ber­ton shows how to move beyond the com­fort of safe wor­ship to authen­tic wor­ship that is awake to the needs of the world.

2012

Recommendations

The Dan­ger­ous Act of Wor­ship is a sig­nif­i­cant work because of the rel­a­tive lack of writ­ing in the area of wor­ship and jus­tice.… It is writ­ten at a pop­u­lar lev­el, tar­get­ing pas­tors and con­gre­gants as evi­denced by the copi­ous per­son­al exam­ples through­out the book. Giv­en Lab­ber­ton’s pos­ture, the foun­da­tion work and con­clu­sions are excellent.
Robert Pendergraft, Artistic Theologian

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