Enter the Worship Circle
Just finished Enter the Worship Circle by Ben Pasley. Ben is a worship leader, song writer and creative writer. The book is evangelistically driven, with hopes that an unbeliever will pick it up and be hooked because of the spiritual hunger of this generation. His main goal is to argue that the spiritual hunger in every soul is placed there by the one true and living God, Jesus Christ, whom should be the center and focus of our worship. His creative style (using 7 different perspectives, or voices), and quick easy-to-read chapters add to the book’s ability to hook you and makes for great toilet reading.
Overall, a great read and I only came away with 2 criticisms:
1. He’s a bit too mystical for my taste. It’s obvious that he comes from a tradition that places a lot of stock in prophetic dreams and visions. Now, I certainly am not one to put limits on what God chooses to do today and how He chooses to do it, but I do have reservations when prophetic dreams and visions overshadow the biblical revelation that we have in God’s Word. I’m not presuming that Pasley does that, but I do see it as a small red flag.
2. Though the book is written with the unbeliever in mind, Pasley never quite brings the reader to the point of decision. He clearly communicates the need for a Savior and how much we all need Him, but then leaves the reader hanging as if to say, “You’ll figure out what to do next!” This is a major criticism I see of the book, because I think that for many readers, the end will only leave them frustrated and perhaps more confused. But then again, the Holy Spirit can work through anything.
One of the best nuggets I pulled out comes later on in the book. The chapter is simply called “Music” and it’s a personification of music, as if music could communicate thoughts about God and itself. Here’s some of it:
“I am constantly trespassing the boundaries that confine the language of words. I am passion given voice. I am the music of the worshiping soul … I exist in the heavens, in the spiritual world that some men never see, and I move like a great tide from the throne room of God into the rooms of worshipers everywhere. My distant half-brothers fill the earth with reflections of love for everything but the living God. They are only half-rhythms and half-music, and they only hint at the sacred, even if pointing to the profane. I am pure. Whether aggressive or sublime. Whether future or primeval. Whether simple or confused. I can be angry or sad or lonely or happy or insane or romantic. I am the sound of relationship between people and God.”