At Northwest Nazarene University’s School of Theology & Christian Ministries, I’m blessed to be part of a team of faculty who are exceptional instructors as well as world-class scholars. In fact, our professors are among the most published in the Wesleyan-Holiness movement.
My colleague, Dr. Brent Peterson, exemplifies this commitment to scholarship as evidenced by his newest book, Created to Worship: God’s Invitation to be Fully Human. Published by Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, Dr. Peterson’s book asks—and answers—the question, “What does God want to say and do in your worship service?” It also lays out the basic theology of worship in the Wesleyan tradition and provides a clear road map to help plan a worship service in a discerning manner.
“One of the goals of the book is to not offer a one-size-fits-all worship service, but to say, ‘These are the things to think about as you create a worship service,” he says.
Dr. Peterson, who is in his seventh year at NNU, says he wanted to provide an overall framework for thinking about what worship is in the big picture—and to break down the individual elements and sacraments.
“One of the big questions the book asks is, ‘How do I know what we’re doing on Sunday is actually Christian?’ Just because it’s on Sunday and in a sanctuary does not make it Christian,” he says.
He decided to tackle the subject of worship while navigating the infamous “worship wars.” Dr. Peterson, an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, says as a pastor he felt he was asking the wrong questions in trying to be faithful to his calling and to helping people get along.
The book, Dr. Peterson’s first, took him about seven months to write and edit. He believes it is one of the first of its kind in the Church of the Nazarene. Dr. Peterson wanted it to appeal to both academia and the local church. “It feels good to have it done and to say some of the things I’ve wanted to say,” he says.
Dr. Peterson is now at work on two other books—one, due out in Spring 2015, about atonement that he is writing with NNU’s Dr. Diane Leclerc and the other about the Eucharist, due out in Spring 2016.
Here is a Vimeo video in which Dr. Peterson answers, “What is Worship?”
If you would like to study with scholars like Dr. Peterson, I encourage you to request more information. We look forward to hearing from you!
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