A Royal “Waste” of Time (Book Review)

A Royal Waste of Time by Marva Dawn

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Title: A Royal “Waste” of Time

Author: Marva Dawn

2. Summarize in one paragraph the thesis or argument of the text.

The world does not need the Church to be reformed into an image of itself. Rather, what the world needs most is for the Church to be an alternative culture and society that stands in the midst of the world unashamedly proclaiming the message of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Christians best reach out and witness to the world by “wasting” their community time on Sunday in splendid worship of the triune God who created and redeemed a people for Himself.

3. Summarize in one paragraph the author’s method of proving her or his thesis. How does she or he “get there”?

Dawn’s method of proving her thesis is playful. She realizes that her message is controversial in a Christian culture prone to changing historic worship forms into modern seek-sensitive, inoffensive forms. Therefore she belabors the point throughout the book that she has no interest in taking a side in the traditional/contemporary worship debate. Instead, the author attempts to transcend the debate by encouraging local congregational leaders to ask each other probing questions that are meant to let the Church decide as a community of faith how best to worship and “be Church.” Dawn begins and ends with sections on the Church relating to the world in terms of culture and specific challenges. The heart of the book contains sections on being Church (building community, forming character, making purposeful choices) and centering our meetings in worshiping God. Since many of the chapters are adapted from her sermons, conference addresses, and other books, the appeals seem directed mainly at pastors and church music leaders. Therefore her strategy is to reform the Church’s worship and ministry from the “top down” rather than start a “grass roots” movement.

(Continue reading here.)

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