Review of “Worshipping with Calvin”



In Worshipping with Calvin, Terry Johnson presents a scholarly study of what it means to worship in the legacy of Reformed Protestantism.

Addressing a wide range of issues in the early, medieval, and contemporary church, Worshipping with Calvin reminds modern Christians that our worship should never be based on our cultural tastes, styles, or preferences, but rather be rooted in Scripture.

Throughout Worshipping with Calvin, Johnson argues that we have corrupted the blessing of our freedom to worship into the freedom to worship however we please, resulting in the loss of a true understanding of worship.

While emphasizing the catholicity of the Church, Worshipping with Calvin focuses on the rich and vibrant heritage of Reformed Protestantism, particularly in the Presbyterian denomination. When addressing issues of concern in Reformed congregations, Johnson points readers to Scripture and Church History, encouraging us towards worship that is not only theocentric, but also filled with Scripture, Gospel-driven, and catholic (as in, universal; see page 251 for an in-depth explanation).

While I found Worshipping with Calvin to be an insightful and thorough book, it is not without fault. I found parts of Worshipping with Calvin to be repetitive, but my primary complaint was the overabundance of quotes from Hughes Oliphant Old, to whom the book is dedicated. While Old has wonderful insight, I found myself wishing that Johnson would write his own thoughts, rather than constantly defaulting to quotes of Old.

I would recommend Worshipping with Calvin to those who are interested in learning more about Reformed Protestantism, whether you are Reformed or not. I do forewarn my Baptist readers that Johnson is unabashedly Reformed, and you will encounter beliefs in Worshipping with Calvin with which you will disagree.

Overall, Worshipping with Calvin  is a valuable resource for anyone who loves or is interested in the Reformed faith. I would give Worshipping with Calvin a “B-“.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Cross Focused Reviews Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .


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