Ronald P. Byars. Louisville: Westminister John Knox Press, 2002. 144 pp. $12.95. ISBN 0664225721. www.ppcpub.org
Ronad P. Byars’s newest book is a helpful interweaving of both a survey of the history of Christian worship and current worship practices in North America. Byars both cautions and encourages. He cautions the impulse to mark success in numbers and the related desire to follow the current worship trends. At the same time he recognizes the need for change and encourages congregations to reflect on their worship practices, particularly whether or not their worship is more representative of a previous era then our present postmodern context. Byars also offers practical suggestions, reflective questions, a process to consider, or even whole new paradigms. Through it all Byars encourages the church to hold on to or, if necessary, to reclaim the centrality of the pulpit, font, and table—the Word and the sacraments.