Richard Stoll Armstrong. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986, 216 pp., $9.95.
Books about worship rarely mention evangelism; books about evangelism only occasionally touch on worship. In this book Armstrong focuses on the intimate connection between the two. Formerly an Episcopalian, Armstrong is now a Presbyterian and a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary.
The book is a sequel to The Pastor as Evangelist and follows the same general pattern: Armstrong puts on evangelistic glasses as he describes the pastor's role as worship leader and preacher. What we get, therefore, is a general manual on worship and preaching with a sharpened evangelistic edge. Inevitably, the author's evangelical theology shows, but he makes no specific attempt to write a theology of worship and evangelism.
Following some preliminary considerations, Part One discusses Sunday worship (including sections on the order and theme of the service, the bulletin, music, and special services), the sacraments, weddings, funerals, and ordination services. Part Two deals with the pastor-evangelist as preacher and includes chapters on planning, preaching, presenting the gospel, and prizing the pulpit. Several appendices complete the book.
Armstrong provides practical , down-to-earth ideas. He writes in an engaging manner and frequently comes up with pithy, quotable lines as well as searching questions. The book should be required reading in seminary courses on either worship or evangelism and will serve as an excellent refresher for any minister who wants to sharpen the evangelistic focus of worship and preaching. It can also serve as a useful companion to the "Evangelism and Worship Workshop" published by Christian Reformed Home Missions.