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By F. Gerrit Immink / Eerdmans / 2014
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All over the world Christian communities meet on Sunday morning for worship. But what really happens during a worship service? How do worshipers participate in the service? What does it mean to sing, pray, and celebrate the Lord’s Supper together? What do worshipers do when they listen to a sermon?
In The Touch of the Sacred, F. Gerrit Immink offers thoughtful theological reflection on the religious practice of worship services in the Protestant tradition. He develops a theology of worship with a clear focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as he explores the meaning of worship, the mystery of Christ, the sacraments, prayer, and preaching. Ultimately, he says, something dynamic happens when a church congregation speaks and acts; it is touched by the sacred, by a very encounter with the living God.
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What makes Immink’s Touch of the Sacred stand out from the crowd is the remarkable way in which he brings things together. He brings together a theological approach to the liturgy with a practical approach. He brings together a deep immersion in the liturgical writings of continental authors with an equally deep immersion in the liturgical writings of American authors. And he brings together a rich knowledge of the history of liturgy with wide acquaintance with contemporary liturgical practices. . . . Immink never stays on the surface; his discussion is always probing. A valuable contribution.
—Nicholas Wolsterstorff, Noah Porter Emeritus Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University
In the press to produce services that are innovative, expressive, entertaining, and blended, the cultural and theological roots of worship have become a forgotten and untraveled country. Gerrit Immink here delves deeply into the particular resources of the Reformed tradition to rediscover landmarks for worship, prayer and preaching that is godly rather than all about us. His volume will repay careful reading and does much to redress the balance.
—Iain R. Torrance, pro-chancellor, University of Aberdeen
F. Gerrit Immink is rector and professor of homiletics at Protestant Theology University, Groningen, Netherlands. He is also the author of Faith: A Practical Theological Reconstruction.