Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Taste of Heaven

Dr. R.C. Sproul writes a great introduction for some of the basic principles of worship in A Taste of Heaven. Sproul focuses on several different aspects of worship, devoting chapters to sacrifices, living sacrifices, prayer, symbolism in worship, baptism, the Lord's supper, and worship through the fives senses.

A Taste of Heaven has helped me to think about the ways and reason I worship the God of creation. At times it helped me to see areas I may be less sincere in worship.

Sproul devotes three chapters to the topic of baptism. This is the one area of the book that I differ from Dr. Sproul. Sproul's defense for infant baptism, in my opinion, is not strong. Actually, he almost makes a better case for believers baptism. Maybe it wasn't strong because there is a lack of biblical evidence for infant baptism. One statement that really stuck out and links infant baptism heavily to Old Testament circumcision was “When we are baptized the first time, we receive an outward sign of the promise of God, and when we come to faith, God has kept His promise.” This statement leaves interpretation open to if someone were baptized as an infant they received the outward sign of God's promise. If that person does not come to faith in Christ, in a sense God has broken his promise. And I think we'd all agree that God does not break his promises.

Aside from the topic of infant baptism, I agree with Dr. Sproul in most the other areas of worship. His take on the Lord's Supper, specifically in reference to wine was an angle I had not heard before (but I am coming from the SBC). I think he made an interesting point saying real wine gives our taste buds a reminder of both elements of Christ's death on the cross “pain and joy, sorrow and gladness”. Remembering Christ's death can be a sad and painful thing, yet there is joy in knowing that Christ conquered death and that we may have eternal life.

I recommend A Taste of Heaven to any believer. While I don't see eye to eye with Sproul on the topic of baptism, this book helped give me a little bit of an understanding of the belief of infant baptism, though still not convinced and a bit confused. He touches on several aspects of worship that every believer should consider. One area to consider is worshiping through the five senses. He points out many great things that I previously had not fully considered.

Table of Contents

1. The Form of Worship
2. Sacrifices in Faith
3. Living Sacrifices
4. The House of Prayer
5. Symbolism in Worship
6. Baptism (Part I)
7. Baptism (Part II)
8. To You and Your Children
9. The Lord’s Supper
10. The Whole Person
11. The Role of Beauty
12. The Sounds of Worship
13. The Touch of Eternity
The Epilogue

Dr. RC Sproul is the founder of Ligonier Ministries and well respect theologian. He also serves as senior minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida. He's the author of more than 60 books and one of several authors published by Reformation Trust.

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