Touching the Altar: The Old Testament for Christian Worship

Front Cover
Carol M. Bechtel
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Jan 14, 2008 - Religion - 211 pages
What does it mean to be in the presence of God's holiness? How can it affect us whether we seek it out or stumble upon it? Can it truly change our very reality to encounter it?

The essayists in this volume explore these questions at the heart of Christian worship, considering the oft-neglected Old Testament as essential to understand our purpose in worship. Following the structure of the Hebrew canon -- beginning with the Pentateuch, moving through to the Psalms, then wisdom literature -- each chapter considers a separate aspect of worship, from theater to the Sabbath to sacred space, offering new inspiration. In the final essay Carol Bechtel "rereads the book of Job through the lens of our human limitations (as opposed to the usual theme of theodicy)," with compelling applications for both life and worship.

Each of these essays concludes with two appropriately themed hymns and a "For Further Reading" list. Five of the seven contain sidebars that illustrate and enrich key points. Evocative woodcut artwork by Margaret Adams Parker provides a striking backdrop to the text. Taken together, these essays testify powerfully to the belief that the Old Testament is not only valuable but also essential to "whole" and fully foundational preaching and worship.

Written primarily by Old Testament professors, Touching the Altar will make an engaging supplemental text for introductory or elective Old Testament courses and will also go far toward providing deeper worship for any Christian.

Contributors:
Carol M. Bechtel
Thomas A. Boogaart
Corrine L. Carvalho
Ellen F. Davis
J. Clinton McCann Jr.
Dennis T. Olson
Margaret Adams Parker
John D. Witvliet

 

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User Review  - thornton37814 - LibraryThing

I found the essays too scholarly for a general readership but not scholarly enough for an academic audience. The book's topic should appeal to many, but the way the topic was handled left much to be ... Read full review

User Review  - Charles Waddell - Christianbook.com

It is full of good information I was wanting to go deeper into this area, and wanted even more information on the subject. Read full review

Contents

The Sabbath Commandment in Exodus 20
5
The Sabbath Commandment in Deuteronomy
16
The Sabbath Day and the Lords Day
23
O Day of Radiant Gladness Christopher Wordsworth
31
Recovering the Dramatic Tradition
35
823
42
A Call to Apprenticeship
58
Recovering Textual Contrasts
65
The Temple in 1 Kings and Ezekiel
126
The Temple and Gods Permanent Presence
132
Reading a Map Theologically
139
Arriving at the Treasure
149
The Psalms in Worship
155
and 100
164
Saturated with Justice
175
for further reading
178

Correcting Theological Astigmatism as an Antidote to Idolatry
75
Sing Praise to God Who Reigns AboveJohann J Schütz
92
Costly Vision
103
Lament over Jerusalem
111
Brian Wren
120
Worship as Reality Check
195
All Nature Sings
202
Creation Sings Each Plant and Tree
209
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