Review of Called to Worship by Vernon M. Whaley


Genre: Academic Theology

Not Recommended, but OK.

I really wanted to like this book.  In fact, I’ve held off writing the review hoping I might change my mind, but I haven’t.

Called to Worship is written in a semi-textbook semi-personal style, which was not to my liking; but the main reason I didn’t like it is that it felt like something very important was missing from the text.  I can’t quite describe what it is–heart, maybe, or intimacy.  It’s just that, I have the best time worshiping the Lord; it’s a very tangible experience for me.  I sing to Him, I dance for Him, I paint with Him, I talk with Him.  Sometimes I lie on the floor and soak in the presence of God; other times I’ll kneel; I might even jump.  I might be overwhelmed with joy so much I can’t stop laughing.  Other times, I may feel my heart so bursting with love that I cry and begin to intercede for peoples or nations or situations.  I know that intimacy with the Lord varies per believer, and in fact, that’s one of the reasons I was interested in this book–to learn more about how others throughout scripture have connected with Him.  But that’s not what this book is for–it describes various aspects of worship without ever describing the heart of worship.  It’s on the one hand very thorough and yet lacks depth.

That said, the theology is pretty solid (though confined by his conservative worldview); the structure is easy to follow and can be read in independent chapters or as a whole; and for the reader who is looking into the study of worship for the first time, it gives a very nice introduction to various aspects of worship which could later be scrutinized in more depth.  I’m sure this book could be useful to someone, it just wasn’t to me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogging Program through


2 thoughts on “Review of Called to Worship by Vernon M. Whaley

  1. Have you read Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas? I read it and sounds like it may be similar to this book. I liked it, was definitely interesting to see how other people had their own styles of worshiping or getting closer to God!

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