Christopher Chelpka

Reformed Worship Book Recommendations

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight for my lecture on the Regulative Principle of Worship. I had fun getting it ready for you.

If you could only read one thing for review, read Westminster Confession of Faith 1.6, 20.2, and 21 + the proof texts. For modern-day book-length treatments that deal with the RPW, here are the three I mentioned and one I didn’t.

Worship: Reformed According to Scripture by Hughes Oliphant Old. This book gives you the broad historical background to the reformation of worship.

To focus on the Westminster Standards, read The Theology of the Westminster Standards: Historical Context and Theological Insights by J. V. Fesko. This is the best book available on the Standards that covers the historical context. It’s fascinating and so helpful on a host of subjects, but the chapters on the church and worship are most important for our study of the RPW, followed by the chapter on Covenant Theology.

A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship by Michael Horton. This book is an early and popular treatment of some of the things Horton writes about in his award-winning scholarly work People and Place: A Covenant Ecclesiology. It’s a great book and covers a lot of ground. I read it before I went to seminary and studied with Horton. It reminds me of how excited I was to do that and how thankful I am now that I did.

And how could I forget my OPC buddies? I definitely recommend With Reverence and Awe: Returning to the Basics of Reformed Worship by D. G. Hart and John Muether. It’s a little simpler and shorter book than Horton; another excellent introduction to Reformed Worship.