Eerdmans has a series called “The Church at Worship” which is a series of documentary case studies of specific worshiping communities from around the world and throughout Christian history. The latest in the series is called Lifting Hearts to the Lord and is focused on worship with John Calvin in Sixteenth-Century Geneva. The book takes you back into history to give you an eyewitness look at worship during that time. Who better to write this than Karin Maag who is director of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary. The book features selections from John Calvin’s Scripture commentaries and sermons dealing with worship, pages from the Genevan Psalter and service book, historical maps and illustrations of Geneva and its churches, Genevan city council edicts and ordinances on worship and excerpts from letters, eyewitness accounts of Reformation worship in Geneva, and consistory records. In the margin Maag offers notes that help the reader understand the context of the passage. For example, in a letter where Calvin offers advice over those struggling over differing worship practices Maag notes that “Reformed Christians persistently critiqued Lutherans for retaining too much Catholic ritual in their worship.” (p. 56)
Church history lovers will eat this up. Reformed Christians in particular will gain a greater appreciation for the roots of their tradition.
Lifting Hearts to the Lord is a paperback with 223 pages and sells for $28.00.