Book Review – Warrior Poets

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Finally finished “Warrior Poets of the 21st Century: A Biblical and Personal Journey in Worship,” by Robin Mark. Overall I enjoyed his perspective on worship. I thought the book could have been edited a bit. At times he details things I didn’t think were relevant while other ideas were not elaborated on quiet enough. I think this was his first book project, so I’ll cut him some slack. He’s best known for his performance and writing on the album, Revival in Belfast. Here are some of the high points from Warrior Poets:

  • “Whenever we get the impression that worship is a means to receive rather than give we essentially compromise the very nature of worship….So long as it is not the reason for our worship, a real by-product of our worship [of God] is blessing [by God].
  • Half of the 10 commandments are about worship.
  • “Worship is fundamental to everything we are…If that’s the case, then we need to be sure that our worship is actually the type of worship that God wants.”
  • (on the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4) “I want to suggest to you that the quality of Cain’s gift is not the issue here. Rather it is the motivation behind the gift that is the real problem.”
  • “An offering is essentially what worship and the heart of worship is all about. Whatever we do physically in our act of worship, it’s all about bringing an offering to the Father.”
  • the means we use to express our worship are insignificant in comparison to the attitude of the heart
  • “…to be so enraptured by who [God] is, what He has done and the incredible fact that the Almighty God of the universe wishes to commune with us continually…our hearts overflow with worship.”
  • “Sometimes you can’t be used by God unless you are right at the end of what you think are your own abilities and need to rely totally on Him.”
  • Don’t be afraid to let the glory go to someone else.
  • “No matter how skilled, how excellent, how all-encompassing, how relevant, how grammatical or how pleasing to the intellect of the critic a piece of writing may be, it is surely empty of merit if it hasn’t been forged in the furnace of the heart’s exposure to the glory and reality of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
  • If the senior pastor says NO to a new song submission…then that’s it. It’s done. Move on. Respect his authority.
  • “In our society we separate the sacred and the secular as if one had a higher calling than the other.”
  • “There is a current theme being expressed…that our worship has become so experiential, so ‘me’, so encounter-based and ‘intimate’ that we are spending all our time in what we think is ‘worship’ and doing nothing for the rest of the world.” (Mark does a nice job talking about how justice and mercy are a huge part of worship)
  • “…singing songs and having a good time is not what defines worship.”
  • “Somehow or other we have elevated the activity of sung or played worship to a level where we are upset if the quality or style isn’t up to a perceived standard and yet, with regard to our programs for the poor and disadvantaged of this world, we are quite content to make do with whatever we’ve got.”
  • “Reading Isaiah, it seems God would gladly trade a well-presented song of praise for a heart of compassion for the poor.”
  • Whatever our expression of worship – a song, dance, posture, poem, reading – it is of minimal importance when standing next to the condition of our hearts in worship.
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