In “What Happens When We Worship” by Jonathan Landry Cruse, the author delves into the multifaceted dimensions of worship, unpacking its spiritual significance and transformative power within the context of the Christian life. As a covenantal confessional Reformed pastor, Cruse provides an insightful analysis of worship, illuminating its crucial role in nurturing a deep, authentic relationship with God. The book skillfully combines theological depth with practical application, making it an invaluable resource for individuals seeking a comprehensive understanding of worship’s profound impact on faith and spiritual growth.

Cruse’s exploration of the various facets of worship is richly complemented by his integration of scriptural insights, historical context, and theological reflections. His emphasis on the centrality of God’s Word in worship is evident throughout the book, as he expounds on the transformative power of Scripture within the worship experience. In Chapter 3, Cruse poignantly highlights the intrinsic connection between worship and the Word, stating, “When we come to the Word, God meets with us in a profound way. Through the Scriptures, the living God speaks to His people, calling them to Himself” (Cruse, 58). This emphasis on the Word as the foundational element of worship resonates deeply with the Reformed tradition, emphasizing the importance of scripture in shaping the worship practices of the faithful.

Moreover, Cruse’s meticulous examination of the sacraments and their significance in worship adds depth to the book’s theological discourse. In Chapter 5, Cruse expounds on the sacraments as visible signs of God’s grace, stating, “The sacraments are powerful means of grace that God has ordained for the strengthening and encouragement of His people” (Cruse, 112). This profound insight underscores the sacraments’ pivotal role in fostering spiritual nourishment and renewal, aligning with the Reformed tradition’s emphasis on the sacraments as vital conduits of God’s redemptive work.

Cruse’s nuanced exploration of the communal aspect of worship is particularly noteworthy, as he underscores the significance of corporate worship in nurturing a vibrant and unified faith community. In Chapter 7, he aptly articulates the communal nature of worship, asserting, “Gathering for worship is not just an individual pursuit; it is a communal activity that binds us together as the body of Christ” (Cruse, 178). This emphasis on the communal dimension of worship reflects the Reformed tradition’s emphasis on the communal nature of faith and underscores the importance of fostering a sense of belonging and interconnectedness within the body of believers.

“What Happens When We Worship” is a masterful synthesis of theological insight and practical guidance, offering readers a comprehensive framework for understanding the transformative power of worship in the Christian life. Cruse’s adept exploration of worship from a covenantal confessional Reformed perspective serves as a compelling guide for individuals seeking to deepen their understanding of the spiritual significance of worship and its impact on personal and communal faith experiences.

Statement of Compliance:

This review is solely based on the content of the book “What Happens When We Worship” by Jonathan Landry Cruse. I have not received any form of compensation or incentive for providing a positive review of this work.

Title: What Happens When We Worship
Author: Jonathan Landry Cruse
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books