The Worship Mall: Contemporary Responses to Contemporary Culture

by Bryan D. Spinks. Church Publishing Incorporated, 2010.

This academic volume, which reads like a graduate-level textbook, sprang from a course of the same name taught by the author at Yale Divinity School (YDS). Spinks, a priest in the Church of England, is the Goddard Professor of Liturgical Studies and Pastoral Theology at Yale Institute of Sacred Music and YDS. Spinks studies Christian worship-style responses to a culture of consumerism, including blended, emerging and liquid worship. He looks at megachurches, seeker services, and multi-sensory worship and wonders if they offer entertaining worship or worship as entertainment. Spinks posits “organic development of liturgy, providing the liturgical tradition is open to change, will probably be more successful than liturgical genetic engineering … to make the liturgy contemporary.” The engaging “Worship Mall” image is best addressed in the concluding remarks and should be read first. Anyone concerned with how contemporary worship meets contemporary culture might find helpful insights here.