Jong Hun Joo offers a model of how both solid biblical understanding and effective practice of worship can be realised in churches today by exploring the theology and practice of Matthew Henry (1662-1714). Matthew Henry is one of the most famous biblical commentators in the English-speaking world. He was, however, also a pastor who was liturgical in negotiating the political and religious landmines of his day. This all but overlooked aspect of Henry’s biography and writings is both a window into his life and times, and an insightful view into the pastoral dimensions of Christian rituals and practices in the home and church. Joo discerns how Henry understood and practised English Presbyterian worship as an example of Reformed worship in his context and suggests how contemporary churches can appropriately develop and articulate their own worship in their own contexts, making the case for worship renewal.
Foreword: On the Unseen Wisdom of Palm Trees and Matthew Henry, by Todd Johnson
1. English Presbyterian Worship in the Restoration and Aftermath: The Liturgical Context of Matthew Henry
2. The Life and Thought of Matthew Henry: Word-Centered Piety
3. Matthew Henry on Christian Worship: Communion with God in Liturgical Forms and Patterns
4. Matthew Henry’s Theology of the Sacraments: English Presbyterian Piety of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
5. Reformed Tradition in Henry’s Presbyterian Public Worship Service
6. Conclusion: Liturgical Resources for Renewal of Public Worship in Henry’s Theology and Practice of Worship
Endorsements and Reviews
Nothing could do more for Presbyterian worship than a rediscovery of the pastoral theology of Matthew Henry. Henry is particularly helpful in opening up the full diet of public prayer, the recovery of the sanctity of the Lord’s Day, and a systematic preaching through of the Holy Scriptures. That is exactly what the author gives us. We are grateful for the publication of this study.
Hughes Old, Erskine Theological Seminary, Due West, South Carolina
While Matthew Henry is well known for his biblical commentaries and writings about prayer, his liturgical writings are not well known. In his book, Jong Hun Joo offers a helpful introduction to Matthew Henry’s contributions to the shaping of public worship. Matthew Henry will sharpen our understanding of Nonconformist worship practices and liturgical spirituality and offers an instructive case study in the interplay of form and freedom in the long and variegated history of Protestant worship.
John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, Michigan