Saturday, March 19, 2005
It’s not that many people come here to read Lunar Skeletons, and so if I make a book recommendation, it would be like a tree falling in the forest: nobody will hear it. But I thought I would mention Marva J. Dawn’s book entitled “Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down—A Theology of Worship for This Urgent Time” (Eerdsmans Publishing Company, 1995, ISBN 0-8028-4102-3). It’s an obscure book, I grant, and written long ago, but Ms. Dawn has written a very thoughtful book, and it tackles the biggest problem that seem to plague many evangelical churches nowadays: the Great Dumbing Down Syndrome. And it is the case, it seems, that one of the biggest criticisms of the Rick Warren's methodology is that it excessively “dumbs down” the Gospel in order to make it more palatable, or “seeker sensitive.” But she had so many excellent things to say, particularly in regard to worship, that I am giving the book a second reading already. One aspect of the book is that Ms. Dawn wrote it at a time of great personal suffering in her life because of various health problems, which is something that she did occasionally mentioned in her book.