Book Review: The Worshiping Artist

About a week ago I finished another book by Rory Noland that is a follow up to “The Heart Of The Artist” called, “The Worshiping Artist.” My wife gave it to me for Christmas because it was on my list, (so she is exempt from any negative response I have to the book.)
If you’ve read “The Heart Of The Artist” you can expect some of the same good things. Excellent opening illustrations for each chapter that are so real it makes you wonder if he’s been tapping your phone. A lot of good practical advice to artists who are involved in the church. In this book, his goal is to give a kind of orientation to artists who are entering into a worship leadership role. As such it was kind of a review of a lot of stuff for me. I would recommend it for maybe a group of college music interns who are starting out in worship leading. It gives a good solid ground work for what it really means to worship God, but honestly, I skimmed about 2/3rds of the book because it was nothing extremely new to me.
The last 3rd was kind of cool because he fleshed out some examples from scripture (and church history) of worship leaders and made some cool biblical applications. He did a chapter each on the Levites, Asaph, and the iconographers. (I was a little wary of the icon stuff. I can’t say I get it, but the main points were good.)
Over-all, I would not recommend it to anyone whose been leading worship for more than a few years and has already wrestled through a biblical understanding of worship. “The Heart Of the Artist” was a much better book that had a lot of original things to say about the particular struggles of being an artist.
I have at least 4 more books on worship and art that I am reading, so stay tuned…

  1. #1 by Sam on March 3, 2008 - 9:17 pm

    K- I agree that much of it may be review. I also really enjoyed the later sections and was challenged by his thoughts on icons. I’m trying to have an open mind to it because of my natural bias due to my Reformed background. Let’s face it, the tradition hasn’t also been very encouraging of artists, eh?
    I’m am currently using the book as a devo guide for our choir and band each week. We take 20 min and I either teach or have us do an exercise to build community and helps us understand the bigger picture of worship R.Noland talks about. I would highly recommend the book for that reason alone. Hope you and your girls are well!

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