The Touch of the Sacred
F Gerrit Immink, Eerdmans (2014)
In The Touch of the Sacred, F. Gerrit Immink reflects on the theology of our Sunday services, discussing particularly how the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit shapes and impacts what we do when we gather together as the church. Immink explores how these theological reflections impact the practical events of prayer and praise, communion and preaching that are common place throughout different Christian expressions of corporate worship.
Immink explores these different topics well, developing his points in a helpfully sequential way. As a fairly ‘heavyweight’ book, this clear movement through the sections helps the reader to take hold of some of the very insightful points he makes. These points are incredibly well supported, and I found myself regularly needing to stop reading on while I re-read and reflected on what Immink had to say.
The Touch of the Sacred is a helpful reflection on Sunday services, and the book challenges the reader to think more carefully and with greater depth about something that many of us are involved in week in, week out. However, this book is definitely best suited to those with a more academic disposition. I found myself longing for a lighter, more accessible synopsis of the book, that would help me to get to the important message that I found took almost as much time to understand as I then went on to spend reflecting on what I had understood.
For some this will come more easily, but for many I think there will be better ways to develop a theology of corporate worship. Those who would take the time to read a book on Sunday services, to impact their ministry rather than for research, may well be better served by something a little more accessible.
Reviewed by John Freema