Renewal Worship: A Theology of Pentecostal Doxology, By Steven Félix-Jäger
Renewal Worship
  • Length: 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: September 06, 2022
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: A0014
  • ISBN: 9781514000144

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At its best, all Christian worship is led by the Holy Spirit. But is there a distinctive theology of Pentecostal worship?

The Pentecostal church or the renewal movement is among the fastest-growing parts of the body of Christ around the world, which makes understanding its theology and practice critical for the future of the church.

In this volume in IVP Academic's Dynamics of Christian Worship (DCW) series, theologian Steven Félix-Jäger offers a theology of renewal worship, including its biblical foundations, how its global nature is expressed in particular localities, and how charismatic worship distinctively shapes the community of faith. 

With his guidance, the whole church might understand better what it means to pray, "Come, Holy Spirit!"

The Dynamics of Christian Worship series draws from a wide range of worshiping contexts and denominational backgrounds to unpack the many dynamics of Christian worship—including prayer, reading the Bible, preaching, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, music, visual art, architecture, and more—to deepen both the theology and practice of Christian worship for the life of the church.

"Steven Félix-Jäger has a word for those who think worship is just about moving through ritual or getting their spiritual tank refilled! Deploying a generous view of worship and Pentecostalism that makes room for Christians who harken from all theological traditions to find themselves in his writing, Félix-Jäger reminds us that it is uniquely in worship that we most immediately experience God's overflowing salvation. Through music, testimonies, and other acts of worship, we discern the power of the Spirit, are formed into the likeness of Christ, and are reconciled to the Father as one holy people. We are then sent forth as prophetic messengers to carry this message of hope to others and plant new worshiping communities throughout the world. Biblically grounded, doxologically shaped, carefully argued in conversation with a wide range of scholars, and thoughtfully engaged with the lived experience of Christians, Renewal Worship situates the practice of renewal worship at the heart of the Christian life."

Mark R. Teasdale, E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

"There is a need for good, scholarly work that assesses both the theological foundations and the Pentecostal character of contemporary worship. Renewal Worship meets this need. Through his study of the Pentecostal movement and its impact on the contemporary worship culture, Steven Félix-Jäger sets forth a charismatic vision for the contemporary church and gives scholars a multitude of research trails to follow."

Jonathan Powers, assistant professor of worship studies at Asbury Theological Seminary

"Studies on Pentecostal worship have been mostly descriptive, from a social science perspective, or critical. Steven Félix-Jäger's is a rare exception by offering a constructive theology of Pentecostal worship. It argues that Pentecostal worship is the response to the distinctive way in which God reveals himself in Pentecostal experience. For anyone seeking to understand why Pentecostals worship the way they do, I cannot think of a better book to recommend."

Simon Chan, formerly professor of systematic theology at Trinity Theological College, Singapore, and currently editor of the Asia Journal of Theology

"Steven Félix-Jäger is the right person to provide a Pentecostal perspective to this important Dynamics of Christian Worship series at this time. He masterfully brings the nascent scholarship in Pentecostal worship into dialogue with the main lines of worship studies and theologies of worship, while bridging these theoretical frames with contemporary praise culture and practices. This book is the perfect springboard not only for next steps in Pentecostal theologies of worship for the diversity of world Christian movements, but also for all who seek to worship God in spirit and in truth."

Amos Yong, professor of theology and mission at Fuller Seminary

"Renewal Worship is a welcome addition to renewal studies by providing language categories—in short, a theology—for what people of the Spirit come to do so intuitively. At the same time, intuition can be shaped in different directions; therefore, this book can serve a larger purpose of providing not only a theology of renewal worship but also a logic that can keep it attuned to its character and aims. Pastors and worship leaders can especially benefit from its proposals."

Daniel Castelo, William Kellon Quick Professor of Theology and Methodist Studies at Duke Divinity School

"Astutely descriptive and helpfully prescriptive, Steven Félix-Jäger creatively weaves a theologically rich tapestry enabling the reader to hear and understand the distinct dynamic of renewal worship. This is a significant contribution to Pentecostal-charismatic worship and theological studies, for it reveals the very heart of the existence of renewal traditions—worship. Highly Recommended!"

Kenneth J. Archer, author of The Gospel Revisited: Towards a Pentecostal Theology of Worship and Witness

"Renewal Worship claims that worship is the measure of all things in the church. And renewal worship is the revolutionary power of Spirit-empowered Christianity. Félix-Jäger in this book crafts an innovative hermeneutics of worship that brilliantly theologizes both the abstract, universal dimension of worship and its concrete, particular nature as a contextualized social activity. The result is an original, incisive, and concise theology of worship constructed not only for Pentecostals but also for the whole body of Christ."

Nimi Wariboko, author of The Pentecostal Hypothesis: Christ Talks, They Decide

"I've often advised my tribes with these words: 'Every great worship leader needs at least one Pentecostal friend.' Why? Because without the Pentecostal witness, the rest of us would flame out. Make no mistake, though. This is a work of liturgical theology—a discerning of biblical truth from (rather than merely onto) the worship experience. We were due for a fresh, accessible theology of worship, and here we have it—clear, humble, passionate, generous, informed, up to date, and yes, full of the Spirit."

Zac Hicks, author of The Worship Pastor

"In this innovative study, Steven Félix-Jäger explores global Pentecostal and renewalist aesthetics in accessible, insightful ways. With an artist's attention to detail and beauty, Félix-Jäger analyzes a movement on the rise for the benefit of those inside and outside its porous boundaries."

Leah Payne, associate professor of American religious history at George Fox University

"Steven Félix-Jäger's book is a penetratingly insightful theology of Pentecostal worship that focuses on Christ's abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the human participation in the divine life that it invites and enables. His insights and theological method have broad ecumenical relevance. This was a truly delightful read for me."

Frank D. Macchia, professor of systematic theology at Vanguard University and associate director of the Centre for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies at Bangor University, Wales

"It is rare that Pentecostal/charismatic worship is put under the liturgical theology microscope. If you are keen to understand the theological nuts and bolts of the fastest-growing global Christian movement in the twenty-first century, this book by Félix-Jäger is indispensable. Be prepared to have your eyes opened."

Lim Swee Hong, Deer Park Associate Professor of Sacred Music and director of the Master of Sacred Music program at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto, Canada

"Finally, a textbook for teaching worship from a Pentecostal/charismatic perspective! Steven Félix-Jäger delivers a robust overture of renewal worship that provides a theoretical framework for understanding its biblical and theological contours while also engaging its dynamic flow in the power of the Spirit. A must-read for anyone seeking to unpack what it means to worship God in Spirit and in truth."

Sammy Alfaro, professor of theology at Grand Canyon Theological Seminary

Read an Excerpt


Introduction: Why Renewal Worship?

Part 1: Profiling Renewal Worship
1. What Renewal Worship Is: A Biblical and Theological Method
2. Who Renewal Worship Is For: The Object of Worship
3. How Renewal Worship Works: Worship as a Shaping Narrative

Part 2: Renewal Worship in Context
4. How Renewal Worship Flows: Between Word and Spirit
5. What Renewal Worship Says: The Prophetic Functions of Renewal
6. Who Renewal Worshipers Are: The Renewed Global Community

Conclusion: Where Do We Go from Here?

General Index
Scripture Index


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Steven Félix-Jäger

Steven Félix-Jäger (PhD, University of Wales) is assistant professor and chair of the worship arts and media program at Life Pacific University. He is the author of Art Theory for a Global Pluralistic AgeSpirit of the ArtsWith God on Our Side, and Pentecostal Aesthetics.