Should be required reading
"Fr. Paul Castellano has captured, in everyday English and with impeccable logic and linkage, what it means to engage in Christian worship. Fr. Paul is an Anglican priest, and thus quite conservative, religiously, but his conclusions, based on careful Biblical
analysis, apply just as perfectly to evangelical or charismatic worship as to his own liturgical tradition. Highly recommended, especially for Christian clergy and lay leadership."
"This is a truly powerful work. It lays out a subject that is so important yet not often investigated well if at all. I think it would be extremely beneficial for those who not only have known a more traditional type “liturgical” Christian worship but especially for those believers who are not acquainted with it as I was. Having been raised in a non-liturgical church worship, and having been raised to be extremely suspicious of such, I realize how shallow such seems now. There is a truly biblical pattern for worship and polity which is so much richer and more meaningful than that in which in I was raised. This is a book well worth reading for those who desire to seriously understand a sound biblical
pattern of worship and all it implies."
"Every Christian should read this great book. I do not think I will be exaggerating when I say IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. best thing I can do is run through some notes I made as I read it. So in chapter 2 it is quite clear that, in the Bible there is so much more than we realize. You get that feeling when you realize that the thing you are considering is IMMENSE and so much greater than you ever even thought it was. It’s overpowering. Also in chapter 2 are a couple of valuable lists on pages 48-51 that show a clear continuity between the Old and New Testaments. This continuity is a recurring theme in the book and is part of that life-changing element I was talking about. Chapter 3 makes very clear that the grace of God runs through ALL of scripture. There is no division between the Old and New Testaments - it is all one story of redemption. … I always wondered about the passages that said Jesus was in the synagogue. I never knew what He was doing in there. On page 79 it became clear.
At this moment I realize I really should tell you what this book is about. To put it simply, it is about what Christian worship is supposed to be like. The elements, the reasons, why this way and not that, and so on. It is absolutely ridiculous that there are so few traditional Anglican churches around. Reading this book will expose you to the fantastic beauty and rightness of this tradition.
In chapter 4 we see that the structure for worship has been there the whole time - all throughout the Old Testament. And in chapter 5 I said to myself, If I didn’t already agree, this book would convince me. It has that kind of force. Like I said, life-changing…
In the midst of chapter 7 something amazing happened. I finished my reading task for the day and I had the link between Israel and the Church in mind as I turned to Isaiah 45.1. The summary in my Bible was - God calleth Cyrus for his church’s sake. And I realized: this is for us! For God’s people RIGHT HERE AND NOW. This book makes the Old Testament come alive. Cuz all that business about Israel in the Old Testament is about Christians too. Israel is the Church and the Church is Israel. All the way through - from start to finish - the Bible is about God’s love and grace for His people. I knew the Israel-Church link before... but it is really clear - shining bright - now. A bit past the halfway point is when I realized that this book had changed my life. I will now always see Old Testament references to Israel as FOR US... which will change the way i read the Bible forever.
In the Conclusion, I have this note: New Testament Jews would utilize Old Testament Jewish practices. That continuity again. …
By this time the author (a priest who loves The Sopranos and Black Sabbath. it can’t get any better than that, can it?) has been going on for a couple of whiles presenting the case for episcopacy, the form of church government found in Anglican churches, w bishops, priests and deacons. I won’t even try to summarize his points but I must mention that he makes a powerful point about the apostle John and his disciples on page 219. Something I hadn’t thought about. This happens a lot in this book - I’ll be reading and getting blown away and it will occur to me that I haven’t thought about any of this before! This is to say: there are lots of places within where, once you read certain things, you can’t un-read them.
And that is such a good thing."
Excellent book on proper, Biblical worship
"Very strong argument on the continuity between the Old and New Covenants with regard to how worship is to be done. That the episcopal form of church government is the only true Biblical ecclesiology was also presented very strongly but is something I have to give more thought to as someone who is Reformed rather than Anglican and has never considered that the presbyterian form of church government was not that which we should be practicing. In addition to the use of the Biblical material, I also enjoyed his use of church fathers. Although an argument from silence, his assertion that if New Covenant worship was to be much different than Old Covenant worship, apart from animal sacrifice, Jesus, his apostles, and the generations of Christians to come would surely have taught and wrote how things were to be different. The writings we have display this continuity rather than discontinuity. Overall, the book balances a pastoral approach and academic rigor very well and is quite readable. I hope that this author will engage in more writing projects in the years to come."
Start with this book
"A wonderful introduction to Anglicanism from a theological kindred spirit. I have purchased half a dozen copies which I have given as gifts to Anglican postulants and protestant ministers. I heartily recommend this work and believe that in it the author has made a much needed contribution to the church."
An excellent resource!
"I am about half way through my first reading of this text. I have been so blessed by thoroughness of the treatment of this important subject. It is as comprehensive as it is Biblically and theologically on point. The reader will have a much greater appreciation and understanding of the true worship of God when he or she is finished with it. As another of the reviewers stated, it should be a must-read for every pastor, seminarian and theologian. Excellent work!"
This book will CHANGE YOUR LIFE, for the better.
"This book is a wonderful, inspiring and thoughtful treatment of the subject of worship. You might need to keep a dictionary nearby, but, believe me when I say, this book WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have."
An Excellent Resource on the Worship of God
"I had written a previous review shortly after beginning to read the book. The author, an Anglican priest, does a fine job of laying out the evidence that our worship of God is predicated not solely on how the early Church worshipped, but, more importantly, how they reflected worship in the Jewish Tabernacle/Temple and how that ultimately connected back to the worship of God as found in heaven itself. This is of tremendous importance to a Christian culture who relishes in its own perceived independence in how to worship the Lord and cares more for cultural relevance than it does for historical precedence. The author freely confesses his own use of redundancy for the purpose of driving home his points. I will admit that once the point is received and well-taken, the over stressing can be a bit annoying but is fully understood. I would definitely recommend this book as a resource and reference for any serious study of the subject of how and why we should worship the God of the Bible."
What is worship?
"Fr. Paul Castellano is passionate about his creator God! In his book, he shows us what it is to worship God as we are so directed in his Word. He lays out before us the historical worship of the ancient Israelites in whose steps we follow. Their’s was a God of smoke and incense, of the sacred tabernacle and temple, of the ark of the covenant and the Holy of Holies, of burnt offerings and blood sprinkled on the alter. It was a world of heavenly angels, of choirs and musical instruments all uttering praise to a magnificent God!
Fr. Castellano shows us that though we now worship under a new covenant in Christ Jesus, our worship should reflect the same ardor, the same holy reverence, the same resplendent glory that has always been due to our immortal Father.
Throughout the text, he urges us to lay aside tepid and ultra-contemporary forms of worship that are not worthy of a holy God, and he calls us back to bowing in humble adoration before our Savior in forms of exalted worship! He shows us what this should look like! He shows us how God is worshipped in heaven. His descriptions are thrilling. Bravo!"
Enjoyable and enlightening...highly recommended
"I have known and worshipped with Fr. Paul Castellano for several years. His recent book, “As It Is In Heaven”, in many ways, is just light having a conversation with him! It is energetic and entertaining, vibrant and engaging.
A thoughtful and thought provoking work filled with references and Biblical documentation, Fr. Paul’s thesis is compelling. Beginning with God’s instructions to and covenant with the Jews in the Old Testament, and connecting that to the New Testament covenant through Jesus Christ, the outcome is undeniable. The proof is in the Bible and Fr. Paul shows repeatedly the how and the equally important why of liturgical worship in a traditional setting. As a lifelong Anglican myself (including 30 years post Vatican II when I wandered through the desert, if you will), attempts to find an alternative church or method of worship came up short. Now I understand why! From Heaven to Mount Sinai to the Upper Room, it is all there, presented with logic and evidence.
Fr. Paul Castellano is a serious scholar whose writing is easy to read and comprehend. “As It Is In Heaven” deserves to be read more than once to fully appreciate the richness of the topic as well as the full extent of the research.
Thank you for this very enjoyable and enlightening read—and please keep on writing!"
Definitely worth the read
"This is an awesome book, and definitely the kind that you'll be glad you looked at the footnotes and appendices. I found this book to be the right balance of fresh details and clear examples, so you won't feel like the author is wasting your time. It's got a good flow. I've come from an evangelical Christian background and am only recently Anglican, so this book offered me a chance to fill in a lot of gaps, both historically and liturgically. It's particularly helpful because it can substantiate arguments from multiple angles (read the title), ultimately creating a robust framework for appreciating the God-centered form of worship presented in the book."