Harold Best

Best on the imago Dei

What are the implications for worship that come from knowing we are created in God's image? Today's Worship Quote comes from Harold Best's book Music Through the Eyes of Faith.

A Christian worldview maintains that God, the one and only Creator, is alone worthy of worship. Recognizing that God created us in his image, it further maintains that a unique aspect of that imaging lies in the capability of the two beings to communicate with each other, to enjoy each other's presence, to love each other without end, and to be at work continually together: the one sovereignly creating, upholding what has been created and revealing himself to it, the other responding through worship, adoration, stewardly work, and creativity.

Such communion and worship are possible only because of the unique relationship between Creator and creature: the one is created in the image of the other. The difference is one of infinity and infinitude: the Creator is infinitely more-than, we are finite and less-than. Even so, the relationship is based on kind: we are created in God's image. Hence worship is not a one-sided affair, the one only getting and the other only giving. True, the Creator, by his very transcendence, cannot be but worshiped. And the creature, imago Dei, cannot help but worship. True, the worth-ship of the one naturally woos the worship of the other. But this relationship is also an exchanging of gifts, because both are givers. This is a willing union of all-sufficiency and dependence, sovereignty and subordination, prevenient love and responding love, transcendent worthiness and temporal worth. We risk a paradox: while the Creator calls for worship, the worshiper would rush to worship even if he did not call.

- Harold Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith (New York: Harper Collins, 1993), 144.

To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Best on Passion for God

Today's Worship Quote is another from Harold Best's book Music Through the Eyes of Faith.

Being moved by music is secondary to worshiping God. The Spirit is always to be free to direct our worship, whether the music moves us or not. It is only when being moved by music is coupled to a preceding passion for God that we are truly moved. Behind all of this is the Lord's continuous invitation to come and to continue worship. God wills that all of us worship him. Behind all of these secondary movings - music, art, drama, dance, architecture, atmosphere, and environment - is the primary mover, whose most quiet call and gentlest reminder speak louder than our most elaborate art pieces.

- Harold Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith (San Francisco, CA: Harper Collins, 1993), 152.


There it is again-worship as a response to the love and work of the "primary mover." Note that the author is not speaking against emotion in music; nor is he speaking despairingly against the use of the various fine arts in the worship life of the church. He is merely warning us not to confuse an emotional response to art with a passion for God.

Have a great week!

To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Best on Superior Worship

Today's WORSHIP QUOTE speaks to the constant temptation to rank one system of worship as superior to another.

The Scriptures include or allude to just about every approach to worship there is: organized, spontaneous, public, private, simple, complex, ornate or plain. Yet there is no comment anywhere about any one way being preferred over another. Rather, it is the spiritual condition of the worshiper that determines whether or not God is at work. This fact alone countermands the tendency to assume that if we could just find the correct or fashionably relevant system, all will be well and God will come down. This doesn't imply that we have no responsibility to make intelligent and sensitive choices or to be creative. But whatever these choices eventually are, they are incapable all by themselves of establishing the superiority of one system over another.

- Harold M. Best, Music through the Eyes of Faith (San Francisco: Harper, 1994), 146.

To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Best on the Call to Worship

What is a call to worship? Does the Christian really need a call to worship on Sunday mornings? Today's WORSHIP QUOTE by Harold Best presents a different slant on this regular part of Christian worship.

"There can only be one call to worship, and this comes at conversion, when in complete repentance we admit to worshiping falsely, trapped by the inversion [see note below] and enslaved to false gods before whom we have been dying sacrifices. This call to true worship comes only once, not every Sunday, in spite of the repeated calls to worship that begin most liturgies and orders of worship. These should not be labeled calls to worship, but calls to CONTINUATION of worship. We do not go to church to worship, but, already at worship, we join our brothers and sisters in continuing those actions that should have been going on-privately, familially, or even corporately-all week long."

-Harold Best, in MUSIC THROUGH THE EYES OF FAITH, chapter 7, "The Nature of
Worship, Faith, Grace, and Music Making," Harper Collins, 1993, p. 147.


The"inversion" - Best refers to the Fall in which Satan convinced Adam and Eve that they were capable of being like God. Well, here's your call to CONTINUED worship!

To find out more about Chip Stam's worship quote of the week click below.