Honouring a Life of Worship
It’s hard to summarize just how much of an impact Dr. Doug Thomson has had on the church through his ministry at Heritage. For thirty-seven years, Dr. Thomson has faithfully served as the Director of Music and Worship Studies at Heritage and London Baptist Bible College and has trained and mentored many students who now are using their gifts to bless churches in Ontario, Canada, and beyond.
To honour his years of service at Heritage and ministry as a pastor, music leader, and faithful teacher, Drs. David G. Barker and Michael A.G. Azad Haykin have co-edited a book of collected essays entitled Life is Worship— a title that Dr. Barker says encapsulates well the heart of Dr. Thomson’s life and ministry.
“His oft-used phrase, ‘Life is worship,’ comes through in his walk with God, and then bleeds into how he sees music in the church and in people’s personal lives,” says Barker.
This compilation of papers—known as a festschrift—was written by several contributors who have worked alongside, or studied with or under Dr. Thomson throughout his ministry. Dr. Haykin describes it as a fitting celebration of Dr. Thomson’s ministry because each topic discussed reflects the thought and heart behind his work and service.
“This contains articles on worship from the entire range of Scripture, theology, and church history that serve to highlight key interests and concerns that have shaped Dr. Thomson’s ministry over the years,” explains Haykin. “The blend of both ancient and new patterns of worship, the centrality of doxology in the corporate gatherings of God’s people, the fact that worship is not merely a one-day-a-week thing but needs to suffuse the entirety of the life of the believer.”
Life is Worship covers a broad range of reflections on music, church worship, and biblical theology and includes sections related to Biblical, Historical and Theological Studies. With contributions from Heritage professors including Drs. Joel Barker, Wayne Baxter, and Barry Howson, alongside a biography from former student and Heritage professor Lee Brubacher, and an essay by President of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies Dr. James R. Hart—the festschrift provides a collection meant to reflect Thomson’s passion for a biblical foundation for worship.
“Dr. Thomson brings a solid theological base to his teaching, as well as to his musical worship leading in the church. He understands good theology, and his leadership of musical worship in the church is never frivolous, and always thought through carefully,” says Barker. “I see this volume as must-reading for not just his students, but for all who would claim to be involved in biblical worship—whether a teacher, a student, or a participant in the act and acts of a life of worship.”