Honest Worship

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“Honest Worship: From False Self to True Praise is an attempt to bring together some thoughts and concepts in spiritual formation with the current state of the art in worship. With this in mind, I deal with external issues such as cultural narcissism, high-tech trendiness, and consumerism and how they have infiltrated our worship. I address internal issues such as personal identity, false self, ambition, and pride and emphasize the importance of understanding the truth of who we are so that we might worship more fully. I try to deconstruct our preconceptions of the soul and apply a fuller understanding to my favorite definition of worship—to love the Lord God with heart and mind and strength. And I discuss corporate worship issues such as what it means to more deeply embrace biblical community, God’s meta-narrative story, and the sabbath…”

“So what do we mean when we say honest worship? To ask this is to invite the reader beyond the deep waters of who you think you are, and possibly who you pretend to be, in order to come before our loving and gracious God as you truly are.”

Honest Worship will be released in August 2018 by InterVarsity Press. With a Foreword by Rory Noland, author of Heart of the Artist and many others.


“If honest worship is a matter of remaining unhidden in the presence of God, living without pretenses before a watching world, and being ruthlessly committed to truthful self-examination, then that is the kind of worship the church sorely needs, even if it is awfully difficult to achieve. By God’s grace it is achievable. Helps are needed though, and this book is precisely the kind of help that gets pastors and parishioners worshiping honestly before a gracious God, for whom such worship is deeply pleasing.”

W. David O. Taylor, Fuller Theological Seminary, author of For The Beauty of the Church

“You had me at ‘why do we need smoke machines in church?’! Honest Worship is a must-read for anyone who is involved in leading or participating in worship. It is honest, challenging, convicting, and inspiring—and it will change the way you approach this key, spiritual practice!”

Ruth Haley Barton, Founder/CEO at Transforming Center, author of Life Together in Christ and other books

“We all worship something, whether we realize it or not. If you’ve chosen to worship God, you need this book. If you lead others in worship of God, you need this book. It will open your eyes to what has been missing in our worship. Honest Worship shows us how to really align our souls with the One who made us so that we can experience the fullness of worshiping ‘in spirit and truth.'”

Scott McElroy, author, Creative Church Handbook & Finding Divine Inspiration

“As both an artist and a worship leader, I highly recommend this book by my friend, Manuel Luz. It’s a wonderful invitation for each of us to engage wholeheartedly in authentic worship beyond all the trappings that so easily entangle us. These are wise words from a seasoned leader in the arts and worship who knows the difference between trends and truth. Well done!”

Matt Tommey, artist, author, and CEO of The Worship Studio