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Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year Paperback – October 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Ancient-Future
  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801091756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801091759
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Discover ancient rhythms for a new spiritual awakening

God's people have always celebrated his work by retelling the stories of his mighty deeds of salvation. In a time when the church's memory sometimes seems short, many are rediscovering the value of using the Christian year to pattern our celebrations around the essential truths of the faith.

In Ancient-Future Time, Robert Webber draws from this church tradition by introducing and exploring biblical themes and liturgical traditions for each season of the Christian calendar. Helpful charts, prayers, reflection questions, and resource lists are provided for those planning church worship or seeking old, yet new, paths to spiritual growth through a deeper understanding of the Christian year.


"In an age that says, 'time is money,' Robert Webber says, 'time is spirituality.' Webber reminds us of the many old truths about the Christian year, which if followed, can become a countercultural witness and a very practical means of drawing closer to Jesus Christ."-Mark Galli, managing editor, Christianity Today

"The rhythm of Christian-year spirituality is part of the heritage of liturgical wisdom that Robert Webber has long been relaying to evangelicals enthusiastically and with flair. The layout of it here is the spiritual equivalent of a combined course of antibiotics and vitamins; all who take the course will benefit greatly from this book."-J. I. Packer, professor of theology, Regent College

Robert E. Webber is Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary and the president of the Institute for Worship Studies. He is the author of a number of books, including Ancient-Future Faith and The Younger Evangelicals.

About the Author

Robert E. Webber is Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary and the president of the Institute for Worship Studies. He is the author of a number of books, including Ancient-Future Faith and The Younger Evangelicals.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Donner C. S. Tan on July 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Robert Webber has written an inspiring guide especially for Christians who are learning to appropriate the practice of observing the Christian Liturgical Calendar. He does a good job in explaining how this ancient-future discipline is a great aid to spiritual formation and lays out the full Calendar of seasons from Advent to Pentecost and the special festive days such as Baptism of the Lord, Transfiguration, Good Shepherd, Christ the King Sundays. By reflecting on the themes of these special days and seasons, he helps us enter more deeply into the celebration. He also suggests the peculiar disciplines such as fasting, baptism, giving and cake-cutting (!) that go with the respective festivals as well as questions for our group/individual study and reflections. To be sure, it can be pretty exhausting trying to read it from cover to cover. It is better to be used as a reference as we move through the liturgical seasons like trekking the himalayas with a good map and an experienced Sherpa. I have found this approach to be extremely nourishing and formative. Webber is a wise guide in the area of spiritual formation and he writes with clarity and unusual eloquence. I thank God for his invaluable and lasting legacy.

P/S: For readers who have reservations about festive observance as a valid Christian discipline in view of texts like Col 2:16-17 and Gal 4:10, they should take heart that these texts have more to do with clinging back to the now, from the Christian POV, obsolete Jewish festivals which were a shadow of Christ, not the reality. Clearly the issue is not with the observance of seasons and times per se (which the early Church evidently practised such as the Lord's Day and plausibly Easter) but the failure to recognize the *Time* of God's inbreaking kingdom in Jesus the Christ.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jacob on July 21, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written in the same vein and format of Webber's other ancient-future books: Christ is victor over the powers and Christians are now to live in terms of that victory. Webber takes that theme and applies it to the Christian year. In short, he argues for a return to the Christian calendar as a guide to spiritual formation.

Content:
The Christian year is thus: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, // Lent, Triduum, Easter. The two cycles mirror each other: Anticipation (Advent, Lent), Fulfillment (Christmas, Triduum), and Proclamation (Epiphany, Easter). The Christian is to anticipate the coming of Christ/the cross of Christ; The Christian is to celebrate the fulfillment of the Story (Incarnation) and the defeat of the powers (Easter). Afterwards, the Christian is to celebrate the proclamation.

The book is not hard reading but it is unusual for most Western Christians (be they of any tradition). We are not used to thinking like this so the book forces us re-read certain parts. And it raises some questions it didn't intend.

Conclusion:
I did enjoy the book and to my ability plan to incorporate its spiritual formation. It wasn't on the same level as his Ancient-Future Worship, but it does provide much meat for the interested one. I appreciated his discussions on Christus Victor and his warning not to let apologetics eclipse the Easter message. I have one question that I would like to see someone in this model answer: Colossians 2 warns against Jewish festivals and asceticisms. While I love the idea of festival in AFT, how do we maintain festival without falling into the warning of Colossians 2? I am willing to be convinced.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Borden VINE VOICE on October 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is actually my second time reading this marvelous book. I think more than reading this work by Robert Webber, one lives through it. This has been my experience...a life-changing experience.

I think one of the greatest gifts to Christian spiritual formation is the Liturgical Calendar or Christian Year. This claim says a lot coming from a Protestant Evangelical. I can say without equivocation that this observation and living into the seasons of the Christ life have done more to grow deeply in my faith than any other discipline I have observed during the course of my spiritual journey to date.

I have a number of resources teaching about this particular discipline and practice. I appreciate Dr. Webber's contribution among my favorites for several reasons. Reason One: He speaks from an Evangelical position. I like this not because of a particular disposition or doctrine, but because I am familiar with his language as he is my own. Our "family of origin" is similar. Reason Two: the book is written very clearly, concise, and linear. I did not have an innate sense of what the Christian calendar was all about, having never practiced living through the seasons. This book provided the framework and detail necessary to build out from; other books have been helpful in ways that added texture to the work Dr. Webber has provided here. Reason Three: The tables, charts, and recommended resources (additional reading suggestions), Bibliography, and Notes section have proved themselves invaluable in my continued learning on this great discipline.
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