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Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year Paperback – October 1, 2004
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From the Back Cover
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This detailed description of the liturgical year was perfect for an evangelical like me. Webber organized his material in a way that makes sense for one seeking to use the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Byron Fike
I am looking forward to reading more of Robert E Webber. He returns to Christianity's early roots to describe the significance of the rituals of the liturgical churches. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Beth
Robert Webber teaches ministry at Northern Seminary and is the president of the Institute for Worship Studies. He is the author of numerous books. Read morePublished on May 28, 2012 by Warren T. Baldwin
No one book out there seems to have it all with respect to organizing one's personal spiritual growth around the liturgical year, but this book is one I would highly recommend to... Read morePublished on January 8, 2012 by organguy
This book is more about forming spirituality (as the subtitle says) than it is about the order of service. Read morePublished on February 16, 2010 by Erin J