- Series: Ancient-Future
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Baker Books (April 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801066247
- ISBN-13: 978-0801066245
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God's Narrative Paperback – April 1, 2008
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From the Back Cover
God has a story. Worship does God's story.
There is a crisis of worship today. The problem goes beyond matters of style--it is a crisis of content and of form. Worship in churches today is too often dead and dry, or busy and self-involved. Robert Webber attributes these problems to a loss of vision of God and of God's narrative in past, present, and future history. As he examines worship practices of Old Testament Israel and the early church, Webber uncovers ancient principles and practices that can reinvigorate our worship today and into the future.
The final volume in Webber's acclaimed Ancient-Future series, Ancient-Future Worship is the culmination of a lifetime of study and reflection on Christian worship. Here is an urgent call to recover a vigorous, God-glorifying, transformative worship through the enactment and proclamation of God's glorious story. The road to the future, argues Webber, runs through the past.
Robert E. Webber (1933-2007) was, at the time of his death, Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, and served as the president of the Institute for Worship Studies in Orange Park, Florida. His many books include Ancient-Future Faith and The Younger Evangelicals.
About the Author
Robert E. Webber (1933-2007) was, at the time of his death, Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, and served as the president of the Institute for Worship Studies. His many books include Ancient-Future Faith and The Younger Evangelicals.
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I also found Webber's fairly brief discussion in Chapter 4 of how the telling of God's story in worship gradually was lost to be insightful and fascinating. In this chapter he traces the degeneration of worship from its fulness in the early centuries of the Christian era through the Roman Mass, the Reformational liturgies, the revivalistic services of Methodism and American frontier worship, down to the truncated worship we find today in those churches that have reduced the elements of worship to half an hour of singing praise choruses (or even worse, Christianized rock) followed by a time of "teaching," in which the former is typically a mini-concert and the latter is little more than a therapeutic message with scant emphasis on the Gospel. (I would have liked to have seen him expand on all this in greater detail.)
Chapter 7, in which Webber discusses the Eucharist, is also quite insightful. In it he shows how the Table of the Lord not only remembers the redemptive work of the Son at Calvary, but also anticipates the redemption of all creation and the eternal banquet in the New Heavens and the New Earth. He also argues for why the Holy Supper should be an integral part of the worship service, celebrated weekly rather than occasionally, and should not be a tacked-on "meal" with no obvious connection to the rest of the service.
For these and many other reasons I would highly recommend "Ancient-Future Worship." For those looking specifically for an evaluation of "contemporary-style worship" based on these and other insights, I would recommend my book Spiritual Anorexia: How Contemporary Worship Is Starving the Church.
If you want a look into what it might be like to come back to a worship that isn't about "me" but about God this is a wonderful place to start.