Ancient-Future Evangelism

January 28, 2006

ancient-future ev.jpgThis book was a worthwhile read.  It is not so much about evangelism (as the title would indicate) as it is about “Making Your Church a Faith-Forming Community” (subtitle).  It is more aboud discipleship (as if evangelism does not include discipleship.  This is not my first Robert Webber book, and it will not be my last.  Dr. Webber is probably around 72 now and he is still using his mind for the glory of God and the betterment of the kingdom.  You will find the “Ancient-Future” theme throughout much of his thought and writing.  Specifically, take a moment to drop by Ancient Future Worship.  There is certainly many articles on the web that are a better introduction to what ancient-future really means (such as the aforementioned site).  I will deliberately be brief in my description.

In this current volume, Dr. Webber responds to the International Consultation on Discipleship and a statement published by them in 1999.  He uses the premise of what evangelism is and what it should be as a means to point us to the past.  The future of discipleship should be a gleaning of the ancient practices.  What is laid out is a possible structure to be used in a church in the process of spiritual formation.  The actual curriculum is not presented as much as recommendations.  The structure can be adapted to each church’s unique situation.

I do not believe that I would be ready to convert entirely to his methodology, but I would consider incorporating many of the ancient traditions as far as they were useful in the context I found myself.  I do not see myself adopting the liturgy of the church calendar; however, I would on occasion use it as a guide.

I would recommend this book to anyone involved in planning a church’s worship or discpleship.  There are many good ideas and tools within this resource.  Furthermore, Dr. Webber (or his editors and research assistants) does a fantastic job in adding charts and conclusions.  One can tell that the author is an experienced teacher and that he wishes to maximize your learning.

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