Robert Webber dies

One of the voices that I have been listening to since I began my journey a few years ago has been that of Robert Webber. Robert E. Webber went to worship in the presence of the Lord on 27th April.

My first reading of Webber was in 1989 when I was at L.B.T.S. and was fascinated by, what was then called by some, the liturgical renewal movement. At that time I was intrigued by the ideas in Worship is a Verb (Word, 1985). At that point I was encouraged by words like these… “…I am not suggesting that we deny either our convictions or roots.” (p. 12)

I had not heard of post-modernism in 1989 but the answers that Webber puts forth in Divine Embrace and The Younger Evangelicals were on his mind when he emphasized what today we call the emphasis on the Gospel story throughout the Bible with these words… “The parallels between what God did in the Exodus-event and what he did in the Christ-event are striking.” (p.34) The whole Bible is full of the gospel and it would seem that the church has taught this since the beginning. I grabbed Common Roots (Zondervan, 1978) from my shelf and look again at Webber’s insistence on our looking back to the early church fathers, from Webber I gained an appreciation of the roots of the church in the writings of the fathers. So, when I was reintroduced to Webber last year, I was not surprised to see the early fathers being referred to in my latest learning from the pen of Robbert Webber.

I’ve got some meaningful quotes posted elsewhere from The Divine Embrace and The Younger Evangelicals. I always found Webber’s writing compelling. I guess the reason is that he, while by all accounts a true intellectual, wrote with humility. He wrote so that I could feel his heart for the church and for worship and for the church living in and growing out from worship to the world. Because worship is so important. Indeed, isn’t it everything? Thanks be to God for the way He used the pen of Robert Webber.

Northern Seminary has posted about his work, click here (there are additional links). From there you can access much more thoughtful reading.

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