Monday, April 30, 2007

Robert Weber (1933-2007)

Dr. Robert "Bob" Webber is recognized by pastors, denominational leaders, scholars and lay people as one of the foremost authorities on worship renewal. He regularly conducts workshops for almost every major denomination in North America through the Institute in Worship Studies, which he founded in 1995. Over 30,000 people have attended his workshops. He has authored over 40 books on worship and the Church, including The Complete Library of Christian Worship and Renew Your Worship! and a complete audio and video series based on his Renew Your Worship workshops. He is also a regular contributor to numerous magazines, journals and newspapers.

Prior to his appointment as the William R. and Geraldyne B. Myers Chair of Ministry at Northern Baptist Seminary, Dr. Webber taught at Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois) for 32 years as Professor of Theology. Dr. Webber brought leadership to the Master of Arts in Worship and Spirituality and the Doctor of Ministry specialization in worship. Both degrees appeal to church staff responsible for worship and pastors who want to develop expertise in the area of worship.

Robert passed away from pancreatic cancer on 26 April 2007. I feel a deep sense of loss as I have hoped to be able to meet up with him to discuss his ideas about the Ancient-Future Faith. It would have been a good fellowship.

I have enjoyed his book The Younger Evangelicals (2002) where he hightlights the challenges facing evangelicalism today, and also in what I thought an unusual move, identitifed by names some evangelicals that he hope will help change the landscape of evangelicalism. My special interests is in his series of the Ancient Future Church series. I like his provocative statement that in order for the church to move forward, it first must look backwards. What he meant is that we must not neglect the rich heritage of the ancient church.He planned a series of books on Ancient Future Church and published Ancient Future Faith (1999), Ancient Future Evangelism (2003), Ancient Future Time (2004). By then he was very sick and managed to finish The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life. (2006). We have lost a scholar and a friend.

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Anonymous jb said...

I was also hoping to dig into his works after I complete my doctorate. But I still can. His works live on here even if he is now in a better place.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

His writings and his other works is worth the study. I have benefited greatly from it.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous alwyn said...

it's sad...i guess i'll read his A/F Evangelism with a little more reverence it about a week before his passing

9:23 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi alwyn,

Yes, it's sad. Many of my "heroes and heroines" of the faith are aging so I try to make it a point to meet them before they pass on.

I like his last book, Embracing the Divine best. It was written during the time he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and he was rushing to finish it before the end.

12:54 PM  

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