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Ancient-Future Evangelism: Making Your Church a Faith-Forming Community (Ancient Future) [Paperback]

By Robert E. Webber (Author)
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Item description for Ancient-Future Evangelism: Making Your Church a Faith-Forming Community (Ancient Future) by Robert E. Webber...

Draws on our current culture and the idea of the church as a witness to God's mission to examine the processes of evangelism and spiritual formation.

Publishers Description
Following his well-received Ancient-Future Faith, Robert Webber presents a new model for evangelism and discipleship, the first in a series of four books applying his theoretical ideas to practical situations.
Part 1 of Ancient-Future Evangelism surveys evangelism and Christian formation throughout the church and then translates the process for twenty-first-century Christians. Webber presents evangelism as four distinct stages and suggests three accompanying rites of passage that can be easily adapted to any church tradition.
Part 2 underscores how the four-fold process of faith formation is interwoven with three theological principles: Christ as victor over evil, the church as witness to God's salvation, and worship as a witness to God's mission accomplished in Jesus.
Ancient-Future Evangelism will appeal to both emerging evangelicals as well as traditional church leaders. It relates faith to Christian practice by drawing wisdom from the past and translating those insights into the present and future life of the church.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Ancient-Future Evangelism: Making Your Church a Faith-Forming Community (Ancient Future) by Robert E. Webber has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christianity Today - 02/01/2004 page 85
  • Christian Retailing - 11/10/2003 page 18

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Books
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.76 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2003
Publisher   Baker Books
Edition  Reprinted  
Series  Ancient Future  
ISBN  0801091608  
ISBN13  9780801091605  

Availability  120 units.
Availability accurate as of Sep 20, 2017 12:40.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Robert E. Webber

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert E. Webber (Th.D., Concordia Seminary) is Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary, president of the Institute for Worship Studies, and author of numerous books and articles, including The Younger Evangelicals.

Robert E. Webber has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Ancient-Future
  2. Ancient-Future Faith

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Pentecostal
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Charismatic

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Evangelism & Outreach

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Reviews - What do customers think about Ancient-Future Evangelism: Making Your Church a Faith-Forming Community?

Evangelistic Discipleship: Back to the Future  Aug 24, 2007
I have thoroughly enjoyed Robert Webber's Ancient-Future series, and I recently completed Ancient-Future Evangelism. Webber was an evangelical theologian that urged the church to look backwards as it looked forward; to find strategies for reaching the post-Christian world in the faith formation strategies of the pre-Christian world of the early church. As the book flap states, the book presents "A model of evangelism and discipleship firmly rooted in Scripture, attested to in the history of the church, and authentic to the postmodern world in which we live.

Webber's tone is gracious, and his style is academic but easily accessible to all readers. He seemlessly weaves in quotes from ancient church leaders from Athanasius, Tertullian, and Augustine to modern authors such as Robert Clinton, Rick Warren, and Marvin Olasky.

Ancient-Future Evangelism focuses on the topics of faith formation, spiritual growth, and discipleship. It is both a primer in church history and a practical manual for implementing discipleship in our churches today. Webber begins by demonstrating that evangelism and discipleship are not two separate activities, but two parts of the same process of spiritual growth.

I'm particularly fascinated by Webber's encouragement to use rites of passage to help people define and mark their spiritual journeys. In most evangelical churches, the only two such rites are baptism and communion. At National Community Church, we are very intentional and strategic about trying to draw out the rich symbolism and to make them meaningful for participants. But I believe there are other rites of passage that the evangelical church could implement to help their people mark their steps. How can we help people cross the line of faith? How can we help them progress through different stages of spiritual development?

Webber uses the last section of the book to remind us of the story of our theology and how that story can be communicated to post-modern ears. His thesis is that we do not need new methods; we simply need to communicate the ancient truths of Scripture in a way that is understandable in a postmodern and post-Christian context.

I'm not quick to jump out and implement everything Webber advised, but his books always stretch me outside my current thinking, and they help me think critically and theologically about why we do what we do. If you are new to the Ancient-Future series, I would recommend reading Ancient-Future Faith first and then Ancient-Future Time.
Nothing particulary new...   Feb 8, 2006
I read Ancient Future Faith and was really blown away at Webbers insightfulness. Most authors have one book in them and then they continue to write other books that are spin offs of the main idea. This book is attempting to deal with evengelism in the postmodern world, but unfortunately it left me wanting. I didnt feel like I left the book with any practical way of implementing his ideas. In fact, I would have been just as well off with just reading Ancient Future Faith and leaving it at that. Chapter 3 was a good chapter on Evangelism and he has a great bibliography in the back of the book, but I would just read that chapter and not buy the book.
Webber provides a corrective  Mar 24, 2005
In this volume, Robert Webber, Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Baptist Seminary continues the "ancient-future" theme from previous works, the Ancient-Future Worship website, Ancient-Future Faith, and anticipates the soon-to-be-released Ancient-Future Time. In this book Webber presents a model for evangelism and discipleship-and therein lies his worthy contribution to the subject of churches and evangelism: the authentic reclamation of evangelism as a vital part of what the church does as part of its disciple-making mission. Specifically, he reminds his readers that the Great Commission is "not only to evangelize, but to make disciples" (p. 13). Part 1 provides a historical survey of evangelism in the church, and then reclaims the early church traditions for the contemporary church. He identifies four distinct stages of evangelism-conversion, discipleship, spiritual formation, and Christian vocation-and suggests three accompanying "ancient-future" rites of passage that can be adapted to any church tradition.
In chapter 1 Webber provides a survey of how Christians have been evangelized and formed as disciples throughout the centuries. In chapter 2 he looks at the development of the process of Christian formation in the ancient church, while in chapter 3 he shows how the church may evangelize in today's world. Here Webber contributes significantly to the conversation on evangelism by stressing how evangelism happens by way of a community of faith.
The final three chapters in Part 1 explicate the process of discipleship formation (one he claims can happen within a six-month period) that comes after initial evangelism and conversion: initial discipleship, introduction to the spiritual life, and Christian vocation. Webber argues that this approach is universally applicable in churches, regardless of culture or denomination.
In Part 2 Webber argues that the contemporary church exists in a culture that is very much like that of the first three centuries-a secular, non-Christian, narcissistic culture where an individualistic and ego-centric milieu has given rise to an eclectic spirituality. In this context, Christianity is perceived as just one kind of "spirituality" among many. Weber demonstrates how the four-fold process of faith formation is interwoven with three informing theological principles: (1) Christ is victor over evil, (2) the church is a witness to God's salvation, and (3) worship is a witness to God's mission as accomplished in Jesus Christ.
Webber is intentional in the organization of the book, putting his description of the practice of making disciples first, before talking about matters theological. This is in keeping with his concept that "experience precedes reflection-an ancient principle that was reversed by modernity" (p. 16). Webber challenges churches to stop "reinventing" themselves in ways that accommodate the culture, and instead return to the countercultural vision of the community of faith as modeled by the early church. His prophetic challenge that the future of evangelism and Christian formation will take place in community (in contrast to traditionally individually-focused understandings of evangelism and conversion), alone is a message worth the price of the book. This is a worthy addition to the dialogue on evangelism, discipleship, and Christian faith formation.

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