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Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality Through the Christian Year

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  165 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Millions of Christians worldwide follow the liturgical Christian calendar in their worship services and in their own personal devotions. The seasons of the Christian year connect believers of diverse backgrounds and offer the sense of unity Jesus desired.

Robert Webber believes that we can get even more out of the Christian calendar. He contends that through its rich theol

Paperback, 201 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Baker Books
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Apr 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: church-history
*3.5 stars*
Jun 20, 2011 rated it liked it
helpful for work but not necessarily enjoyable.
Donner Tan
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Robert Webber has written an inspiring guide especially for Christians who are learning to appropriate the practice of observing the Christian Liturgical Calendar. He does a good job in explaining how this ancient-future discipline is a great aid to spiritual formation and lays out the full Calendar of seasons from Advent to Pentecost and the special festive days such as Baptism of the Lord, Transfiguration, Good Shepherd, Christ the King Sundays. By reflecting on the themes of these special day ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paperback
Excellent introduction and resource for those interested in understanding and observing the Christian year. I had Bob Webber in college and even then he had an enthusiasm and heart for the evangelical and contemporary Church to gain a deeper spirituality through a return the liturgical calendar. This "Ancient-Future" series (along with the many other books he's penned) is a both a solid theological explication for observing the liturgical seasons and a pastoral/devotional application that allows ...more
David Westerveld
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This probably wasn't the most exciting writing style, but I did make a lot of highlights in this book. Beyond just looking at how the Christian Year might be implemented, I found it helpful in just thinking about how worship in general might be done and thought about.
Josh Robinson
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic work. I may buy a box of these and give them out to our congregation.
Andrew Johnson
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a really good intro to the liturgical year and will be a book I come back to throughout the year as I lead my family through the year.
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
When we go about our lives striving for power, success, and wealth and seek things for ourselves and yet attend worship, listen to the Word, and take bread and wine into our stomachs, we are no better than dead Israel. God cannot be in our worship because God is not in our lives. Our worship becomes mechanical, dull, dreary, and rote. Our lives drift further and further away from God and from his will, and the sense of God’s absence becomes more and more acute. That is what happened to Israel. A ...more
Jacob Aitken
This book is written in the same vein and format of Webber's other ancient-future books: Christ is victor over the powers and Christians are now to live in terms of that victory. Webber takes that theme and applies it to the Christian year. In short, he argues for a return to the Christian calendar as a guide to spiritual formation.

The Christian year is thus: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, // Lent, Triduum, Easter. The two cycles mirror each other: Anticipation (Advent, Lent), Fulfillment
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I write this review with incredible bias:
1) because this book changed my life
2) because the man who started my current church studied under Webber.

Fantastic introduction to the liturgical calendar and the spirituality God allows it to evoke in us. Webber has friendly tone while not losing depth. For anyone interested in the liturgical year, specifically how it can transform one's spirituality, I'd point you toward this book as a good starting place.

Naturally, he pulls examples from his own lif
Nov 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in the Christian calendar.
Recommended to David by:
The way we often view time in our culture, says Webber, is that it is always running out, always linear, never enough, but for the Christian, it can be a rhythm of remembrance of the great events of salvation. Even more than that, we can live these events, become joined with the Christ of these events, and so have our spirituality formed by his Spirit.

For a Protestant who had never really celebrated anything besides Christmas and Easter, this was enlightening and even devotional. I have become e
Dec 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
This book is a great introduction to the Christian year, i.e. Advent-Christmas-Epiphany to Lent-Easter-Pentecost.

It gives really clear understandings of the meanings and purposes of each celebration, along with a spiritual goal for each. It's unlocked this mystery for me, an evangelical who didn't grow up with much connection to church tradition.

Observing the Christian year has opened up a new, fresh way for me to connect to God by worshiping him with my whole life, even my calendar.

Solid, evang
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm about a 1/4 of a way through this and just loving it! Perhaps it is because this stuff has interested me for some time, but it really is the best thing I have read on the topic. Webber is so informative in his approach, so while this is a reference book of sorts, I feel like I am being ministered to, through all I am learning. It begins with an excellent explanation of the value of the Christian Year in helping us live in to the life and pattern of Christ, through His incarnation, missional ...more
Chris Miller
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a great introduction to the concept of incorporating the Christian Year (Church Calendar) into both individual and communal and ecclesial spirituality. This book makes the argument that time should not be taken lightly. "Is time in your life a constraint or a rhythm" asks Webber in his Epilogue. The challenge remains for us as Christians to use time to daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly remind us and even teach us to participate in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of C ...more
Byron Fike
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This detailed description of the liturgical year was perfect for an evangelical like me. Webber organized his material in a way that makes sense for one seeking to use the Christian calendar in a non-liturgical church. Each chapter ends with a table explaining what has just been discussed using the section headings: Theme and Spiritual Emphasis. I will be using this book in 2015/2016 to guide my church through the various seasons as we seek to discover God's rhythm for our lives.
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book details the focus and power built into the liturgical calendar of the church. Webber gives many thought-provoking suggestions on how we might best posture ourselves during each season. I found the book to be accessible and helpful.
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great introduction to the Christian year.
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it

Also a big part of my journey
Feb 19, 2016 added it
Shelves: worship
Emily Tsesmeloglou
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good introduction to the church calendar.
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent for planning worship activities through the year
Michelle Van Loon
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Mar 19, 2018
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“To summarize, Easter Sunday is the most important Sunday. It is the Sunday of all Sundays. It is the day of the new beginning of the entire cosmos, the day of resurrection.

In our worship we must be careful not to reduce our message to the Easter fact only. The Easter fact must include the message this fact proclaims: God makes all things new. It must also include the message that we have been raised with Christ. Calling God's people to die to sin and rise to the new life is central not only to Easter day but to the Easter season.”
“If we can speak so emphatically of the intrinsic value of the liturgical year, it is because we celebrate it together with Christ himself. The special nature of the church year is entirely due to the fact that the Lord himself presides over it and that he celebrates his mysteries with the church for the glory of the Father. Adrian Nocent” 0 likes
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