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Ever Ancient, Ever New: The Allure of Liturgy for a New Generation

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  26 reviews
For many years now, the church in North America has heard figure after figure concerning the steady flow of millennials leaving the church as soon as they complete high school. In the midst of these troubling figures, there remains a glimmer of hope for these youth as they transition into young adults. Ever Ancient, Ever New tells the story of a generation of younger Chris ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Zondervan
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David J. Harris
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A solid set of observations tracing the apathy younger Christians are experiencing toward the incessant pandering from the innovative church model. Tired of being entertained and desiring to be fed, a growing number of these disenfranchised believers have lost confidence in the trajectory of people-centered worship from revivalism to the seeker-sensitive approach. This book is not a jeremiad, but still offers a quiet critique of the failure of consumerist churches to retain interest from serious ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I have felt so seen by this book! Bevins explores current trends among young adults in the North American church, drawing on some powerful interviews and stories from diverse sources. This book explores what it means for the ancient church and its practices to meet transient, relationally-starved, and mystery-hungry people where they are.
For anyone trying to wrap their heads around why traditional liturgy has become so attractive to a younger generation, Bevins explains clearly and with compelli
Michael Carpenter
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Liturgy, when rightly appropriated, is one of the best ways for us to make disciples in a postmodern context” (p. 207).

This book is phenomenal, a must-read for anyone wanting to bring deep, authentic faith to younger people. As a Methodist, I am already on-board with the author’s high valuation of liturgy, but Bevins also does a great job expanding how liturgy can be used in other Christian traditions. And he challenges the already liturgically-familiar to become intentional in how it is pract
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: worship
Great book with lots of real-life examples from across the ecclesial perspective. Deserves a wide reading in churches seeking to recover deep roots in their worship and spirituality.
Jacob Davis
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would give this more than five stars if I could, for it captures the essence of my personal journey the past several years. Winfield Bevins lays out in a beautiful and accessible form why Christians in their 20s through 40s are being attracted to liturgical traditions like Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism or are incorporating ancient practices into their non-liturgical traditions. His research is widespread and his use of stories is compelling. I found traces of my own journey f ...more
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm rounding up to 5 stars because 4.5 isn't an option. I found this book encouraging as I have felt that the journey I have been on towards what I now understand to be the three streams (evangelical, charismatic, and liturgical) has been a relatively lonely one. But reading this book I realized I am not alone! Not only that, men and women have been on this same journey for over 30 years! This book also helped me grow in my appreciation for the Eastern Orthodox church. I will keep this book on m ...more
Nate H
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book. For a while I was attending a “neo-liturgical” church, not because that attracted me in itself it, just happened to be what they practiced. I’ve been interested in liturgy as a church planter and trying to understand the rhythms and insights of the liturgical traditions is important even if you don’t buy in.

The good is that this book thoroughly documents all the reasons why so many young people are going to really old-school liturgical churches and abandoning
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Winfield Bevins offers a survey of the reasons young adults are turning to liturgical worship and practices in their rediscovery of the Christian faith. While many of the reasons hit home for me, some were new and illuminating and yet others seem shallow and capricious, the newest trend in hipster-ism. Bevins doesn't offer judgment on said reasons; neither does he discuss the theological clashes at play between the various Christian traditions he mentions. There is much to be said and meditated ...more
Rick Stuckwisch
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I had mixed feelings about this book. The writing is a bit uneven, clunky at times, and not really elegant or a joy to read. It's clear and straightforward enough, however, and not difficult to understand. The topic it addresses is certainly an interesting one, and I appreciated the author's approach. His quotes from the many people he's interviewed over the years, and the many examples he provides from actual churches, make for a strong case. The final chapters of the book, in which he delves i ...more
John Wayne McMann
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compelling presentation of liturgical need and movement

I just missed Bevins in my time at Asbury but have engaged with some of his work in other ways. This book has a compelling presentation of the benefits and the needs of liturgy for individuals, families, and in corporate worship. And it explains the movement towards that direction. I believe his views are well balanced; convicting and yet not over the top or forceful or unrealistic. Coming from a fairly contemporary worship leadership style
Bob Ayres
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent writer and the book flows exceptionally well. Seriously, no complaints with style or scholarship. But what dropped it to four-stars for me was the bias of stories, examples, commentary towards Anglicanism (I am one) and somewhat cursory attention to the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions. For example, Bevins refers to "embracing" Anglicanism and "converting" to the other traditions. I think it would be better subtitled, "The Allure of Anglicanism for a New Generation" and then this ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Asbury Profeesor on Millenials and Gen-X

I gave this book 5 stars because it lives up to its premise: The liturgy and practice of the Church is "Ever Ancient, Ever New". His interviews and conclusions about the faith of young adults resonates with my 35 years in campus ministry and 4 years as a college professor - the postmodern and post Christian young adults are very attracted to mystery and undogmatic orthodoxy. They are more interested in what unites Christians than in what divides them. T
Chris Whitehead
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WOW! This is the very first book that has WOWED me like this in a very long time!!!
This book is for anyone who feels a tug in their heart that tells them that perhaps their experience with the corporate church is lacking something, but can't quite put their finger on what. It really needs something from EVERY aspect to feel more complete: The 3 streams of Evanglism, Liturgy/Sacrament, and Charisma.
The book, I feel is summed up in a line from the Epilogue, which is really a quote from Brian Zhand
Jeremy Biziarek
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great read for someone exploring the liturgical way of doing church. I'd question, however, how this would be received by someone with no exposure to the High Church methodology. This book feels more like a companion to someone who has begun experiencing liturgical services and Daily Office. I tried to imagine this as a primer as I read portions and wondered if it would fail to land on someone new. If an evangelical or pentecostal picked it up it may come across as liturgy being "this thing of o ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I grew up in a liturgical church. Found Christ in an evangelical/charismatic church. Then became an Anglican about 25 years later in Cambodia of all places. In many ways this book is an update of Robert Webber’s Canterbury Trail and ancient/future series of about 20 years ago. This author writes in a perfect tone extolling the virtues of the liturgical church. Easily read. Very well done. Here’s hoping the numerous defectors from freestyle evangelical and charismatic churches will take this up a ...more
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you're wondering why people you know have moved to a liturgical church, this book is for you. If you're exploring the liturgical church, this book is for you. If you've already made the move to a liturgical church, this book is for you. Bevins does an excellent job at going into the reasons why young people are attracted to the liturgy as well as pulling in personal stories from the people he's met throughout his time researching the subject. Read to know more, read to know you're not alone. ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I like the subject matter and the intent behind this book...but it was primarily descriptive of what is. It didn't make any compelling arguments, shed new light on ancient practices, or unpack research (aside from a few interviews) on movements within the church. It also failed to adequately explore what "liturgical" worship looks like beyond Western contexts...yet heavily implied that this is a universal phenomenon. This book felt like an early draft of something that could have been much more ...more
Rusty Graves
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This book should be required reading for all church planters & pastors, especially the section explaining three streams (charismatic, sacramental, evangelical) working together to form convergence. I really enjoyed the featured “case studies” of actual practitioners and churches that have made this theory into a reality. ...more
JD Tyler
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I resonated with much in this book. I grew up in the liturgical tradition and have found myself missing much of it. For anyone interested in liturgy and worship, this is a great starting place. Written to be read at a popular level it is an easy read yet also very thoughtful and charitable in scope.
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Found this book insightful and very relatable. Although obviously a biased perspective, I found the author’s conclusions applicable to my own experiences. Helped me sort out my own complicated feelings on liturgy and the evangelical church.
Clayton Blackwell
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This book would be great for someone just starting to get into the liturgical practices of the church, but it didn’t bring me any new information besides reading a few short case studies of people coming to the liturgical church.
Audra Gayle
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I bought this book after hearing an interview Scot McKnight did with Winfield Bevins. While I am glad that I read the book--and enjoyed it--the book bored me in several sections. What I enjoyed the most was the excerpts from Bevin's interviews at the various churches.
Anthony Rodriguez
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Helpful introductory read.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a favorite for this year.
Ricky Balas
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must-read for anyone beginning to experience a spiritual longing for something deeper.
Sarah Christensen
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2020
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Sep 18, 2019
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May 13, 2019
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