Quite yet another book review. I’ve let them pile up a bit and am finally catching up.
Ancient-Future Faith by Robert Webber is a real gem. A very well researched book exploring evangelicalism in the postmodern world. Webber draws extensively from church history, to show us how we have gotten to the current state of the church but also as a way to reflect on just what Christianity is and how it has adapted with the culture while maintaining the message of the gospel. He compares the worldview and culture of the present day to that of classical Christianity (the first few hundred years of the church). Although he believes that postmodernism can have negative effects if it continues down its current path, he also thinks that it brings the Church back to Christ and to classical Christianity. The book is spent looking at several topics (Christ, Church, Worship, Spirituality, and Mission) and how they fit into the classical Christianity/postmodern matrix. A very well written book – it is not difficult to see that Webber has thought at great length and depth about the topics he is discussing. He proposes an optimistic, hopeful view of what the church may look like in the years to come. I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes:
The point of integration with a new culture is not to restore that cultural form of Christianity, but to recover the universally accepted framework of faith that originated with the apostles, was developed by the Fathers, and has been handed down by the church in its liturgical and theological traditions. – p. 17
In a postmodern world, the rational arguments for the existence of God are cold and lifeless. But a community of people who allow themselves to be interpreted by God’s saving event in Jesus Christ and become formed as a true and living example of a local and universal oneness will speak volumes to the world about the saving Christ who dwells within them. – p. 90