Robert Webber for more than thirty years called evangelicalism to its historical roots. It is a fact that far too many evangelicals simply don’t know their church history but Bob educated an entire generation of Wheaton students in what many today call “deep ecclesiology” or “evangelical ecumenism”. Many followed him on the Canterbury Trail. I begin today a series on Webber’s new book, The Divine Embrace, the last book he published before his passing last Spring.
Question: How familiar are you with Webber? Which of his books have most influenced you? Which of his ideas most influenced you?
[If you click on Webber’s name above you will be led to the Amazon page on Webber’s books. Hence, no links below.]
Many became aware of Webber’s work because of his Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail while emerging Christians may not known of him until his The Younger Evangelicals. I like his more recent Ancient-Future series:
This new book, The Divine Embrace. The subtitle is “Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life.” This project, like so many of his books, will take us deep into the history of the Church, into the Patristics, and guide us forward by saying the future is through the ancient.
The book begins with a table full of people when Bob was asked about Christian spirituality by a bundle of folks who were all over the religious and agnostic maps. His answer: All spiritualities are rooted in a story and it is the story of God in the way of Jesus Christ that gives to Christianity its true spirituality. It can’t be proven. It’s a story that can be told. So he did … and this book explains how that story shapes genuine Christian spirituality, an ancient future spirituality.
The themes of The Divine Embrace deal with the Crisis: how spirituality became separated from the divine embrace (of union with God). And it deals with the Challenge: returning spirituality to the divine embrace.