My friend Bob Webber has been a future thinker for a lifetime. When I was a college student he often troubled me while he also deeply challenged me. (With life experience I have learned that this combination is often a great gift to the church.) He has done that for nearly forty years now. Bob may be making his greatest contribution to the church over the past five years or so. Not only are his books on the "Ancient-Future" aspects of Christianity stimulating, and much needed calls for awakening to a sagging and crippled evangelicalism, but his recent work on "An Ancient Evangelical Future" (see www.ancientfutureworship.com) is extremely important, at least to my mind. I resolved not to sign such documents a few years ago but this one was so important that I felt I could not resist.
There will be an Ancient Future Evangelical Conference (December 7-9, 2006) at Northern Semninary in Lombard, Illinois. I plan to be present. I hope some of you who read this blog will plan to join me. Information is available at www.ancientfutureworship.com. Speakers, besides Bob Webber, include Brian McLaren, Martin Marty, Lauren Winner, Frederica Mathewes-Green and Aaron Flores. It promises to be a very insightful and stimulating three-day event.
While I am it I urge you to pray for Bob Webber. His health has become a serious concern in recent months. I pray that God will spare his life for the sake of the church and for all of us who love him. I pray that he might be allowed to continue to provoke us all to deeper love for Christ and to true good works. His life has deeply impacted my own and I thank God for this new call to an ancient-future faith. Evangelicalism needs this call much more than most of us realize.