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Robert Webber

Robert Webber, pre-eminent scholar of worship renewal, has entered the throng of angels and righteous dead lifting unceasing praises before the throne of Almighty God, singing,

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Dr. Webber has been an inspiration to me since I first picked up the third volume of his Complete Library of Christian Worship as a birthday present for myself back in Terre Haute, Indiana, the late 1990’s. That, and the subsequent books read and conferences attended, changed my life in several positive ways. In fact, I have noted him as one of the top theological influences on my life.

Robert Webber’s work provided a strong remedial education in worship theory and practice, more than making up for all I didn’t get in seminary. (Preaching was a required course, but nothing about planning and/or leading worship!) It renewed and redirected my interest in the historical roots of Christianity. In fact, the testimonies he collected and edited in Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail almost had me crossing the Thames.

Webber sparked my still-growing love of the Eucharist as the central and most defining element of Christian worship. He spurred me on to try new things in worship (which were actually old things that no Baptist of my acquaintance had ever tried before). In short, he is probably responsible for at least a few of the complaints I got as a pastor because I dared to fiddle around with the order of worship!

Robert Webber has come to the end of what was apparently (and mercifully) a relatively short battle with pancreatic cancer. I’m sorry that he is gone, but comforted to know that for him, all pain and suffering are past.

Here are what some other good folks are saying about Robert Webber.

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3 Comments

  1. I always appreciated Webber, too. Thanks for the obit notice. I will blog it, Darrell.

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  2. BTW, I am not sure my email was working right last night. I emailed you to let you know that I have tagged you for a “Thinking Blogger Award.” Details on my site.

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  3. […] Robert Webber (1933-2007) The man who made concern about worship and liturgy respectable among evangelicals and helped spark a worship renewal movement has died of pancreatic cancer.?Ǭ† One can find tributes here,?Ǭ†here, here, here,?Ǭ†and here.?Ǭ†Though my Free Church orientation kept me from being one of the “evangelicals on the Canturbury trail” that Robert Webber led, I deeply appreciated his work in worship renewal.?Ǭ† The renewal of the preached Word that came with the Reformation need not have been accompanied, as it was, by services in which the sermon was expected to carry all of worship.?Ǭ† Today, many sectors of evangelical Protestantism have new emphases on the balance between Word and Table and have retrieved much of the ancient church pattern of worship.?Ǭ† Much of that is the legacy of Bob Webber, and what a legacy that is.?Ǭ† Rest in peace, good and faithful servant. […]

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