The whole of creation belongs to God and is good by virtue of his creative act. . . . But because of sin, [humankind] has produced moral, social, political, and personal chaos. Because of sin, God’s world is full of hate, greed, selfishness, pride, violence, and oppression. The power of sin is, therefore, not only something that we must fight on the personal level, but also as it manifests itself in the structures of society…

-Robert Webber, Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith

The content of the Good News is the coming of Christ—who is himself the Good News—the embodiment of the kingdom. In Jesus both the publication of the Good News and the actualization of the Good News are brought together. He not only proclaims the Good News, but he is the Good News and he does the Good News. He is the content of his message.

Robert Webber, Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith

(In other words, as Marshall McLuhan said, “the medium is the message”…)

From a Christian point of view, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the center of time, for from Christ we look backward toward creation, the fall, the covenants, and God’s working in history to bring redemption. But from the event of Christ we also look forward to the fulfillment of history in the second coming of Christ. For this reason, time is understood from the Christian point of view in and through the redemptive presence of Jesus Christ in history.

-Robert Webber, Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith

The principle purpose of worship is not to teach but to worship God…

God is praised as Creator, Redeemer, and Judge. The worshiper praises, magnifies, and glorifies him not only for who he is, but also for what he has done in providing life, redemption, sustenance, hope, and many other blessings. In this way, worship becomes an experience of God. The worship is carried through an experience in which the opportunity is given to make a fresh commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

-Robert Webber, Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 129.

Easter is not a single day; it is a season…Every event of the Christian year flows into Easter, even as all the events of the Christian year flow from Easter.

-Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004), 142-143.

The full church is not seen in any one denomination or body. Rather, every branch of the church should be seen as part of the whole. The church catholic therefore needs every branch of the church to be complete.

-Robert Webber, Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith

I think this quote applies to our singing in worship services too.  A few years ago, I heard a fellow worship leader comment that a song written five years ago felt old.  “I don’t know why we feel that about worship music, but we do,” they said.  Their lack of interest in the “why”confused me at the time.

I wonder if it’s our culture that is feeding us the message that new is better and shiny while old is, well, old.  While we need to “sing a new song”, we practice a kind of “spiritual amnesia” when we only sing songs written in this small moment of time.  As Robert Webber comments,

Our ahistorical approach to Christianity has cut us off from the great heritage of thought that has grown up in the church and that has been passed down through the centuries. In the history of the church lies untold treasures of theological thought, devotional literature, and guidelines for nearly every issue that Christians face today.

-Robert Webber, Common Roots: The Original Call to an Ancient-Future Faith (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 44.

Christians shaped by the (new heavens and new earth when Jesus comes again and makes everything right) vision of worship seek to bring that vision to bear . . . in the world.

(For example, stand up for human rights, oppose injustice and oppression, work out of a clear sense of honesty, take care of widows and orphans, support the battle against the destruction of the environment, and engage in various activities that uphold the vision of a new heaven and a new earth where all wickedness has been put away forever)

-Robert Webber, Worship Is a Verb: Celebrating God’s Mighty Deeds of Salvation, Second Edition

…Our worship stands at the center and gives shape to all that we do. Worship, then, is not only the public acts we do as a gathered community, but our very way of day-to-day life.

-Robert Webber, Worship Is a Verb: Celebrating God’s Mighty Deeds of Salvation, Second Edition