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Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   174
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 4.75" Height: 7.25"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 1989
Publisher   Morehouse Publishing
ISBN  0819214760  
EAN  9780819214768  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
Why do so many evangelicals find themselves attracted to liturgical traditions? Robert E. Webber suggests some answers by describing his own migration from an evangelical denomination to the Episcopal Church. Six other evangelicals who made similar pilgrimages join Webber in sharing their stories and their dreams for a new openness in which God's people, both liturgical and free church, will find increased value in each other's heritage.

Publishers Description
Why do so many evangelicals find themselves attracted to liturgical traditions today? Robert E. Webber suggests some answers by describing his own migration from an evangelical denomination to the Episcopal Church. Webber found that the Anglican tradition met six important needs: a sense of mystery in religious experience, a Christ-centered worship experience, a sacramental reality, a historical identity, a feeling of being part of Christ's entire church, and a holistic spirituality. Six other evangelicals who made similar pilgrimages join Webber in sharing their stories and their dreams for new openness in which God's people, both liturgical and free church, will find increased value in each other's heritage.

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More About Robert E. Webber

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert E. Webber is Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, and the president of the Institute for Worship Studies. He is the author of a number of books, including Ancient-Future Faith and The Younger Evangelicals.

Robert E. Webber lived in Wheaton, in the state of Illinois. Robert E. Webber was born in 1927 and died in 2007.

Robert E. Webber has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Ancient-Future
  2. Ancient-Future Faith


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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Still relevant  Oct 23, 2005
Published in 1985, yet readers can still learn from its truth.
If you're disillusioned by the church "productions" being performed each Sunday morning, then read this book and visit your nearest Episcopal church. You may be (surprisingly) refreshed.
 
A Bit Dated, but Interesting  May 4, 2005
This book is a little out of date. The funniest aspect of this was the author's prediction (in the 80's) that his spiritual journey was part of a general movement of evangelicals back into mainline churches. Well, that sure never happened.

Reading the book, I couldn't help wondering what those evangelicals who then joined the Episcopal Church USA now think about their church with its non-celibate homosexual bishop and the various deviations from the historic Christian faith. It also left me curious about how many of these people have become part of the current trend towards joining the Orthodox or Roman Catholic Churches.

While I'm glad I finally read this book, I'm also glad I didn't spend too much on it at the used book store.

 
Interesting but unconvincing  Feb 4, 2005
Robert Webber's Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail is old enough now (1985) to be considered a relic (if not a classic). For example, he perceives his pilgrimmage to the Episcopal church as part of a larger, growing trend among evangelicals going back to (liberal) mainline denominations (p.11). He must regret that prediction!!

Still the book is a good topic, very readble, and makes some decent points.

174pp. Its divided into two parts. First part Webber explains how the Anglican tradition met six important needs: 1. a sense of mystery ; 2. Christ-centered worship; 3. sacramental reality; 4. historical identity; 5. feeling of being a part of Christ's entire church; 6. holistic spirituality.

Part 2 consists of six short testimonies of evangelcials who went Anglican (David Neff of CT, etc.)

Lots of good stuff in there. I sympathize with all six of his concerns. But a few negatives:
1. In his attempts to re-assure his unconvinced readers he shows a view of tradition that is pretty Anabaptist. For example, he does this whole thing about truth being an artichoke. The kernel is the 'primitive Gospel' and traditions (all historic accidents) are the leaves around it (pp.14f.). It comes off as Campbellite.
2. He does not make a convincing case for why a move to Anglicanism is necessary or even desirable. At best he shows how Anglicanism 'tends towards' certain benefits that can nevertheless be found in other traditions (like Presbyterianism). So is the trade-off (with all the draw backs to Anglicanism) worth it for a Presbyterian or Methodist who wants more liturgy, more catholicity, more historic connections etc.? Not if Webber's case is the final word.
 
Webber understood my spiritual journey  Oct 17, 2003
Without ever meeting Robert Webber, I was convinced that when I did, he would understand how I maintained my evangelical theology but not the mainstream US evanglical style. When I was faced with major trauma in my life, I found that my traditional spiritual experience was insufficient to explain my personal spiritual yearnings. I could put no label on them but reading this book, was if Dr.Webber had walked in my shoes and had found new life within a different worship framework that I knew. This book will help the conservative Christian understand why anyone might seek the Anglican tradition of worship. I experienced the Lord deeper within this worship style and especially through the music and the Eucharist than I had ever done in my younger life. I recommend this book with no reservations.
 
A Sign of Change  Jun 11, 2003
The transference of allegiances from one Christian tradition to another can often be a source of pain the converts' friends and family. A particular sore point is when one leaves for a Church that is viewed in one's former tradition as "highly suspect." Robert E. Webber understands these emotions well. Webber, a former Bob Jones University graduate who left the Evangelical Protestant movement for Anglicanism, was one of the first in a wave of prominent Evangelicals discovering liturgical worship. Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail is not as much a call for all Evangelicals to make a similar move, but an explanation - using his own experience as an example - as to why an Evangelical would make such a move. The overall tone is very irenic and seeks to promote a greater understanding among faithful Christians of all traditions.

The first part of the book is a description of Webber's conversion to Anglicanism. Rather than giving a strictly chronological telling of his trek, he approaches it from six different aspects of the Christian Faith (mystery, worship, sacraments, spiritual identity, the Church, spirituality) he came to believe were inadequately expressed in Evangelical Protestantism. The turning point in much of his discussion was his discovery of the Church Fathers. In them, he saw a far more balanced vision of Christianity - one he found expressed well in Anglicanism and the worship of the Book of Common Prayer.

The second part of the book consists of the personal testimonies of converts to Anglicanism. Although generally kind towards their former homes, it is obvious the deficiencies of modern Evangelical Protestant worship had taken its toll. A strong point here is each of the testimonies are sufficiently different in background and experience to avoid repetition of the same points. This also gives a sampling of the breadth of the movement to historic Christianity.

Webber returns to finish with a call for Evangelicals and those in the liturgical Churches to grow to know each other better as fellow Christians. While pointing out the factors leading to his move to Anglicanism, Webber recognizes strengths in Evangelicalism (strong personal faith, commitment to orthodoxy, love of Scripture, and concern for mission and evangelism) that would benefit the liturgical Churches. He predicts a convergence of traditions in the next century as the old wounds of the Church finally begin to heal.

In the nearly twenty years since the publication of Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail, much has happened relating to the points Webber raised - and many of his predictions now seem prophetic. The move to the historical Churches has grown considerably with Evangelical converts bringing their strengths with them to their new homes. Also, there have been many points of honest discussion and a detente of sorts along the ecclesiological front lines (although like other cessations of hostilities it is neither appreciated or observed by all).

Oddly though, Webber's own Anglicanism has not been a major beneficiary. Although the Anglican Communion is growing rapidly in Africa and Asia - where it is orthodox in its beliefs - the Episcopal Church (the U.S. province of the Anglican Communion) has declined and is increasingly both apostate and irrelevant. An obvious choice for a Protestant looking for a liturgical Church, its political correctness is anathema to someone looking for the faith once delivered. Thus most of the converts to historic Christianity have ended elsewhere.

Webber is not to blame for the folly of his Church. His book was the first sign of an important change in the Christian landscape. Although in some points it is now dated, Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail still affords the reader a rich understanding of both Christian worship and spirituality and a glimpse on the early stages of a significant movement of God.

 

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