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Explainer: Ancient-Future Worship

Where did this trend come from?

Some expressions of ancient-future worship are easy to identify. The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship lists a few of the trend's more eyebrow-raising practices.

Pentecostal churches following the liturgical calendar. Episcopalians rocking at a U2 Eucharist. Baptists draping the sanctuary cross in purple for Lent. Bible churches celebrating weekly communion. Young adults raised on praise bands now chanting the Psalms.

Basically, ancient-future worship involves the melding of contemporary forms of worship with ancient ones. But according to the late Robert E. Webber (who coined the term "ancient future") it is far more than a paradox of style. By connecting us to the early church, ancient-future worship allows us to taste, as Webber wrote, the "communion of the fullness of the body of Christ" while rooting us in God's story and mission in the world.

Webber believed that the church's worship had become vapid and self-centered. According to Webber, the sad state of worship was the result ...

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September
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