Robert E. Webber

Robert Webber ( is Myers Professor of Ministry at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, and president of the Institute for Worship Studies, a distance education school in Jacksonville, Florida. He is author of many books, including the Ancient-Future series (Baker), Younger Evangelicals (Baker), and editor of the eight-volume Complete Library of Christian Worship. These resources and a monthly "Ancient-Future Talk" newsletter are available at


Articles by this author:

  • Robert Webber has been an editorial consultant for Reformed Worship for many years and has written for RW several times. To help us start off our twentieth anniversary year, we asked him to reflect on “what we’ve learned along the way.” This article is the first in a series by a variety of writers associated with Reformed Worship since we began twenty years ago.


  • We asked Robert Webber, a long-time friend of Reformed Worship, to write an editorial for this issue in which we explore ways churches are dealing with the intersection of worship, culture, and evangelism. In this issue you’ll find several different approaches from a variety of denominational traditions that we hope will stimulate discussion in your worship committees, and perhaps even better, in combined meetings of worship, youth, and evangelism staff and committees in your congregations.


    At Biola University, a fifty-minute chapel is offered every day, Monday through Friday, but is required three times a week (M, W, F). Students have also initiated their own, student-led, worship services (mostly praise) on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Two to three hundred students attend these guitar-based events.

    Here are some changes I've witnessed in the last five years:

  • Editor Emily Brink met with Robert Webber one afternoon last fall on the campus of Wheaton College in Illinois, where he has taught in the theology department for the past twenty-eight years. We spoke together in his office in the Billy Graham Center, an impressive museum and office complex.

  • There is a story in the Russian Primary Chronicle that tells how Christianity came to Russia. According to this true story Vladimir, Prince of Kiev, sent several of his followers in search of "true religion."

    First they went to the Moslem Bul-gars of the Volga but returned with the report that they found "no joy" but only "a mournfulness and a great smell."

    Next they went to Germany and Rome, where they found the worship more satisfactory but still lacking in power.

  • A new style of worship has been spreading throughout North America and other parts of the world in the last several decades. While this worship approach is described by a variety of names, the one that seems to be gaining most acceptance is "Praise and Worship" (P&W). I want to explain what this style of worship is and how it may affect traditional worship in the future.

    Where Did It Originate?

  • A number of years ago I became a friend of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein through the Chicago area evangelical and Jewish dialogue. As our friendship developed, Rabbi Yechiel invited my colleague Morris Inch, myself, and our wives to celebrate Shabbat with them. Yechiel's lovely wife, Bonnie, greeted us with an embrace at the door, making us feel immediately at home. After a brief time of friendly conversation, the Ecksteins invited us to sit down at the table.

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