I just started reading Bob Webber's final book, Who Gets to Narrate the World: Contending for the Christian Story in an Age of Rivals. In it he shares his thoughts on what he deems the most pressing issue in the world and the evangelical church today: the external threat of Radical Islam to the Christian Story, and the internal threat of a culturally accommodated American church that he fears will not be able to stand up, spiritually, against the growing evils of Radical Islam.

I can tell you firsthand that Bob was truly, deeply concerned about this issue. He couldn't stop talking about it in his classes. Every week he pounded into us the necessity of proclaiming the God-story in our worship, the "best damn story" ever, in which God is the "Cosmic Narrator" of the world. I'm not sure how accurate his assessment is of the external threat of Radical Islam to the Christian story. Prophetic? Maybe. Bob has prophesied quite accurately before, especially concerning the direction of the evangelical church. But in this book he is more vigorous than ever against the cultural accommodation of the American church. This is what resonates most in me. So far, the book oozes classic Webber. Here's an excerpt from the Introduction:

"The church has been influenced by current business models, by market-driven advertising and by the spectacular. The consumer model has especially affected worship, which is the true measure of the church. Jesus has become a product to sell, and worship is the primary channel for sales. Most churches do provide more in-depth Christian instruction in small groups and home studies. However, there are a good number of people who never get past the window dressing of worship entertainment, where they continually feed on pabulum rather than the meat of God's Word and sustenance of communion. The substance of worship - remembering God's saving deeds in the past, culminating in Jesus Christ, and anticipating the overthrow of all evil at Christ's coming - has been lost" (18).

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