January 23, 2021

Robert Webber is Gone

webber-robert-3.jpgUPDATE: Trevin Wax has an interview with Dr. Webber.

UPDATE 2: David Fitch has a personal tribute.

The tireless reclaimer of the Great Tradition and the man who gave post-evangelicalism meaning for thousands of us, is gone to be with the Lord. He passed Friday after a recent serious illness. His book The Majestic Tapestry, saved my faith and gave me gifts I will never be able to express sufficient gratitude for. A prince of a scholar and a great lover of Jesus and his bride.

God give his rest to the soul of Professor Robert Webber, now with the gathered children of light.

Information on services, etc. will be at the Ancient Evangelical Future site.

Thine is the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son;
Endless is the victory, Thou o’er death hast won; Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away, Kept the folded grave clothes where Thy body lay.

Thine is the glory, risen conqu’ring Son,
Endless is the vict’ry, Thou o’er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly He greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
Let the church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing; For her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.

No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life;
Life is naught without Thee; aid us in our strife;
Make us more than conqu’rors, through Thy deathless love: Bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above.

Thine is the glory, risen conqu’ring Son,
Endless is the vict’ry, Thou o’er death hast won.


  1. That makes me really sad today. “Whom shall we send? Who will go for us?”

  2. Wow, that kind of stopped me in my tracks when I pulled this up in my Reader. I was not expecting that.

  3. My professor Reggie Kidd was highly influenced by Webber. May God continue his ministry here on earth.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Michael. I had been watching Dr. Webber’s health since the with the AEF started sending out e-mail updates. I saw TSK’s post last night, so today’s e-mail wasn’t a surprise. But it was nonetheless sad. There are plenty of folks who study worship, but I don’t know of anyone who can fill the void of scholarship and leadership Dr. Webber left.

  5. Bob was my first professor at the doctoral level (Institute for Worship Studies). He fell so quickly. He was strong as an ox one semester and too sick too come to school the next. It happened so quickly, even though it was a lot slower than the doctors predicted. I have been trying to balance my sadness with joy for the the last three days; he will be missed very much.

  6. Tom Huguenot says

    That makes me very sad. I have read Ancient Future Faith years ago, at the begining of my journey out of evangelicalism.I remain very grateful for the ministry of Prof. Webber.

  7. So Sad. Dr. Webber had a great influence on the way I look at worship. I will also say that I emailed Dr. Webber twice and both times he wrote me back. I was stunned that he would respond with personal email to a rural pastor like myself. That is very rare for people in his position. He will be great missed.

  8. Both I and my wife studied under Bob (at Wheaton and at Northern Seminary, respectively). Both of us are worship leaders and are indebted to Bob for helping us have a better understanding and practice of worship. The fact we’re Anglicans now is due in large part to his influence and pointing us back to the riches of liturgy, history and tradition. As a recovering fundamentalist, Bob was always somewhat conflicted about the evangelical world, but evangelicalism is the better for having had him with us. He will be missed.

  9. I was at lunch only an hour ago when I heard that Bob was dead. I took a few classes at Wheaton with him and his influence has stayed with me. I remember walking into class for the first time having just become a christian, and wondering where this new road was going to lead me. Terrified. Insecure. Unsure. These were only a few of the feelings I had until Bob walked in and asked us to rearrange the chairs in a circle so he could stand in the middle and teach. It was at that moment, I knew that I was sitting at the feet of the Master. God spoke through Bob in ways that made me feel Jesus was right in the room with us. I came to know Jesus through Bob in ways that I never could have on my own. Years later, I am the pastor of a great church in Orlando and my staff knows his words and works. In a transitioning culture and church Bob has reminded us of our roots and our heritage. I will miss him greatly.

    Glory be to God, his servant is home.

  10. The Psalmist said it best: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Ps. 116:15

  11. Bob was a dear freind, brother, mentor and father in the faith. He hated it when I called him “father.” He only wanted to be a brother–no accolades or special honors. But the reality is that he WAS a father in the faith to a great number of us in this generation and in the generations to come through his writings, his schools at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies and the Center for an Ancient Evangelical Future at Northern Seminary, and his years of teaching at Wheaton and Northern. He taught us that theology is not about the “what,” but the “so what.” And he lived the “so what” even as he showed us how to live and die in Christ. We love you, Bob, and pray for comfort for Joanne and the family (Steph, Lexy, John and Jeremy).

  12. Well done, thou good and faithful servant!

  13. I didn’t know. I really, really feel ashamed.

    I just bought a used copy of his Prymer (out of print but available on Amazon). It is a God-send. I was hoping to find a way to thank him and send encouragement to get it reprinted when I discovered he had died of cancer over a year ago. I’m happy that He’s with the Lord, but this is a breath-taking loss.

    Death really ticks me off.

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