Friday, August 31, 2007
I am not that quite eloquent to give such a recounting of his witness. But it is with great remorse that I am blessed to have been touched by his life and writing.
below is an article from Christianity Today
Robert E. Webber, a theologian well-known for his work on worship and the early church, died of pancreatic cancer on April 27 at his home in Sawyer, Michigan. He was 73. At the time of his death, Webber was the William R. and Geraldyn B. Myers professor of ministry at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Ill. He was also the president of the Institute for Worship Studies in Jacksonville, Florida, and professor of theology emeritus at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.
Webber, the son of a Baptist minister, received his bachelor's degree from Bob Jones University in 1956 and went on to earn a divinity degree from the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in 1959 and a masters degree in theology from Covenant Theological Seminary in 1960. Eight years later, he received his doctoral degree in theology from Concordia Theological Seminary.
Webber began teaching theology at Wheaton College in 1968. Dennis Okholm, a student of his in 1970, remembers Webber as avant garde. "Unlike all the other professors, he had long hair, wore an ascot, which was the trend then, had us sitting on the floor, and instead of reading Augustine's City of God (he never did like Augustine) had us reading Dooyeweerd and Schaeffer and the existentialists."
Okholm returned to Wheaton in 1988 as a member of the faculty. He says Webber remained a "great lecturer—the best lecturer that Wheaton had in our department," but by then, Webber's focus had shifted from existentialism to the early church. At that point, Webber had written Common Roots (1978), a book that examined the impact of second-century Christianity on the modern church's life, worship, witness, and spirituality.
He had also written Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church, a 1985 book in which he described the reasons behind his own gradual shift away from his fundamentalist/evangelical background toward the Anglican tradition. Phil Kenyon, Webber's colleague at Northern Seminary, says Webber faced an enormous amount of criticism in response to that book. "It was like he had left the faith. He definitely went against the stream of current evangelical thought," Kenyon said.
Nevertheless, Webber's work was highly influential, and his ideas grew in popularity in evangelical circles.
In recent years, Webber sought to show the increasing relevance of patristic thought in a postmodern age. His more recent books include Ancient-Future Faith, Ancient-Future Time, Ancient-Future Evangelism, The Younger Evangelicals, and The Divine Embrace. In 2006, he organized and edited the "Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future," a document intended "to restore the priority of the divinely inspired biblical story of God's acts in history."
Edith Blumhofer, director of the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College and affiliate professor of church history at Northern Seminary, says of Webber, "If you stand back and look at his life, he represents one of the ways that evangelicalism has changed and unfolded, [especially] if you think about [his journey] from Bob Jones University to the Episcopal Church to all of this focus on remembering the ancient as we move into the contemporary."
During the latter half of his life, Webber took a special interest in Christian worship practices. Webber wrote more than 40 books on the topic of worship, focusing on how the worship practices of the ancient church have value for the church today.
"In many ways, Robert Webber paved the way for many Protestants, especially evangelical Protestants, to take worship seriously as a primary occupation both in the church and in the academy," said John Witvliet, director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship at Calvin College and Calvin Seminary. Witvliet called Webber "an inspiration" and "a real pioneer."
Kenyon, who serves as a deacon in an Anglican church, says he often uses Webber's works, such as Worship as a Verb and Worship Old and New, in book studies. "These books have just been excellent," he said. "They're scholarly, but you don't have to have a master's degree from Notre Dame in liturgical history to get through them."
Webber also received praise for his work as editor of The Complete Library of Christian Worship, published in 1995, an eight-volume series created to serve as a comprehensive reference for professors, students, pastors, and worship leaders. The series draws on several thousand texts and publications and covers topics like Old and New Testament worship and contemporary applications for music and the arts.
Webber founded the Institute for Worship Studies in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1993, which offers doctor of worship studies and master's of worship studies degree programs. It is the only institute in the country to focus exclusively on worship education.
Charles Hambrick-Stowe, professor of Christian history, vice-president for academic affairs, and dean of Northern Seminary, says when they met three years ago, "Bob Webber struck me immediately as a person of deep faith, intellectual curiosity and depth, and spiritual vigor."
He says that Webber was a key faculty member during his seven years at Northern Seminary. "In faculty meetings, he would sit there silently, letting the discussion unfold, waiting until the right moment, and then he would say a word," Hambrick-Stowe said. "It was often humorous, but it was always right on point, and often just pointed us in the right direction, or clarified what the issue really was, so that we could move to a resolution."
Webber also had a keen sense of humor. Okholm recalls, "One day I came in on a real slushy Chicago winter day, and I said, 'Well, Bob, this is the day the Lord has made,' and Bob said, 'Yeah, but he's done better.'"
Many remember Webber for his gracious spirit. "He was very generous and very gracious in acknowledging people and letting others know how they'd helped him," Kenyon said.
Webber is survived by his wife, Joanne, four children, and seven grandchildren.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
"So this is it. The painful realization that all has gone wrong..."
It was dark.
The room was damp and there was this spine-tingling chill that I am feeling inside my bones right now. My neck still aches from perching towards the phone.
I must be getting old.
I just realize that my mind has long been racing with all those unrealized dreams and longings that I've never seemed to keep up with from the time I turned 18. That rock star vision; that literati phase; the hopes of a revolution and the time spent in whining as to why things never seemed to make me feel assured of the person I am today.
If only life was a twisted emo song. Or a medieval fairytale where everything climaxes in an substantiated 'happily ever after...'
But it seems that those days were gone.
This must be how it feels in the zenith.
Terminus: it sucks!
I guess it wouldn't hurt to pop a razor and slash skin for the thrill of knowing that I might have died but I didn’t. Instead I’d wake up the following morning living with the regret that I have to live this crummy life as it was before.
Oh how I long for the time when in the act of writing, words and emotions come into place like lovers entwined by a perpetual adoration of thought and emotion.
It is with your smile that I found solitude.
If only it were that simple I'll hold you
In my arms and never let you go.
Monday, August 13, 2007
If not for asphyxia I would have
Lived long enough to watch
My heart bleed dry...
These words reverberate like drones
Buzzing on an open graveyard
Circling pass my funeral
In bitter shock and awe
I watch from the sky
As no one mourns this passing
Maybe I’m better of dead
Sunday, August 12, 2007
It is with all hope that I look forward to the rainbow's arch over a yellow sun-lit sky.
Green grass moist with dew gazed by black and white cows just like the ones that I used to see in the can of a Birch Tree powdered milk can at home.
There’s no rainbow.
Just a blood red sky at twilight foreboding an impeding downpour that's bound to drench us of water and of misery.
There's no green grass.
Only an artificial lime green grass on some elitist golf course where a caddy gets cursed Spanish style by a church skipping tycoon who'd rather tee off with his buddies on a Sunday morning.
There aren't any black and white cows.
After all we're not in Holland. There's no pasture to gaze. There's no grassland here for them to roam. No healthy grass for food.
Just a waiting axe from an over-eager butcher waiting to milk her dry and cook her for hamburger patties.
How long has it been since the rainbows arched, or the grass has been green or the cows been free to roam?
It already seems forever.
I miss this dead picture that somehow has encapsulated my childhood.
I miss my old self.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
It is with nothing but a sigh that kissed this night goodbye.
I can't remember when...
When was the last time that a conversation ventured into something that's beyond my mundane life, beyond the usual whines, and of funny stories at the workplace?
It has seemed forever that a talk has veered unto something that I would deem as a 'eureka' moment. It has been quite a while that a movie has been a part of a conversation, or a good book or a cool unknown band or whatever...
It seems that I've almost lost my humanity, say my youthful optimism to a unknown future that I seem to be dreading to face. It seems like winding roads that lead to dead ends and spiteful tears within grasps.
Its really hard when things don’t go as planned. And I would always wish that things could have been better. I'd always dwell on the possibility of 'what ifs' without ever pausing to consider that what's done has been done.
I’ve forgotten the songs of my youth.
Songs that taught me to look forward to what's beyond.
It’s a sad fact that supposedly 'mature' things have made me put my dreams on the backseat of this ride that I'm taking to traverse our lives.
Tonight there's no guitar music on the background.
Just the meaningless tapping of frustrated fingers on a plastic keyboard.
Yawns replace the hopeful smile.
Tears rolling down my cheeks has given way to that bright eyed stare that I used to have.
I remember how when I was a teen I'd always wanted to look like Sid Vicious. And now that I look more like him with these perpetual eyebags and disinterested sneer I can't even look at myself in the mirror without missing my former self.
I know that this is just a phase.
I know that way down the line this would be for my own good.
I guess I’m just lonely.
And the pain I feel is part of the growing pains that comes along with growing up.
I must be getting old.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Now for those of us who's not quite in the loop as to what on earth is Live Earth let me first give you the run down on the event, basically it was a series of worldwide concerts held on July 7, 2007, that initiated a three-year campaign to combat climate change and advocate environmentally-sustainable living. The concerts brought together more than 150 musical acts in eleven locations around the world and were broadcast to a mass global audience through radio, television, and the Internet.
Seems promising doesn't it?
Well, I have said my piece regarding that when DeathToPuberty played at the Simple Lang, Save the Climate launch of Greenpeace.
But what astounds me upon watching the delayed telecast is that its principal sponsor is Petron, a company that as we all know is responsible for the largest oil spill in the Philippines.
Also its part of a climate killing industry that seeks to downplay the reality of climate change.
But a second look would evidently prove that its all part of the 'greenwashing' that several oil companies that come in the guise of Nuon and BP.
I don't know why, perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I've been through a lot of stress because of it in the past years…
I don’t know about you people but I can honestly say that I have never known what stress was like if I have not learned to love.
It’s blood truth that I guess I have to learn to live with.
Just like the common colds.
Like circumcision when you're a boy.
It's a right of passage of sorts into something...
And as always it may just be a phase for me...
But one thing is certain.
I do not like the way I'm feeling.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Have you ever felt
that unrelenting feeling
of longing for sparkle
A persistent wish
And a continuous recalling
Of how things could have been
If only you weren't so desperate
Or that game of 'what ifs'
Such things have been
Perplexing this head lately
I’m not sure but
I feel as though like
Sulking at my helplessness
In this twisted labyrinth of a life
That I've created way back
When I was young and stupid.
If only you knew how cynical I am
Right now at everything...
Saturday, August 04, 2007
women’s lives. It is not a song of protection; there is no romantic undertow. It’s a song about all people being equally important. Everyone was dancing, fanboys and girls at the lip of the stage screaming along—like so many shows at the Fireside. By the first chorus of the song, I was in tears. I have often been so moved to shed small wet tears at Strike shows, but this time was for AN entirely different reason—A mournful new awareness: I am here, at the Fireside Bowl probably 75 times a year for the last five years. The numbers of times I have genuinely felt, or even sensed my reality or the reality of the women I know portrayed in a song sung by male-fronted band— that number was at zero and holding. The ratio of songs/shows/expressed sentiment-to-affirmation of feminist struggle/girldom is staggering. This song was the first.
No wonder most of my girlfriends and I have being growing increasingly alienated and distanced from our varying scenes, or have begun taking shelter from emo’s pervasive stronghold in the cave-like recesses of electronic, DJ or experimental music. No wonder girls I know are feeling dismissive and faithless towards music. No wonder I feel much more internal allegiance to MOP songs, as their tales of hood drama and jewelry theft FEELS far less offensive than yet another song from yet another all dude band giving us the 411 on his personal romantic holocaust. Because in 2003, as it stands, I simply cannot conjure the effort it takes to give a flying fuck about bands of boys yoked to their own wounding AKA the genre/plague that we know as E-M-O. Songs and scenes populated with myopic worldviews that do not extend beyond their velvet-lined rebel-trauma, their bodies, or their vans. Meanwhile, we’re left wondering how did we get here?
As hardcore and political punk’s charged sentiments became more cliché towards the end of the ‘80s—as we all soon settled in to the armchair comfort of the Clinton era—Punk began stripping off its tuff skin and getting down to its squishy pulp heart. Forget bombs and the real impact of trickle down economics, it’s all about elusive kisses and tender-yet-undeniably-masculine emotional outbursts. Mixtapes across America became soiled with torrential anthems of hopeful boy hearts masted to sleeves, pillows soaked in tears, and relational eulogies. Romance of the self was on.
I think somewhere right around the release of the last Braid record, is where we lost the map. Up until then, things seemed reasonable, encouraging, exciting—thus far we were sold on vulnerability, there was something revivifying in the earnestness. New bands cast their entire micro-careers from bands we all liked: Jawbox, Jawbreaker, Sunny Day Real Estate etc. In those bands, there were songs about women, but they were girls with names, with details to their lives, girls who weren’t exclusively defined by their absence or lensed through romantic-spectre. Jawbox’s most popular song, “Savory” was about recognizing male normative privilege, about the weight of sexualization on a woman (“see you feign surprise / that I‘m all eyes”). In Jawbreaker songs women had leverage, had life, had animus and agency to them. Sometimes they were friends, or a sister, not always girl to be bedded or pursued or dumped by. They were accurate, and touched by reality.
And then something broke—And it wasn’t Bob Nanna’s or Mr. Dashboard’s sensitive hearts. Records by a legion of done-wrong boys lined the record store shelves. Every record was a concept album about a breakup, damning the girl on the other side. Emo’s contentious monologue—it’s balled fist Peter Pan mash-note dilemmas—it’s album length letters from pussy-jail—it’s cathedral building in ode to man-pain and Robert-Bly-isms—it’s woman-induced misery has gone from being descriptive to being prescriptive. Emo was just another forum where women were locked in a stasis of outside observation, observing ourselves through the eyes of others. The prevalence of these bands, the omni-presence of emo’s sweeping sound and it’s growing stronghold in the media and on the Billboard chart codified emo as A SOUND, where previously there had been diversity.
from Punk Planet 56