The Conviction of Things Not Seen

Worship and Ministry in the 21st Century

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"A fitting toast to the work of Robert Webber, one which honors him by doing what he has done so well--displaying the wealth of ways in which our Christian past enlightens our present and enlivens our future."--Covenant Quarterly

Whether you are a theologian, a layperson, a worship leader, a choir director, or a member of the clergy, you've probably been confronted by some or all of the following questions: How can a pastor care for parishioners through worship, liturgy, and sacrament? How might a congregation preserve tradition while being open to innovation? What role should music play in worship? What is the function of ritual? How significant are visual representations in worship? Can we be "seeker sensitive" without sacrificing the rich history of our faith tradition? How can we make our congregations more multicultural?

Inspired by the work and witness of theologian Robert Webber, The Conviction of Things Not Seen offers a unique approach to the "worship wars" by focusing on the integral relationship between worship, pastoral ministry, and cultural engagement. This book, with contributions by William Willimon, John Witvliet, Rob Johnston, Rodney Clapp, Donald Bloesch, and others, will be a lighthouse for anyone navigating the unsettled seas of contemporary worship.

The Conviction of Things Not Seen is both erudite and devout, its scope historical and timely. A refreshing, balanced tone makes it a perfect text for worship and pastoral ministry courses.

The Author

  1. Todd E. Johnson

    Todd E. Johnson

    Todd E. Johnson (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is the William K. and Delores S. Brehm Associate Professor of Worship, Theology, and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church and the editor of The...

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"Consists of a collection of essays on pastoral ministry, worship, cultural engagement and other topics, written by contributors like William Willimon, Donald Bloesch, Rodney Clapp and others. Readers will find interesting ideas to chew on."--Rick Ezell, Preaching

"This erudite, occasionally dense, but consistently rewarding, volume manages to provide an objective assessment of the current worship wars by exploring in depth a variety of themes."--Davin Seay, Worship Leader

"A fine festschrift offered to Robert Webber. . . .The Conviction of Things Not Seen is a rich feast for all who share its author's conviction that worship and ministry in the twenty-first century has a hopeful future in Christ. It is also a clear call for a fruitful interchange of serious ecclesial scholarship and careful cultural analysis. Todd Johnson and Brazos Press are to be commended for bringing us a fitting toast to the work of Robert Webber, one which honors him by doing what he has done so well-displaying the wealth of ways in which our Christian past enlightens our present and enlivens our future."--D. Brent Laytham, Covenant Quarterly

"Johnson has gathered a group of liturgical scholars who have been influenced and inspired by Webber's teaching. The result is twelve essays from various perspectives that both inform and challenge continued worship discussion."--Joyce Borger, Reformed Worship

"These essays are not afraid to probe the difficult questions that must be explored within any discussion of contemporary worship and the practice of ministry. . . . Faithful to his goal, Todd Johnson has assembled a broad collection of voices that prompt the reader to explore some of the emerging and necessary questions of being the church and engaging in ministry in our postmodern twenty-first century. To that end, the life and ministry of Bob Webber is appropriately recognized, celebrated, and affirmed."--Tom Schwanda, Calvin Theological Journal

"Worship is perhaps the most widely disputed topic in the church today, making this book an incredibly timely and useful resource for pastors, worship leaders, seminarians, and lay leaders. This provocative and enlightening volume is a compilation of essays written as a tribute to Robert Webber. . . . Voice by a collection of writers with varied voices and experiences, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone who 'does' worship. While each of the offerings in this book can easily stand alone, the flow of the book from beginning to end offers the reader an edifying journey through the worship spectrum. The chapters cover a wide range of information. . . . This book presents a means to enter into the dialogue of worship with greater understanding and vocabulary. . . . The Conviction of Things Not Seen poses a challenge to question the status quo, but with humility and discernment. It pays a warranted tribute to a man who has inspired many, but even more so, moves us to dialogue with one another and to imagine ever greater ways to honor the God who alone is worthy of our worship."--Christine Martin, Ashland Theological Journal