Why Evangelicals Turn to the Church Fathers

St. Seraphim of Sarov

Ikon of Ft. Serafim of Sarov

Why Evangelicals Turn to the Church Fathers?

Because of their mutual commitment to Scripture, says Robert Louis Wilken, evangelicals and the church fathers have a natural affinity.

by David Neff | November 4, 2009

On October 29, the nation’s attention was focused on Yankee Stadium and game two of the World Series. But at Wheaton College, several hundred people chose instead to crowd into Barrows Auditorium to mark the public beginning of the Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies.

obert Louis Wilken, professor emeritus at the University of Virginia, promised baseball fans he’d keep the Center’s inaugural lecture brief. In his short address, he dashed through the church fathers’ approach to interpreting Scripture, touching the bases at Isaiah 6, Matthew 5, and Job 14, before coming home with key insights on patristic exegesis.

In addition to relating the Fathers’ comments on these passages, Wilken explored why evangelical Protestants in particular should pay attention to writers like Gregory the Great, Augustine, John Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa, and why evangelicals are indeed beginning to realize “that the early heritage is theirs also.”

Read more HERE.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

One thought on “Why Evangelicals Turn to the Church Fathers”

  1. Banuiesc ca evanghelicii descinzand din traditia protestanta si datorita “purificarii” pe care o aduce timpul, au ramas cu protest la nivel instinctiv fata de tot ce tine de Catolici (sau Ortodocsi ). Din moment ce nu poti sa desparti catolicismul sau ortodoxismul de parintii bisericii, orice asociere sau atentie data acestora e echivalata cu o departare de la credinta, o apostazie. De aici dezinteresul fata de scrierile parintilor bisericii.

    In acest articol ni se aminteste de profunzimea care ne poate scapa atunci cand neglijam bogatia felului lor de abordare a Scripturilor, a teologiei lor si in ultima instanta a perspectivei lor asupra lucrurilor. Nu suntem intotdeauna de acord cu interpretarile pe care le auzim de la amvoanele noastre si totusi le dam atentie, le ascultam perspectiva. Ce avem de pierdut ciulindu-ne urechile la ce au avut de spus acesti titani ai bisericii timpurii? Nimic, dar de castigat … mult!

    Asa cum spune Dr. Robert Louis Wilken, avem mai multe lucruri in comun deca ne asteptam.


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