Retrieving the Tradition and Renewing Evangelicalism
A learned and uniquely constructive book that gently urges "suspicious" Christians to reclaim the patristic roots of their faith. Written to help Protestant Christians recognize the early church fathers as an essential part of their faith, this book is addressed...
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A learned and uniquely constructive book that gently urges "suspicious" Christians to reclaim the patristic roots of their faith. Written to help Protestant Christians recognize the early church fathers as an essential part of their faith, this book is addressed primarily to the evangelical, independent, and free church communities, who remain largely suspicious of church history and the relationship between Scripture and tradition. D. H. Williams clearly explains why every branch of today's church owes its heritage to the doctrinal foundation laid by postapostolic Christianity. Based on solid historical scholarship, this volume shows that embracing the "catholic" roots of the faith will not lead to the loss of Protestant distinctiveness but is essential for preserving the Christian vision in our rapidly changing world.
This innovative work urges the reappropriation of the patristic roots of the Christian faith by Protestants who remain today largely suspicious of church history and the relationship between Scripture and tradition.^According to Daniel Williams, if Evangelical and Free Church communions are to halt their slide into a historicalism, spiritual subjectivism, and accommodation to Western cultural influences, they must reaffirm Christianity's truly "catholic" tradition, based on the apostolic sources.^Williams's work seeks to clear the ground for this to take place, demonstrating that the patristic church cannot be divided from an orthodox understanding of the Bible and that Scripture and tradition are historically related. He also shows that if contemporary evangelicalism is to be doctrinally orthodox and exegetically faithful to the apostolic teaching, it cannot appeal to the Bible alone or to the personal enabling of the Holy Spirit, however central these are, but it must also reclaim the interpretive tradition of the early church.^Based on solid historical and theological scholarship, this volume shows that embracing the catholic roots of the faith does not lead to the loss of the distinctiveness of Protestants but, in fact, is essential today for preserving the traditional Christian vision of the world.
Williams is assistant professor of patristics and historical theology, Loyola University of Chicago.