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For well over a decade now, American evangelicals have been
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For well over a decade now, American evangelicals have been experiencing a renaissance—or to be more precise, a naissance—of interest in ancient Christianity. This awakening to the Great Tradition has been several decades in the making; however, its recent growth has been dramatic, and is demonstrated by a marked surge of interest in early Christian literature,<ref> Strikingly evinced by the success of [http://www.ivpress.com/ InterVarsity Press]’s [http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=1470 Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture]. Other projects of similar emphasis include the [http://www.bakerbooks.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?type=PubCom&mod=PubComProductCatalog&tier=26&id=A98B7C1937204B52A58B5B22F92790C3 Evangelical Ressourcement series] by [http://www.bakeracademic.com/ Baker Academic] and [http://www.eerdmans.com/series/cb.htm The Church’s Bible] by [http://www.eerdmans.com/ Eerdmans].</ref> by a corresponding increase in the use of liturgical forms in evangelical worship,<ref>Among those directly involved in the liturgical aspects of this movement, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Webber Robert Webber] may be the most widely recognized. See, e.g., [http://www.amazon.com/Worship-Verb-Celebrating-Mighty-Salvation/dp/1565632427 Worship is a Verb] (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1992) and [http://www.amazon.com/Worship-Old-New-Robert-Webber/dp/0310479908 Worship Old and New] (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994).</ref> and by a burgeoning interest among younger evangelicals in liturgical and sacramental traditions.<ref>See, e.g., Robert Webber, [http://www.amazon.com/Younger-Evangelicals-Facing-Challenges-World/dp/0801091527 The Younger Evangelicals: Facing the Challenges of the New World] (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2002) and Colleen Carroll, [http://www.amazon.com/New-Faithful-Embracing-Christian-Orthodoxy/dp/0829416455 The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy] (Chicago: Loyola Press, 2004).</ref> The great spiritual and theological impulse of the Reformation was a return to the early Christian sources—<em>ad fontes</em>—and a similar spirit has enlivened the theological and spiritual imaginations of many late-twentieth and early-twenty-first century evangelicals.<ref> Whether we can call this another “Reformation” is yet to be seen, though, some—perhaps most notably [http://www.amazon.com/Reformation-Over-Evangelical-Contemporary-Catholicism/dp/0801027977/sr=8-1/qid=1158045148/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom]—wonder if it might signify the end of the Reformation and the birth of a new orthodox ecumenism and ecclesial rapprochement.</ref>
experiencing a renaissance—or to be more precise, a naissance—of
 
interest in ancient Christianity. This awakening to the Great
 
Tradition has been several decades in the making; however, its recent
 
growth has been dramatic, and is demonstrated by a marked surge of
 
interest in early Christian literature,<ref> Strikingly evinced by the
 
success of [http://www.ivpress.com/ InterVarsity Press]’s
 
[http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/code=1470 Ancient
 
Christian Commentary on Scripture]. Other projects of similar emphasis
 
include the
 
[http://www.bakerbooks.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?type=PubCom&mod=PubComProductCatalog&tier=26&id=A98B7C1937204B52A58B5B22F92790C3
 
Evangelical Ressourcement series] by [http://www.bakeracademic.com/
 
Baker Academic] and [http://www.eerdmans.com/series/cb.htm The
 
Church’s Bible] by [http://www.eerdmans.com/ Eerdmans].</ref> by a
 
corresponding increase in the use of liturgical forms in evangelical
 
worship,<ref>Among those directly involved in the liturgical aspects
 
of this movement, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Webber
 
Robert Webber] may be the most widely recognized. See, e.g.,
 
[http://www.amazon.com/Worship-Verb-Celebrating-Mighty-Salvation/dp/1565632427
 
Worship is a Verb] (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1992) and
 
[http://www.amazon.com/Worship-Old-New-Robert-Webber/dp/0310479908
 
Worship Old and New] (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994).</ref> and by a
 
burgeoning interest among younger evangelicals in liturgical and
 
sacramental traditions.<ref>See, e.g., Robert Webber,
 
[http://www.amazon.com/Younger-Evangelicals-Facing-Challenges-World/dp/0801091527
 
The Younger Evangelicals: Facing the Challenges of the New World]
 
(Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2002) and Colleen Carroll,
 
[http://www.amazon.com/New-Faithful-Embracing-Christian-Orthodoxy/dp/0829416455
 
The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy]
 
(Chicago: Loyola Press, 2004).</ref> The great spiritual and
 
theological impulse of the Reformation was a return to the early
 
Christian sources—<em>ad fontes</em>—and a similar spirit has
 
enlivened the theological and spiritual imaginations of many
 
late-twentieth and early-twenty-first century evangelicals.<ref>
 
Whether we can call this another “Reformation” is yet to be seen,
 
though, some—perhaps most notably
 
[http://www.amazon.com/Reformation-Over-Evangelical-Contemporary-Catholicism/dp/0801027977/sr=8-1/qid=1158045148/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books
 
Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom]—wonder if it might signify the end of
 
the Reformation and the birth of a new orthodox ecumenism and
 
ecclesial rapprochement.</ref>
 
  
Whatever the outcome of this "paleo-orthodox"<ref>Thomas Oden has
+
Whatever the outcome of this "paleo-orthodox"<ref>Thomas Oden has especially made use of this term to refer to the recovery of orthodox, creedal Christianity in the late twentieth century. See, e.g., [http://www.amazon.com/Requiem-Movements-Thomas-C-Oden/dp/0687020034 Requiem: A Lament in Three Movements] (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995) and [http://www.amazon.com/Rebirth-Orthodoxy-Signs-Life-Christianity/dp/006009785X The Rebirth of Orthodoxy: Signs of New Life in Christianity] (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2002).</ref> ressourcement for evangelicals, I believe it is a movement of significant import which merits significant theological reflection. Having been engaged in it for roughly twenty years, I am deeply sympathetic with the best of what it proffers to American evangelicals—and ultimately to all Christian traditions—and believe it
especially made use of this term to refer to the recovery of orthodox,
 
creedal Christianity in the late twentieth century. See, e.g.,
 
[http://www.amazon.com/Requiem-Movements-Thomas-C-Oden/dp/0687020034
 
Requiem: A Lament in Three Movements] (Nashville: Abingdon Press,
 
1995) and
 
[http://www.amazon.com/Rebirth-Orthodoxy-Signs-Life-Christianity/dp/006009785X
 
The Rebirth of Orthodoxy: Signs of New Life in Christianity] (San
 
Francisco: Harper Collins, 2002).</ref> ressourcement for
 
evangelicals, I believe it is a movement of significant import which
 
merits significant theological reflection. Having been engaged in it
 
for roughly twenty years, I am deeply sympathetic with the best of
 
what it proffers to American evangelicals—and ultimately to all
 
Christian traditions—and believe it
 
  
  
 
<references/>
 
<references/>

Revision as of 05:03, 9 September 2009

For well over a decade now, American evangelicals have been experiencing a renaissance—or to be more precise, a naissance—of interest in ancient Christianity. This awakening to the Great Tradition has been several decades in the making; however, its recent growth has been dramatic, and is demonstrated by a marked surge of interest in early Christian literature,[1] by a corresponding increase in the use of liturgical forms in evangelical worship,[2] and by a burgeoning interest among younger evangelicals in liturgical and sacramental traditions.[3] The great spiritual and theological impulse of the Reformation was a return to the early Christian sources—ad fontes—and a similar spirit has enlivened the theological and spiritual imaginations of many late-twentieth and early-twenty-first century evangelicals.[4]

Whatever the outcome of this "paleo-orthodox"[5] ressourcement for evangelicals, I believe it is a movement of significant import which merits significant theological reflection. Having been engaged in it for roughly twenty years, I am deeply sympathetic with the best of what it proffers to American evangelicals—and ultimately to all Christian traditions—and believe it


  1. Strikingly evinced by the success of InterVarsity Press’s Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Other projects of similar emphasis include the Evangelical Ressourcement series by Baker Academic and The Church’s Bible by Eerdmans.
  2. Among those directly involved in the liturgical aspects of this movement, Robert Webber may be the most widely recognized. See, e.g., Worship is a Verb (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1992) and Worship Old and New (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994).
  3. See, e.g., Robert Webber, The Younger Evangelicals: Facing the Challenges of the New World (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2002) and Colleen Carroll, The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy (Chicago: Loyola Press, 2004).
  4. Whether we can call this another “Reformation” is yet to be seen, though, some—perhaps most notably Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom—wonder if it might signify the end of the Reformation and the birth of a new orthodox ecumenism and ecclesial rapprochement.
  5. Thomas Oden has especially made use of this term to refer to the recovery of orthodox, creedal Christianity in the late twentieth century. See, e.g., Requiem: A Lament in Three Movements (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995) and The Rebirth of Orthodoxy: Signs of New Life in Christianity (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2002).