Catholic, Evangelical and Charismatic
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, by a corresponding increase in the use of liturgical forms in evangelical worship, and by a burgeoning interest among younger evangelicals in liturgical and sacramental traditions. 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.
Whatever the outcome of this "paleo-orthodox" 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
- Strikingly evinced by the success of 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 Eerdmans.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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).