Back in September of this year, Christianity Today published a piece called “A Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future”. This “call” was a passionate plea to evangelicals to move into their future from out of a grounding in ancient Christianity. When I read this call, I had a few images of “Canterbury Trail” evangelicals sitting in the corner of a dark pub and drawing up this document. But, to be honest, it was like water off a duck’s back. Why? Because, although I am evangelical by progeny, I am a Reformed theologian who is deeply committed to the Protestant Reformation as well as to the broader Christian tradition. This is not even to mention the time that I have spent reading such early fathers as Augustine, Athanasius, Gregory Nanzianzen, Tertullian, Irenaeus, etc. I told you that to tell you this; I thought that the document was interesting, I took note of its existence, and then I moved on.
More recently, I’ve found a collection of reflections on this “Call”, published by Touchstone Magazine called “Back and Forth to the Future.” Although the reflections in this collection are not of consistent quality, those offered by D.G. Hart and David Mills are quite salutary. The others are perceptive as well, and I agree with most of their criticism although the positive side implied by the way they put their criticisms is not generally an option that I would like to countenance.
I commend both to your attention, especially in light of the current discussion of evangelical identity in the theoblogosphere, spearheaded by Halden over at Inhabitatia Dei (read his pilot post for the series).