In the same Public Square column to which I referred in the post below, Joseph Bottum tells of a new “Center For Early Christian Studies” at that bastion of Evangelicalism Wheaton College. He quotes the newly appointed director:
“What is missing in American Protestantism is an understanding of the richness of the early Church. One looks at reformers such as Calvin, Luther, and Wesley and one sees the dependence on the early Church. The Reformation itself is a call to come back to the Church. It is a call to the Church to come back to the tradition of the Church.” This is meant to go beyond “pillaging” the Fathers of the Church by mining their writings for quotations to support preconceived positions. Rather, says Kalantzis, we “need to delve into it and truly live with them and understand them, where their conflicts were and what their thought patterns were. How else are we going to understand our faith if we don’t understand those who delivered it to us?”
My emphasis, of course, but not my words. Note that this is a Protestant who sees the danger of “pillaging the Fathers” to support preconceived ideas. May he who has ears to hear listen to what the Fathers are saying to the Churches!