Friday, December 4, 2009

Some Evangelicals Turn to the Church Fathers

I enjoyed reading this post from the Christian History blog of the Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies. Wheaton College of Elmhurst, Illinois has started a center for the study of Patristics. This is a branch of Christian theology that deals with the lives, writings, and doctrines of the early Christian theologians, also known as the Fathers of the Church. (Incidentally, today just happens to be the memorial of St. John Damascene, the last of the Greek Fathers.)

Many of these earliest Christian theologians were scripture scholars and interpreters of God's Word. There are maybe 100 of these holy men (no women as far as I know), most of whom are considered saints. I'm pleasantly surprised to see Wheaton College sponsoring this center. According to an article in the November 29th issue of OSV there are just two Catholic universities that have similar centers: The Catholic University of America and Notre Dame. There are, however, many colleges that have at least one professor of Patristics.

This will certainly introduce some Evangelicals to deeper, nonliteral ways of Biblical interpretation. As I see it this may enhance relations between Catholics and Evangelical Protestants, and that's a good thing, ecumenically speaking.

Christian History Blog: Why Evangelicals Turn to the Church Fathers

No comments: