John A. McGuckin on the Fathers for all believers

I’m not overfond of blog posts that are merely repostings of other people’s ideas, but I came across this the other night and I thought it was deep and true and of the moment. It’s from John Anthony McGuckin’s introduction to We Believe in One Lord Jesus Christ, the second volume of IVP’s Ancient Christian Doctrine series, a series that is devoted to patristic commentary on the content of the creed; this volume is sort of a sourcebook or anthology on Christology (the third volume covers atonement and whatnot). He says:

It is one of the great tragedies of the current state of divided Christianity that this patristic literature is so little known by so many, or, worse, regarded as not a real heritage of the Protestant world, even though it might be of the Orthodox and Catholics. This treasure of the early church shines with the grace of the Spirit, and because of this it is the true catholic (that is, universal) heritage of all the churches of God. It is a lamp to light their way to a deeper understanding of the Scriptures. Such a regained sense of apostolicity is, I suggest, the great agenda of the present moment: the true vision of what real ecumenism ought to be aiming for, in a time when the splintered confessions of Christianity need urgently to renew their hope that they can still come together in a single, even though richly stranded, harmony of the confession of the one Christ, the selfsame Lord who still reigns actively over hsi redeemed church. For those of us who profess ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism,’ it is not beyond our wit (at least if it is within our will) to confess also ‘one apostolic confession’ rooted and founded in the great tradition such as is so clearly represented in these volumes.

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2 thoughts on “John A. McGuckin on the Fathers for all believers

  1. McGuckin is one of a handful of Western-engaging but Eastern Orthodox that has been enormously influential on my thought and work. I actually learned more about being a confessional Protestant from the Orthodox than from Protestants it seems! As I am fond of quoting from Kallistos Ware to evangelicals, “We need you to be you so we can be ourselves.”

    I’m thinking I might be able to recommend this series for our church library, as I have been told my recommendations will be given serious consideration.

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