Ancient Christianity for (Greek) Evangelicals

Troodos MountainsThis January, I am joining the Greek Evangelical Church of Nicosia, Cyprus, to encourage the evangelicals of Cyprus to spend more time with ancient Christians. Seven years ago, after finishing my BA, I spent an academic year on the island of Cyprus working with students as part of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES), and I have long desired to return to the island and share more of our Lord’s rich grace with the people who live there.

What exactly I’ll be doing

The main event in Cyprus will be a series of seminars on ancient Christianity at the Greek Evangelical Church. These will run the evenings of Wednesday and Thursday, 23 and 24 of January, and the day of Saturday, 26 January. The weekday topics will be ‘Ancient Christians of Cyprus’ and ‘Trinity and Mission: Ancient Thought on Jesus and His Mission in the World’, and the Saturday topics will be ‘Evangelicals and Tradition: Interacting with Ancient Christianity’ and ‘The Bible in the Ancient Church: Development and Authority.’

I will also be spending time visiting students and volunteers who work with the Cyprus Fellowship of Evangelical Students (CyFES). Seven years ago, CyFES did not exist. Now the Lord has blessed the island with a fledgling movement in both the Turkish North and Greek South, in which Greek Cypriot students are involved – a contrast to seven years ago when our ministry was almost entirely amongst international students. I want to see what our glorious God has been doing and tell the good news to those who supported me through prayer and finances when I first went to the island.

Why the Church Fathers? What is the missional purpose of this trip?

I believe that right now, as our cultures become less rooted, Christians need to maintain roots in the Gospel and remind ourselves of the blessings of God upon our spiritual forebears who helped us think clearly about what the Gospel is and what is integral to the Faith. The writings of ancient Christianity are the common foundation for all Christians, and a knowledge of their teachings and devotional practices and history can only serve to deepen our love of God and His incarnation as a man to save us and the revelation of his subsisting as the Most Holy Trinity. This deepened love, in turn, is fuel for mission in an increasingly lost and wayward world.

In Cyprus, the situation is a very particular one. At the forefront for my mission is the hostility between the evangelicals and Orthodox that runs back for over a century. Since the Orthodox claim the ancient heritage of ‘the Fathers’ as their own, evangelicals are often very wary to discover the wisdom of our ancient forebears of the faith. By helping nudge them towards these ancients — with the full support of their elders and minister — I hope to help them find ways of expressing the faith to the Orthodox that will make them seem less — well, frankly, less American; many Greek Evangelicals are called Americanos. The Greek Fathers can help evangelicals express the Gospel in a Greek idiom. This, whether it converts the Orthodox or not, will help the Orthodox view the evangelicals with less suspicion, hopefully helping bridge the divide of mistrust that gapes between them today.

Furthermore, the ancient Christians faced many challenges, especially in the area of Christology, that the Christians of Cyprus face day-to-day in their dealings with a very strong, very visible presence of both Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons on the island, as well as certain fringe ‘evangelical’ and charismatic groups. The arguments and teachings of the ancient Church can help the modern Cypriot stand firm in the true evangelical way in the face of the allure of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Benny Hinn, or any other latter-day prophet.

Please pray for these seminars that the Lord will give me the right focus and words for each one and that the people of Nicosia’s Greek Evangelical Church will be edified and equipped for life in the topsy-turvy world of post-Christendom Cyprus, where their neighbours scorn them for not being Orthodox yet go to New Age seminars for ‘spirituallity’ themselves.

How Not to Read the Fathers

The Church Fathers (11th-century Kievan image)

As you know, I spend a certain amount of my time reading the Church Fathers and about the Church Fathers. And I hope that you do, too — or that you will soon! A few patterns of reading are, I believe, quite unhelpful. They are suspicion, the related habit of heresy-hunting, ‘they’re just like us’, and prooftexting. A fifth way is not necessarily unhelpful but could be dangerous, and that is independent, devotional reading.

Suspicion

As you know, I dislike suspicious readings of texts, as discussed earlier this year in relation to Perpetua. This is a form of reading that is hostile — the least respectable of all interpretations is always taken. For example, one of my Presbyterian students read Leo the Great’s third sermon on his accession and declared that it looks like Leo is worshipping Peter! The same student later said that St. Francis’ Rule of 1221, in calling for ‘obedience and reverence’ to Innocent III, was distracting people from Christ and directing them to worship the Pope. Sigh. This is the sort of hostile reading that certain kinds of Protestants engage in with anything that resembles a pope or papism.

A friend of mine has this trouble with his students at an unnamed evangelicaliberty university who are automatically opposed to anything that looks ascetic or includes celibacy because it looks like Roman Catholicism and doesn’t contribute to evangelism.

Be ready for things in the Fathers that look Roman Catholic. They’re there. But do not assume the worst possible reading of all. Please. It tires me.

Heresy-hunting

Heresy-hunting is like suspicion. I first learned of this at Phil Snyder’s now-defunct blog Hyperekperissou. In this framework, people read the earlier Fathers looking for later heresies. So Justin is accused of being a Monarchianist or Cassian of being a Monophysite or even a Pelagian (!). We cannot back-read later orthodoxy or heresy onto the earlier Fathers. I believe that this stems from conservative Protestants, probably evangelical, who wish to discredit all Christian history between St. John’s vision on Patmos and Martin Luther on the one hand, and liberal Protestants, probably Anglican (quite frankly), who wish to find a way to justify their own eccentricities and dress them up like ‘progresive’ orthodoxy.

You will inevitably find things in the Fathers that sound like heresy to you. Ask what heresy, why this guy looks like a heretic, and why he is still a Church Father if he has allegedly committed ‘heresy’.

They’re Just Like Us

I once read this series of Christian romance novels called ‘The Mark of the Lion.’ True story. Anyway, what I found remarkable there was that late first-century Christians, rather than looking like the Didache look a heckuvalot like 20th-century nonconformist/free church evangelicals. Like Baptists, in other words. This, of course, was probably derived from not reading the Fathers. More commonly, this looks like something another friend of mine encountered at another evangelical university where a student pulled out Clement of Alexandria and said, ‘Look, third-century Christians believed in justification by faith!’ It is most commonly done by Orthodox who claim that Luke was the first iconographer and have all their modern, Byzantine practices confirmed. This practice, even if not used polemically, completely ignores the historical context of the writers involved.

Ancient Christians are very much like us. They believe in Jesus, that faith in him will save us. They pray. They have the same Bible. But they are not us. They are different. Be thankful for the similarities, but be wary of imagining that you and Aphrahat the Persian are the same.

Prooftexting

This is another dangerous way of reading the Fathers. It is often used in anti-Orthodox and anti-Catholic polemics. Passages such as St. Epiphanius of Salamis tearing down images in his local church are used in arguments with other Christians to prove to them that they are not as much like the early Christians as they thought. Sometimes the argument from silence is, that no Ante-Nicene Father seems to pray to saints — ha ha! You Orthodox scum are hellbound idolaters! Or it is clear from the Didache that the fasts were not the 40-day long abstinence-fests of Roman Catholicism originally. Ha ha! You Papist pagans have corrupted your own Tradition!

This is very, very dangerous. For example, we have Christian images that pre-date Epiphanius. So not all early Christians were iconoclasts. And, although the earliest pray-er to saints I can positively affirm is St. Paulinus of Nola, the Martyrdom of Polycarp seems to include relics and a saint’s shrine; Polycarp died in 155, so he’s not exactly a latecomer to the Christian tradition. Furthermore, although 40-day long abstinences are a development in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, by Melito of Sardis’ (d. ca. 180) time there seems to already have come into existence proto-Lent.

For every prooftext you can draw from the Fathers to fight the Orthodox and Roman Catholics, they’ll find a way to defang it. All you’ll do is fight with fellow Christians and get nowhere.

Devotional Reading

Devotional readings of the Fathers are not inherently bad. This is when you read a passage or text from the ancient Church and say, ‘Wow, this really speaks to my situation.’ Or you say, ‘Hey, this helps with x, y, or z modern problem.’ Or something like that. This is not a bad way of reading. I do it. I even do it on this blog.

But we have to distinguish between what the Fathers may say today and what the Fathers meant. Sometimes they are the same thing. Sometimes they are not. To help you distinguish, most modern translations of the Fathers come with handy introductions. Some, such as certain volumes in the Ancient Christian Writers series, have commentary. There are also handy introductory books such as Routledge’s Early Church Fathers series. Resources like these can help us distinguish between what Leo the Great means to me as a 21st-century Christian facing all the challenges this world holds, and what Leo the Great meant as a fifth-century Christian facing all the different challenges his world held.

I hope you can avoid these kinds of readings. The Fathers, I believe, are best read on their own terms and for your own edification — not as fuel for the battles for Christian identity that have raged since before 1054.

Evangelicals read the Fathers for ‘fresh’ readings of Scripture

The word fresh is in quotation marks above because the freshness of the Fathers is relative to the reader. They themselves are not fresh, for they have mostly been around for 1500 years of more. But to many of us, their ideas can be a breath of fresh air.

When I queried Why Should Evangelicals Read the Fathers?, the third response, from a friend doing a PhD in New Testament who was once a pastor, was ‘To learn how not to do exegesis.’ (The other two were ”Cause they’re awesome‘ and ‘Because they are relevant‘.)

When we first meet patristic exegesis, it can often seem quite unfamiliar to us. And some of it is probably bogus. So why should we even try Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers? (To name a book that addresses this very issue.)

To answer this, I think I’ll use a different approach, one that will hopefully highlight those other reasons to read the Fathers — their awesomeness and relevance. I’ll talk about myself (something bloggers like to do).

My very, very first encounter with patristic exegesis was, thankfully, not the beautiful, lyrical, typological poems of St. Ephraim the Syrian. If it had been, I would have been left very puzzled and very nonplussed. No, it was with level-headed, ‘down-to-earth’, ‘Antiochene’ St. John Chrysostom.

I knew of the efforts of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, and I wished to make use of such things those few moments when people foolishly gave their pulpits to me. I also knew of the Christian Classics Ethereal Library and its digital version of the Ante-Nicene Fathers (ANF) & Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (NPNF). Not overfond of reading lengthy text online, especially if Victorian, I got my hands on St. John Chrysostom from NPNF and used him in preparing for homilies.

What I found was not merely attention to detail or the exegesis of the passage in terms of what it meant in its original, historical context. Chrysostom looked at the passage and exegeted it to bring its full weight to bear upon his congregation. He drew forth from the words of Holy Writ spiritual and ethical lessons for his congregation. He called them to lead holy lives.

When Chrysostom talks of St. Paul’s conversion, he also calls his congregation to read their Bibles for themselves. Commenting upon Philippians, he berates fathers who are angry about their sons taking up the religious life — if they are Christians, how is this a bad choice? Better than the pitfalls at the imperial court with its many opportunities for sin and worldliness! Then he says that one could be a light in the darkness at the imperial court, and it’s not a place Christians should avoid.

The Scriptures for Chrysostom and many, if not all, of the Fathers are alive. They speak here and now. They call us to holiness. They call us to contemplation (theoria) of God.* They drive us to worship. They are not objects of study — rather, they turn us into the objects of study. Patristic exegesis was not scary but exciting and invigorating with Chrysostom.

If you are cautious about patristic exegesis, start with St. John Chrysostom.

If you are curious about things less familiar, less like a Sunday-morning evangelical sermon, curious about things that will take you into the land of mystical union with the Divine and the world of the luminous eye (to cite the title of a book by Sebastian Brock), check out my second major helping of Patristic exegesis: St. Gregory of Nyssa’s The Life of Moses.

The Life of Moses starts out with Chrysostom’s familiar territory — ad litteram — the literal, historical meaning of the text. St. Gregory (Saint of the Week here) tells us the life of Moses as found in the Pentateuch. There are lessons to be found here about life, ethics, and God. Even that (in)famous allegorist Origen believes in the power and importance of the literal meaning of Scripture.

But Gregory takes us beyond the literal into the mystical world of allegory. Moses’ life is an allegory for our own spiritual world. As the Israelites were saved by crossing the Red Sea, we are saved in the waters of baptism. As Moses ascended the mountain of God into the cloud of unknowing (to borrow the title of a piece of Middle English mysticism), so too is the Christian called to ascend the mountain of God and find God in His incomprehensibility through mystical contemplation.

That’s probably more than enough to make most people uneasy about Patristic exegesis. What has Moses ascending Mt. Sinai to do with me, alone, in a dark room engaged in the ‘useless’ pursuit of omphaloskepsis (‘navel-gazing’, used as a perjorative in the Byzantine Hesychastic Controversy)?

We, as Protestants, shy away from this sort of allegorical, mystical reading, fearing that it will turn the Scriptures into a wax nose that can be twisted in any direction.

When I read The Life of Moses, I found it invigorating, in fact. Who knows if St. Gregory’s mystical allegory is true or ‘right’? What I know is that it contained truth and rightness. I mean to say that it found in all of Scripture a spiritual sense and sought to encourage Christians through the use of Scripture for understanding their special call as followers of Jesus. St. Gregory sees the events of the history of the people of Israel as more than simply the account of God’s dealing with the human race — he sees in them a vision of God’s dealings with each, individual human. God can save you and me, and draw us to Him, if we have the eyes to see and a deep faith rooted in Him and His word.

You may not like allegory. You may think it dangerous. You may confuse it with typology (if that’s the case, read my post about the usefulness of typology in Scripture-reading, as well as on the fourfold sense of Scripture). Nonetheless, I hope that encountering uncomfortable writings such as St. Gregory of Nyssa will jar you into trying to see that there is spiritual benefit in all of Scripture, that the Scriptures are not a self-help book, that the Scriptures are not there as a perfect roadmap to life, but, most importantly, that the Scriptures exist primarily as the revelation of God and as a means for us to be drawn into him.

This leaves us even with a place for the mind-bending typologies of St. Ephraim the Syrian (see this hymn on the Incarnation of his), well worth a read. And then, perhaps we can shed any vestiges that we have the perfect, historically accurate, airtight, ‘useful’ interpretation of Scripture and allow our souls to breathe.

Further Explorations

If you are curious about looking into Patristic exegesis and hermeneutics more, here are two places to start:

Hall, Christopher A. Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers. IVP. This book was my introduction to Patristic ways of reading the Bible. Worth a read.

Oden, Thomas, General Editor. The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. IVP. Hall’s book is meant to be an accompaniment to this 26-volume commentary on the whole of Scripture, including the Deuterocanonical Books, giving brief selections from the Patristic witness ranging from Origen and Athanasius to Cassian and Augustine. A fantastic resource.

*For a good article about Chrysostom and the Antiochene understanding and use of theoria in interpreting Scripture, see Bradley Nassif, “Antiochene theoria [actually in Greek] in John Chrysostom’s Exegesis,” in Ancient & Postmodern Christianity, ed. Kenneth Tanner and Christopher A. Hall. IVP.

Evangelicals read the Fathers because they are relevant

‎My friend Scott, inspiration for this post, also noted that evangelical Christians read the Fathers because the Fathers are relevant to today. His comment was the following:

“… to disbelieve all, because that which says that all are untrustworthy is included in the number of those that are so” Clement of Alexandria Stromata 8.7. He could have been speaking to any number of people in the ‘post-modern’ world.

The quotation above points to the deconstructionists of the world, the people who take apart language and ideas to the point where they have no real meaning but are entirely unreliable, the products merely of language itself or of upbringing or education or genetics. It points to the reductionists who take a thought and reduce it to a single aspect, ‘Nothing but’-ism (as Brian J Walsh once said). It points to those who look at a Church on a Sunday morning and proclaim it a distasteful place — full of hypocrites.

The Fathers know of such people, and although they get fiery at times, they are not modernists, and they do not simply quip, ‘There’s always room for one more hypocrite.’ They speak words and pray prayers and lead lives that penetrate to the situation of this world as it loses the anchor and the tower of modernism — built on a flawed foundation — tumbles down around them.

The elegant universe calls forth to the glory of a God Who has designed it and set in motion with care. A God Who sustains it, even? So say the Fathers.

A universe with chaos at its root calls our attention to the reality of a world not entirely right. Fallen, maybe? So say the Fathers.

Texts have a multiplicity of meanings. The ancients knew this — we can rediscover this reality with them, as in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.

There is a loss of trust in the manifold structures of the institutions of this world, structures of church and state, of philosophy and family, of social norms and corporations. The Fathers can provide rootedness that goes deep, whether through the mysticism of Origen and Evagrius or the preaching of Chrysostom and Ambrose or the prayers of Basil and Hippolytus or the ethics of the Didache or the philosophy of Augustine and Gregory of Nazianzus. It is a grounding that is not monolithic, that must be tested carefully, but it can draw us to the living God, Who Himself is the surest foundation of all.

Not that God himself is fully knowable. Not that He is always what we want or expect. We must expect to have our expectations changed and shattered as we approach the Cloud of Unknowing.

And in unknowing what we thought we know, we enter into relationship. As helpful as Leo’s and Augustine’s and Cyril’s propositions are, the Living God is a real Person, living and active and abroad in the world.

The Fathers help draw us to Him. We are able to move beyond an intellectual assent to the propositions of Christianity into fellowship and communion with the One Who Is Himselfs Communion. And Communion lies at the heart and root and core of this Elegant, Chaotic Universe.

In a world torn asunder by war, by religion, by politics, by crumbling families, by disintegrating jobs, by falling marketplaces, by faceless governments, by rude neighbours, by fallen, failing humans, isn’t what we crave a deep relationship with someone who will be true, trustworthy?

I offer to you Big Brother Christ, explored in manifold ways and manifold paths by the Fathers. He is relevant to the sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, and dying of this world and our brief, flickering lives. Do not miss out on Him, for He loves you and would know you intimately.

Evangelicals read the Fathers ’cause they’re awesome

When I posted ‘Why Should Evangelicals Read the Fathers?’, I got some feedback to the very question from friends on Facebook. Scott, a pastor with the Church of the Nazarene, gave two answers I quite liked: ’cause they’re awesome and because they say things that are relevant to people today. Frank, formerly a pastor and now a PhD student in the field of New Testament studies, gave the challenging response: So we can learn how not to do exegesis.

I thought it would be fun for me to give my musings off these three springboards. You, too, can join in on the comments!

The topic now is thus the awesomeness of the Church Fathers.

This is probably one of the best reasons to read the Fathers. I suppose there is a certain utility in the Fathers — drawing us nearer to God, exhorting us to holier living, clearer theological thinking, a more spiritual understanding of Scripture, an appreciation of the history of doctrine. But why do anything save the sheer … greatness of it?

I was once in a van with some IV people back in high school. One of the university students wanted to know why I wanted to study history. I gave all the pious, useful reasons. He said that the best reason to study history was because one liked it and found it interesting.

This is true of many fields.

Evangelicals should read the Fathers because the Fathers are awesome. And don’t just take my word for it. Take that of Prudentius:

Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

At His Word the worlds were framèd; He commanded; it was done:
Heaven and earth and depths of ocean in their threefold order one;
All that grows beneath the shining
Of the moon and burning sun, evermore and evermore!

There we have one of the most theological, poetical Christmas carols. Written by M. Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, a Latin poet who lived from 348-413. Ancient Christian poetry is among the wonders of the ancient world, writing down the wisps of knowledge grasped by human minds in the meters and images of their cultures (Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic), the honey of poetry as the honey on the cup of theology. Read Prudentius or Ephraim the Syrian or Gregory of Nazianzus.

Awesome.

If theology stirs you, I refer you to my translation of bits of Leo’s christology for Christmas yesterday, or to Clement of Alexandria from December 4. Amongst the Fathers we find the keen minds of Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria, of Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, and Basil of Caesarea, of Origen and Evagrius — men who had both the keen philosophical parsing of words, phrases and syllogisms as well as the mystical insight of hours spent at prayer before the Triune God.

Awesome.

Then we come to the prayers of the Fathers, such as the following by St. Clement of Rome:

Almighty God, Father of our lord Jesus Christ, establish and confirm us in your truth by your Holy Spirit. Reveal to us what we do not know, perfect in us what is lacking; strengthen us in what we know; and keep us faultless in your service; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

St. Paul exhorts us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Is not this plea of St. Clement’s in keeping with the apostolic exhortation? The Fathers call us to deep lives of prayer through their liturgies, found in Hippolytus, or their practices of prayer as found in the Desert Fathers and the ascetic works of Basil of Caesarea. The classic Evangelical call has been to lives soaked in prayer, as we see in John Wesley rising at four o’clock in the morning to prayer for two hours before breakfast. It is a practice heartily recommended by the ancient Christian witness.

Awesome.

The Fathers inhabited a different thought-world than ours. These men and women were to sort of people who have visions, to dream dreams. Their philosophy was more than the keen exercise of the logical aspect of the mind, but a force of will, of prayer, of contemplation, of imagination, of ethical behaviour. The mystical call of Evagrius, Cassian, Origen, the Cappadocians — this is awesome, if foreign to far too many Evangelicals.

The Fathers are awesome. They are not perfect in ethics or in morals or in theology or in prayer or in mysticism or in asceticism. But they are awesome, even if more than a little odd upon first acquaintance. I hope you will make your acquaintance with them a long one and deep.

Why should evangelicals read the Fathers?

The first reason I would like to consider within this topic is one given yesterday — so many of the core tenets of Christianity were forged, formulated, and developed in the first five centuries. If it is true, as DH Williams has put it (and as at least one friend of mine), that evangelicals have amnesia, then recovering the Fathers is an important step in recovering from this amnesia.

Let us consider simply the basic, basic issue of the Bible. It seems fairly straightforward to many of us — there’s the Old Testament, and there’s the New Testament.

Evangelicals all believe in the Bible as the authoritative revelation of God in the written word that demonstrates to us all that we need to find salvation and come to a living knowledge of him. Well and good. Yet if we look at the development of the collection of writings called the New Testament, we will find that the people who organically and through their own worship of God and prayer and seeking to work out the problems of the Faith were all, in fact, patristic — the Fathers.

People such as Irenaeus or Athanasius or whoever wrote the Muratorian Fragment or Justin Martyr or Tertullian were all alive and involved in the Church’s discernment process over which books claiming apostolic authority were truly authoritative. Others, such as Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, the text called the Didache, Hermas and his Shepherd, Polycarp of Smyrna (the Apostolic Fathers), are all from the same period as some of the later texts in the New Testament such as Revelation and 2 Peter.

These are people worth listening to, n’est-ce pas? Some of them may have known Apostles. Others of them were only one or two generations of leadership removed from the apostolic age. As interpreters of Scripture, can we get any closer to the apostolic age than the Apostolic Fathers?

Indeed, once we have an idea of what exactly is in the canon (the list of authoritative writings), how do we interpret it? Some evangelicals think that this is a very simple process that is solved by providing a solid historical-critical methodology. According to Moore College in Australia, with their method, even unbelievers can come to the right interpretation of Scripture.

Certainly, a framework for reading Scripture is needed if we to have some sort of agreement about it. The statement, ‘It clearly says in Scripture,’ is a hard one to say confidently. Irenaeus and Tertullian knew that we need a little more than Scripture for those moments when it is the interpretation of Scripture that is under consideration.

Whose interpretation do we take? The Gnostics’? The Montanists’? The Jehovah’s Witnesses’? The Prosperity Gospel’s? The Arians’? From at least as early as the second century (I would argue from the Apostolic Age), there has been a regula fidei that has helped guide us in the interpretation of Scripture. This is the core of the tradition of the Fathers, and is a fluid formulation that closely resembles the creeds (esp. Nicene and Apostles’).

The Fathers, read with the hermeneutic of love (discussed here) as well as with a critical yet prayerful eye can help us come to a healthy interpretation of Scripture. Read Athanasius on the Psalms or Origen on John or Chrysostom on Romans. You will get three notably different ways of reading, but each of them can enrich our understanding and use of Scripture in our lives.

As with the Reformers, the Fathers are to draw us back to Scripture and to the Triune God in His glory.

So why should evangelicals read the Fathers? Because evangelicals love Scripture, and so do the Fathers, and the Fathers can help us make sense of Scripture and deepen our knowledge and appreciation of it. That’s why.

Much of this post inspired by D H Williams, Retrieving the Tradition & Renewing Evangelicalism.