In modern times the break from the historic Christian substance came when the church began to interpret its faith through modern categories of thought. The shape, then, of dominant Protestant theology, both liberal and conservative as it developed through the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, was neither reformational nor historic, but modern. Consequently, the return to historic Christianity is also a return to reformational Christianity. Since it is in understanding the early church that evangelical Christians are most deficient, we will draw mainly from the early church fathers in this work.
– Robert E. Webber in Common Roots
3 thoughts on “Through Modern Eyes”
Let the post-Protestant era begin!
…interesting. I thought “Hebrew roots” was that this was… trying to understand the Faith of Yeshua messiah, before the erosion/separation took place, to understand what the Faith actually “looked” like.
In my understanding (as limited as that may be), by the time the “church fathers” began recording, we are 150 to 3 hundred years into the distinct, us v them? …so boiling it down, my goal is to emulate the apostalic believers in Yeshua Messiah did/believed. …still trying to work it out 🙂
A lot of recent research is indicating there may not have been as much separation as we once thought. The Didache, for example, is a markedly Jewish Christian document. Also, we have writings from as early as 115, perhaps only 10 years after the death of the Apostle John.
Similarly, much like the Talmud which wasn’t compiled until the 4th century, there is much from previous generations that can be unearthed. We have documents like the Apostolic Constitutions written no later than 235 AD that are compilations of material from much earlier, some credited to the Apostles themselves.
So if our goal is to emulate the apostolic believers (which I would generally agree with–things continued to change, so we must take that into account) we must heed the materials of the Early Church Fathers. However, just like any historical material it must be sifted, eat the fish and spit out the bones…there will always be bones, after all, so long as pre-glorified humans are involved.