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Rod and Real

Rod Bennett’s always onto something big, so you should be reading Tremendous Trifles, his blog, every day. And if you haven’t read his book on the early Fathers, Four Witnesses, you should. If you have read it, you should read it again. The book’s remarkable — a novelistic treatment, almost cinematic in the way it unfolds the lives of Clement, Ignatius, Justin, and Irenaeus. Yet it’s always utterly faithful to the historical record. Rod uses the words of the Fathers themselves rather than imagined dialogue. Today Rod posted some moving thoughts on the Fathers’ role in Christian unity. Here’s a snippet that you can take to your prayer:

… the Church Fathers are going to save Christianity one more time in the years to come. Already Evangelical journals like Christianity Today have started directing their readers to the Fathers on a regular basis and IVP’s Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is finding its way into Protestant parsonages everywhere. Nothing — I repeat nothing — could possibly do more to rebuild the lost unity of Christendom than for all Christians everywhere to start rediscovering (and putting into practice) the towering primitive oneness of early Christian doctrine preserved in the pages of the Fathers!

2 thoughts on “Rod and Real

  1. Unfortunately, one finds a growing number of Protestants using the Fathers as fast and loose as they do the bible; you know, proof-texting without due regard to context, the authors overall theology, and the fact that protestantism and some of its theological concerns were not even on the father’s radar screen.

  2. That may be true in some places, but I haven’t seen much of it in the comments or emails of Protestants who visit this blog. And, to be fair, Catholic apologists can also fall into the proof-texting trap. Fr. Alexander Schmemann complained that the modern patristic revival was too often a return to patristic texts and not a return to “the mind of the Fathers.” That’s the thing we’re after. Thanks for the comment!

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