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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Will the 21st Be the Orthodox Century? by Bradley Nassif

He wrote this a few months before I was chrismated in April 2007


The link:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/december/30.40.html


Quote:
"Jaroslav Pelikan, the late professor of history
at Yale University, wrote of the Christian tradition on a scale that no one else
attempted in the 20th century. Then after nearly a lifetime of studying the
history of doctrine, Pelikan, a lifelong Lutheran, was received into the
Orthodox Church, just a few years before he died last May at age 82.

Pelikan is just one of a growing number of people who are joining the
Eastern Orthodox Church. It makes me wonder if the 21st century will be the
century of the Orthodox. Will there be a rebirth of the church's theological
vision, if not its numerical growth? I'm not a prophet, nor do I want to
evangelize evangelicals or reinvent Orthodox identity. But I would like to (a)
offer a theological explanation for why I believe more and more Christians,
especially evangelicals, may well be attracted to Orthodoxy in the 21st century,
and (b) explain why more and more Orthodox need to become more evangelical.

I haven't merely thought about Orthodox and evangelical compatibility;
for most of my life, I have lived it. I'm a Lebanese American who grew up in the
Orthodox Church of Antioch and was transformed by Christ during my high school
days in Wichita, Kansas, through the leading of evangelical friends. I did my
doctoral studies under the late Orthodox theologian Fr. John Meyendorff. A
portion of my scholarship over the past two decades has been devoted to
introducing the Orthodox tradition to evangelical students and faculty in North
America. I've also pioneered dialogues between Orthodox believers and
evangelicals, and I have spoken on the subject at World Council of Churches
meetings in Egypt and Germany.

Thus, I bring an intellectual and
experiential knowledge of both communities, which is probably why I have a
love/hate relationship with them. I'm not fully at peace with either one.
Although I'm absolutely committed to the theological truth of the Orthodox
church, I'm equally persuaded that we have not made that truth meaningful or
accessible to our own parishioners or to those who peer inside our windows. And
because of my Orthodoxy, I'm also committed to the evangelical faith.

The Rebirth of Orthodoxy

Scholars define the Great Tradition as
the theological consensus of the first 500 to 1,000 years of Christian history
(there is some disagreement on exact dates). This consensus encompasses the
church's universally agreed upon creeds, councils, fathers, worship, and
spirituality. Some key teachings and figures include the Nicene Creed, the
Chalcedonian Definition, the works of Athanasius, the Cappadocian Fathers (Basil
the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa), the spiritual writings
of monks like Anthony of Egypt, and certain biblical commentaries and pastoral
works."


To read the rest please visit http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/december/30.40.html






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