Monday, November 8, 2010


As an evangelical that once became an Eastern Orthodox catechumen (though in the Antiochian wing), this little excerpt is all too familiar yet also a bit comforting.

"There is something of a difference between British and North American evangelicalism. As Mark Noll made clear, evangelicalism, particularly in England, has tended to be a trend inside the mainline denominations, particularly, of course, the Church of England. We find similar patterns in Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and other parts of Europe, and this gives a significantly different aspect to European evangelicalism. There is a strong sense of a family history, a sense that evangelicalism did not begin this century or last century, but that is goes back to the evangelical revivals of the eighteenth century, to the European Reformation of the sixteenth century, and even beyond that to the patristic heritage itself. There is a sense of belong, of being rooted in history, of doing what James Packer calls "great-tradition Christianity." In North America, many evangelical choose to become Greek Orthodox, feeling there is a strong sense of history in that tradition that is lacking in evangelicalism. In European evangelicalism, because of its strong sense of being rooted in history, that trend simply isn't present to anything like the same extent." - Alister McGrath, "Trinitarian Theology" in Where Shall my Wander'ng Soul Begin?, 51.

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