I’m Not the Only One With Orthodox Envy
Wheaton College, an exceptional school that deserves its reputation as “the Harvard of Evangelicalism” has started a Center for Early Christian Studies which will offer several areas of study focusing on the first five-hundred years of Christianity. Obviously, this is an interesting development that has caught more than a few glances from Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholic thinkers, especially in light of the firing of Joshua Hochschild whose conversion to Catholicism caused complications while he was teaching at Wheaton.
As someone who converted to Catholicism from an Evangelical-Pentecostal background largely through the writings of the Fathers, I always enjoy seeing others of my former home reading the Early Fathers and offering their analysis. Obviously it presents challenges, but if the Faith is true then they should be welcomed. All the same, I have often believed that real ecumenicism needs to go back to the Early Church and find the common ground to produce conversation that moves beyond the strange “let’s be nice” nonsense that comes out of most ecumenical conversations. I raise my glass to Wheaton–though it is off campus as it is a dry campus–and hope the school enjoys its new endeavor.
UPDATE: I completely forgot that Chris Armstrong, a fun and informative blogger and sometimes editor at Christianity today has blogged on this issue a bit too. This is what happens when your blogging is as rare as an ecumenical council (Church-nerd joke text/).