the weblog of Alan Knox

Learning with the Fathers

Posted by on Jan 18, 2010 in blog links, church history, discipleship | 1 comment

I like this quote that Scot McKnight includes in his post called “Lengthening our Memory 1“:

My evangelical roots, first planted during the Jesus Movement of the late sixties and early seventies, have been nourished by the fathers’ perspectives. The Jesus Movement, for instance, had no ecclesiology. In many ways, Jesus freaks like me, though we loved Jesus himself, were highly suspicious of the church and authority in general, whether institutional or individual.

I have learned from the fathers that the church is much broader and deeper than I had ever imagined. My individualistic, evangelical bent has been tempered by a historical, theological and spiritual lengthening of memory. … This is not to say that I always find myself in agreement with the fathers. We still have our disagreements, but our quarrels now resemble family squabbles and in-house arguments.

My roots are not in the Jesus movement, but I also appreciate the writings of the church fathers. Like Chris Hall (the author of the quote), I do not always agree with the fathers, but I love to read how they dealt with the issues of their day and in their context.

One Comment

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  1. 1-18-2010

    My question is why we continue to persist in referring to them as “fathers” (and often with a capital “F”). We have but one Father, according to Jesus, and are not supposed to refer to anyone else as “father”, nor allow ourselves to be called such.

    Having made that incredibly nitpicky point, I will say that I, too, have gained a lot from writings by these early leaders. 🙂