Great Traditions

Great Traditions April 19, 2005

Issue #9: Great Traditions

I like the Emergent focus on the Great Traditions, but robbing and stealing from them without taking into consideration contexts is no more than ornament. You can’t have Icons if you don’t have a theology of nature and revelation the way the Eastern Orthodox do; and you can’t have candles without a view of prayer that the Catholics do; I could go on and on. So, read the Great Traditions and learn from them, but simplistic borrowings are not genuine participations in those Traditions. Please read the great orthodox debates and you will see what I mean here. The Cappadocian fathers are worth anchoring oneself deeply into, but a brief visit with a souvenir won’t do.

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  • I guess, in a way, you could say that this is akin to taking verses out of context?I am concerned about the window dressing approach some people are taking while calling themselves “emergent”. The danger we face is that this will turn into just another temporary fad in ministry, while the real issues of the Gospel in a postmodern society go untouched.