No Better Words by Patrick Henry Reardon

No Better Words

Strictly speaking, “ecumenical” and “orthodox” are properties peculiar to Christ’s one, true Church, so their employment to describe a journal of discussion is admittedly unusual and solicits comment.

Touchstone was begun by a very serious group of independent evangelical Protestants who “grieved for the affliction of Joseph.” Their hearts were pricked by two points in particular: their own canonical separation from other Christians and the alarming disintegration of doctrine among American Christians generally. The first point urged an attention to ecumenism, while the second prompted a solicitude for orthodoxy. As “A Journal of Ecumenical Orthodoxy,” the new publication would address both concerns.

During the ensuing years, nearly all of the original people in the Touchstone enterprise have joined either the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches. Indeed, the journal has since been obliged to take special care that the evangelical Protestant perspective would still be represented in its pages. So, with the Touchstone founders finally pursuing different ecclesiological paths, while new people were joining the enterprise with distinctive ideas of their own, the result has been somewhat less agreement among us about the meaning of “ecumenical orthodoxy” than there was when we started.

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).

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