A Promising Dialogue
Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism: Contemporary Issues in Global Perspective edited by Bradley Nassif and Tim Grass
This collection of essays takes the dialogue between Orthodox and Evangelical theology to a new level. Bradley Nassif and Tim Grass have edited a volume of contributions of first-rate scholarship that reflect the diversity of both theological traditions. The included pieces address both Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy as well as a variety of different strands of Evangelicalism. The book lives up to its "global" subtitle by bringing voices from Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North America, Asia, and other regions into conversation on matters that reflect the theological and spiritual depth of both the Orthodox and Evangelical traditions. The breadth and substance of the volume will challenge the assumptions of readers inclined to view either community of discourse as embodying an overly narrow range of perspectives and concerns.
Since Evangelicalism is a product of the Protestant Reformation, with no direct historical link to Orthodoxy, some readers may be surprised at how fruitful the seventeen chapters of the book prove to be for Catholics, mainline Protestants, and others open to engaging theological topics that strike at the heart of Christian belief and practice. There is an engaging freshness, for example, in reading the argument of a Russian Evangelical for the "Christus Victor" theory of the Atonement over that of penal substitution, which is more traditionally associated with Protestant theology. A piece by a Taiwanese scholar argues that the Orthodox Dumitru Stăniloae's influence on the Protestant Jürgen Moltmann's social trinitarian anthropology provides a basis for a view of relational selfhood that avoids certain difficulties raised by Confucian assumptions that have informed some varieties of Chinese Evangelicalism. Another essay analyzes the reception of the teachings of Symeon the New Theologian by Pentecostal and Charismatic scholars, with particular attention to his view of asceticism.
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Philip LeMasters is Professor of Religion at McMurry University and pastor of Saint Luke Antiochian Orthodox Church in Abilene, Texas. He holds a Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics from Duke University and studies Orthodox moral theology and social ethics.
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