Ressourcement

There is a supposition among some that to be truly Reformed means that we repristinate and replicate the absolute history of the Reformed yesteryear. And often proponents of this belief use this as their cipher to critique what Myk Habets and I, in particular, are seeking to do with what we (stolen from T. F. Torrance) have labeled Evangelical Calvinism. But what all of these folk fail to realize, unlike Karl Barth, is that what it means to be Reformed (and even methodologically scholastic) is to ‘always be Reforming’ in subordination to the dictates of Scripture, and its reality Jesus Christ. Evangelical Calvinism is a resourcement movement, and mood of the Reformed Christian faith. We engage in theology of retrieval, and seek to constructively engage with the past in order to organically move forward into the future of what God has for us in Christ (which is Christ). If we are ‘growing’ (as Peter makes clear) in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and doing so until we all attain to the unity of the faith (as Paul makes clear in Ephesians 4); and if eternal life and our participation in that through the mediatorial humanity of Christ is indeed what entails ‘eternal life’, then to repristinate and absolutize one period of the Christian past will never do. Christian reading practices, and learning practices presuppose a movement towards and from someOne; Jesus Christ. And so becoming static in our Christian walk and theological endeavor just is not Christian. If God is Triune, lively, and dynamic; then our mode of liveliness as we participate from His kind of life in Christ will look similar. It is my contention as an Evangelical Calvinist then, that to be properly or genuinely Christian in theological mode finds its best corollary in theologies of retrieval, resourcement, and constructive engagement with the Christian heritage. I have written more about our method and mode of theological engagement in the post below:

Are Evangelical Calvinists more ‘scholastic’ than the Scholastics of Today?

2 comments

  1. As a connoisseur of transcontinental train rides, Bobby, I have long enjoyed the Evangelical Calvinist Railroad’s eastward stretch toward stations not often visited by Reformed passengers. You may be likewise intrigued to see Fr Aidan Kimel at the Eclectic & Orthodox Railroad laying track that winds westward through the hills toward your own lengthening rails. An Orthodox priest today, Fr Kimel began ministry as an Episcopalian with an unusual grasp of confessional Lutheranism. Thus among Orthodox thinkers, he writes with a rare grasp of smart Protestant theology and a belief that Orthodox too should be interested in some findings of the Reformation. As a sample, consider the three lectures at the link in which he digs out a railbed from the universalism of St Isaac of Nineveh to the preaching of the gospel. The convergence of EC and EO may not be union, but it could be pacific.

    https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/st-isaac-the-syrian-and-apokatastasis/

    https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/the-proclamatory-rule-of-the-gospel/

    https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/preaching-the-kingdom/

    Like

  2. Bowman,

    I have been “friends” with Fr Al Kimel for years now. Yes, he has an excellent blog. He also has an edited book that TF Torrance contributed to, years ago now. He is a cool dude, that Fr Alvin Kimel is 🙂 !

    Like

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