Friday, December 25, 2015

D.H. Williams: Retrieving the Tradition and Renewing Evangelicalism: A Primer for Suspicious Protestants

Just purchased this from the Amazon Store:

As readers of this blog will have guessed, I am growing increasingly disenchanted with modern evangelicalism (actually I have been this way for some time) and am trying to figure out “where to go from here.” I am not burned out on God, I am burned out on how modern evangelicalism is practiced by so many that I see: completely devoid of any engagement with the world on its terms. We don't try to help people understand our way of life or viewpoints, we just take potshots at modern science and wage a “war on culture.” Further, because the modern evangelical movement is so divorced from its roots, we can't tell people why we believe what we do. We have thousands of years of some of the best thinkers of all time on our side and we don't even know who they are or what they wrote.

In some senses, I am no different, because I have immersed myself so heavily in the science end of things. Consequently,I know why the science arguments put forth by many modern evangelicals are junk. The problem is that, because they don't want to engage the people promoting mainline, established science, the junk science keeps being recycled. The Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate was not really a debate and, in hindsight, little of value came out of it.

The one thing I have not done is construct a concrete, concise understanding of why I do believe what I do. Hopefully, this book, along with prayer, will help me clarify my thoughts


  1. Hi Jim, I would love to comment about your purchase, but I don't see the picture of a book that you obviously intended to include after the first sentence. As I am reading it now, your post has only whitespace between "Amazon store:" and "As readers of this blog."

  2. I read a few of Williams books back in 2006. It was at the beginning of the exciting process of discovering Tradition. A couple of other books began to reveal, however, that evangelicals cold not help but do what the Reformers also did with the tradition, pick and choose from it based on whether it agrees with their own reading of the Bible, which inevitably perpetuates the incessant division we already see.
    The ancient Conciliar church didn't operate this way and schism is never an option available to them.
    Why appeal to Chalcedonian Christology yet reject most of the other beliefs and practices? My journey came down to questions of authority, and taking myself out of the place of determining what the church looks like based on my interpretation of scripture, despite sprinkling on a few things of the Tradition that I agreed with.
    Don't limit your investigation to western church writers, whether ancient or recent. Remember, the Reformers operated under the same Augustinian paradigm as Rome. Augustine/Anselm/Aquinas is a different trajectory altogether from the eastern father's.