This innovative work urges the reappropriation of the patristic roots of the Christian faith by Protestants who remain today largely suspicious of church history and the relationship between Scripture and tradition.
According to Daniel Williams, if Evangelical and Free Church communions are to halt their slide into a historicalism, spiritual subjectivism, and accommodation to Western cultural influences, they must reaffirm Christianity's truly "catholic" tradition, based on the apostolic sources.
Williams's work seeks to clear the ground for this to take place, demonstrating that the patristic church cannot be divided from an orthodox understanding of the Bible and that Scripture and tradition are historically related. He also shows that if contemporary evangelicalism is to be doctrinally orthodox and exegetically faithful to the apostolic teaching, it cannot appeal to the Bible alone or to the personal enabling of the Holy Spirit, however central these are, but it must also reclaim the interpretive tradition of the early church.
Based on solid historical and theological scholarship, this volume shows that embracing the catholic roots of the faith does not lead to the loss of the distinctiveness of Protestants but, in fact, is essential today for preserving the traditional Christian vision of the world.