Tag Archives: Evangelicalism

The Evangelical Theology of the Orthodox Church

by Bradley Nassif

Book cover

The late Fr. John Meyendorff, whose name graces the Orthodox Christian Studies Center, emphasized the importance of dialogue with Protestant Evangelicals. He wrote, “…contacts with ‘Evangelicals’ are minimal, the primary reason being mutual ignorance and suspicion…. Such obstacles can and should be overcome within American society… If mutual ignorance still persists, it is due to a continuous lack of dialogue.”[1] The Weslyan scholar, William Abraham, likewise observed: “Sorting out the relationship between Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism can be a spiritual and intellectual nightmare. Often it looks like both sides have crashed at the red light and neither wants to leave the scene of the accident.”[2]

Hence the title of my recent book, The Evangelical Theology of the Orthodox Church with a foreword by Fr Andrew Louth. “The goal of this book is to nurture in [Orthodox] readers a faithful commitment to making the gospel clear and central in local Orthodox communities, and to articulate that vision in a way that people both inside and outside the Orthodox Church can easily understand. The essays are the result of over fifty years of international experience in both Orthodox and Evangelical communities across America, Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East” (13). The desired outcomes are (a) to stimulate Orthodox readers (scholars included) to a much greater recognition of the need to emphasize the gospel as the core message of Christianity, and (b) to explore how a maximalist vision of the Church’s gospel compares and contrasts with Protestant Evangelicalism, and the difference that vision makes to the mission of God in the world today.

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American Evangelicals, Theological Fantasy, and the Jerusalem Embassy

by David P. Gushee

The uncritical US evangelical embrace of the Trump US embassy move, as well as of the hard-line Netanyahu government in Israel, has important but odd theological roots.

America’s most visibly pro-Israel evangelicals, fundamentalists, and dispensationalists act as they do, in large part, because for them what the modern State of Israel does matters far less than the fact that a modern State of Israel is. Their interest in Israel is theological, even mythological, rather than ethical or this-worldly political.  Their unwavering defense of Trump’s Jerusalem policy and his partnership with Netanyahu is rooted not just in their loyalty to Trump but also in their highly questionable eschatological scenarios, in which a return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland is viewed as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy and a decisive event in the end-times before Jesus returns. Continue Reading…