Evangelical Ad Fontes

Steven and Peter over at The Calvinist International have begun a highly worthwhile project of evangelical resourcement, which I think any of our evangelical readers (at least) should be highly interested in. In their introduction to the project, they say:

The two 20th century men TCI regards as specially exemplary, CS Lewis and Francis Schaeffer, both pointed their readers ad fontes, toward the great sources; and not “back” to these, but rather, “up into” them; they both conceived engagement with the works of great Christian teachers as an elevation, not a retrogression. Schaeffer especially tried to correct certain tendencies prevalent among modern evangelicals- individualism, parochialism, ignorance of history- and called his readers to realize their status as heirs of a great tradition.

Unfortunately, many of those who heard that call often didn’t bother to correct that ignorance of history, which Schaeffer himself had diagnosed, before they did so; then, confusing the evangelical faith as such with the meager offerings of much modern evangelicalism, they often left the evangelical faith altogether, thinking that the only fontes deep enough to drink from were ancient and medieval ones, and consequently, any supposedly direct continuations of those- which “continuations” in fact, though, were very often simply unreformed appropriations of earlier patrimony.

But Schaeffer and Lewis both knew better. The Reformation tradition produced writers, deeply rooted in the truths of the ancient and medieval Christendom, who excelled in and advanced all branches of learning, both sacred and mundane; and helped build the world we live in today- for better, but sometimes for the worse too. But, even with respect to the flaws of the Reformation traditions, one has to understand them first in order to judge them and their effect on us now. Part of what we wish to do here is to offer a comprehensive view of the Reformation traditions especially, so that readers who do take the urgings of Lewis and Schaeffer seriously can do so in an informed manner.