Episode 5: Mission According to the Church Fathers
You’re not going to want to miss this one. In fact, after listening to our first conversation with Fr. Jonathan Warren, you’ll probably be chomping at the bit for more. We are!
The impetus for today’s conversation was an earlier discussion that Shawn and Jonathan had while at 35 for 35 together. While talking about how the Church relates to the world, the conversation led to the valuable voice the Church Fathers have for us.
Jonathan begins today’s conversation by helping us understand what we mean when we say, “Church Fathers.” He explains that it is a metaphorical term and those that fall under it are determined by four delineating criteria: antiquity, holiness, orthodoxy, and ecclesiastical approval.
The reason we care about what they have to say is that they help to clarify our mission as the church. Part of that is because they viewed the world through a different set of assumptions which causes us to challenge our current worldview. C.S. Lewis addresses this in his famous introduction to Athanasius’s, On the Incarnation.
This then, leads to what Jonathan refers to as a profound need to recover the apostolicity of the Bible. He explains that we must use resources from the Church Fathers to better our own approach to Christian formation. In essence, it is a way of consistently re-interfacing the Church with its current context.
Listen in to hear how the rest of the conversation continued, including multiple resources noted for theological and practical application:
- The Roots of Christian Mysticism by Olivier Clement
- Augustine’s Confessions
- The Spirit of Early Christian Thought by Robert Louis Wilken
- Ancient Christian Commentary series
- Hans Urs von Balthasar
- Tish Warren’s new book, Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Warren (Jonathan’s wife!)
The Always Forward Podcast, hosted by Canon Dan Alger, Canon for Church Planting for the Anglican Church in North America, and Father Shawn McCain, serial church planter and leader of the I-35 Initiative, aims to catalyze conversations about missiology and sacramentology and how they come together within our Anglican context.