Editor’s Note

We should always look to drink deeply from the rich wells of Christian tradition and Thomas C. Oden helps us to do exactly that. Oden has committed much of his work to lifting up the voice of the Church Fathers. John Wesley, who is the founder of Oden's own Methodist tradition, proclaimed, "The Fathers are the most authentic commentators on Scripture, for they were nearest the fountain and were eminently endued with that Spirit by whom all Scripture was given." Wesley took with him the wisdom of patristics to the great evangelical revival in 18th century England.

By treading back along the ancient path, Oden has made that path fresh and new for many followers of the Good News. As you will see in the interview, patristic sources offer wisdom and guidance to the kind of issues and problems we face today. Their voice is never a dated voice. We are confident Oden's words will be a blessing to you.

Hunter Baker, the 2011 Novak Award recipient, has written a well-reasoned article on social leveling, socialism, and secularism. Baker explains why utopian schemes or social leveling are dangerous to religious believers and warns us to "oppose it as it returns with ever softer and friendlier faces."

Rev. Johannes L. Jacobse has contributed a review of Defending Constantine by Peter J. Leithart. Constantine remains a controversial figure in the Church and Leithart works to challenge the modern and pacifist critiques of the early Christian leader. In his review, Jacobse especially praises Leithart's historical scholarship in examining "how pagan culture was, in the end, baptized."

The parable of the rich young ruler is a notable Gospel text and it is commonly cited because it's an important one about wealth, discipleship, and obedience. John Kelly, a financial advisor, offers a deeper analysis of the parable within the Jewish law and the ways in which wealth was acquired under the Roman system and how that is different from the creation of wealth in today's society.

The "In the Liberal Tradition" figure for this issue is Whittaker Chambers. Chambers has been forgotten by too many conservatives and proponents of liberty. When he is referenced now, it is often within the context of being a Cold War footnote because of his dramatic testimony against the communist spy Alger Hiss in 1948. But because he was an intellectual of the highest degree, a man of faith, and a man who raised high the banner of truth, Chambers is a hero for any age.