(Because of all the craziness in packing and moving, this comes a few days late.) My first book, The Mercersburg Theology and the Quest for Reformed Catholicity, is now out, and ready to buy . It has received remarkably positive reviews from Mercersburg scholars and Reformed theologians, and I hope will be a valuable contribution to the growing discussion on Mercersburg, and on the need for a Reformed catholicity.
Here's an excerpt from the introduction:
Protestantism in America today is in trouble; or rather, it might be more accurate to say, protestantisms in America are in trouble. Liberal, Evangelical, Reformed, Charismatic—as we look around, it is apparent that the Protestant Church has lost a clear sense of its own identity. Denominations continue to proliferate, and many churches, too independent even to feel at home in one of these new micro-denominations, choose to act as their own “non-denominational” body. Even Reformed Presbyterians, with a supposedly “higher ecclesiology,” have so thoroughly lost sight of the deeper issues of the Church that they are reduced to wrangling with their Baptist brethren over the superiority of their presbyterial form of polity (which they then proceed to demonstrate eloquently by leaving it every few years and setting up a new one with “tighter doctrinal standards”). An increasing number of exasperated and disillusioned Protestants, in the search for something at least vaguely resembling the mystical Body of Christ, have turned to Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy.
This unhappy turn of events is not as new as it may seem. More than 150 years ago, it was foreseen and prophesied by the great Reformed theologian John Williamson Nevin. In his day, for the most part, the Reformed churches of America still had enough lingering sense of the high majesty and history of the Church that they remained outwardly the stalwart heirs of the Reformation that they claimed to be. But Nevin knew that the reigning Reformed scholasticism did not possess the theological resources to cope with the swelling tide of sectarian subjectivism and arid rationalism, the twin daughters of the Enlightenment which threatened to overwhelm American Christianity. He saw that Princeton Seminary’s great war against revivalism was no more than a little scrap between consistent individualism and schizophrenic individualism. On his reading of the American religious climate, the only solution to the woes coming upon American Christianity was a return to the historical Reformational faith in the visible Church as the true Body of Christ, and an embrace of the whole of that Body’s history and members, including Catholicism. And, so far as he could tell, there was no one left in the American Reformed corridors of power who would still stand for such a faith, or venture such an embrace.