Endorsements

“As the Evangelical church in America muddles its way into the 21st century—aimless, adrift, and uncertain about its identity—Michael Svigel wisely taps us on the shoulder and reminds us, ‘Look to the past.’ His advice couldn’t be more astute. Now more than ever, the church needs to find its way forward by locating its roots in RetroChristianity.”

Bryan Litfin, Professor of Theology, Moody Bible Institute

 

“Many evangelicals are recovering their pre-Reformation roots in the early apostolic church and patristic studies. Michael J. Svigel has shown how pastors and churches can begin to implement this recovery and how to think about it. This is a wise and helpful book that will be exceptionally valuable to those who engage in this revitalization.”

Thomas C. Oden, Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology and Ethics, Drew University / General Editor, The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

 

RetroChristianity . . . is at the same time a book on the doctrine of the Church, a study in Church History, and a contemporary analysis and critique of modern Evangelicalism. Svigel begins by analyzing why so many Evangelicals have wandered away from their nests and suggests that one of the main reasons is the lack of continuity with historic Christianity. He advocates a renewed ecclesiology that not only incorporates biblical teaching but gives due precedence to ‘what has been believed everywhere, at all times, by all believers.’ Svigel ultimately challenges Evangelicals to rethink how they understand the Church and return to a more authentic expression of the Faith, one that is rooted in the great doctrines and traditions of the Church and yet continues to hold to the core tenets of Evangelicalism. Svigel’s book succeeds in this and will challenge your thinking! I am requiring it for my Master’s students studying ecclesiology, but the book would also be very helpful for pastors, church leaders and educated laymen to help reformulate and recast their vision for the local church.

David C. Hard, Professor, School of Bible and Ministry, Cairn University

 

“I absorb Dr. Svigel’s work only to slow down and ask brutal questions about the ministry to which I apply myself, whether or not we are the faithful expression of a rich ecclesial history, or just one more autonomous assembly aroused by size and success and hungrily searching for the comfortable pathway. His is an unsettling read, but timely and, frankly, necessary.”

Matthew R. St. John, Teaching Pastor, Bethel Church, Fargo, ND

 

RetroChristianity is exactly what the Evangelical church needs today. We often lament the issues of shallowness and novelty about the church, but rarely to we offer solid biblical answers beyond these complaints. This book makes the case that we need to get over our ‘chronological snobbery’ by rediscovery of our roots. It is winsome and incredibly fun to read. I can think of at least ten close friends who need this work right now to overcome their current state of disillusionment with the Evangelical church. Michael does not complain about Evangelicalism as a teenage complains about their parents after they have run away. He loves Evangelicalism, is committed to it, and seeks to offer hope from within. I love this book.”

C. Michael Patton, President, Credo House Ministries, Edmond, OK

 

“Too often, churches abandon all aspects of tradition in favor of a stripped-down, watered-down worship experience that eventually leaves us let-down and wishing for something…anything… that connects us to a story bigger than ourselves and our little slice of history. In RetroChristianity, Svigel has argued well for redeeming and rediscovering an historical and substantive Christianity that can and will stand the test of time, while being nimble enough to incarnate Christ to the culture around us. This book is a well-researched and well written call to engage with historical Christianity both personally and corporately.”

Philip Taylor, Executive Pastor, Terra Nova Church, Troy, NY / Acts 29 Network Northeast Regional Coordinator

 

“Reading Michael Svigel’s RetroChristianity is like a visit to your physician for an annual exam. It’s uncomfortable. It’s embarrassing. It’s necessary. And, if you follow his instructions, it’s healing. His diagnosis of contemporary Evangelicalism is tough to swallow. But, if we take our medicine prescribed by Dr. Svigel, Evangelicalism can be revived.”

D. Jeffrey Bingham, Department Chair and Professor of Theological Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

 

“When story is removed from history, it may be factual—but it’s really boring. RetroChristianity combines the history of evangelicalism with the pen of an engaging writer. The result is a much-needed and levelheaded analysis of the snags in the evangelical church as well as some practical solutions to get us back to our forgotten faith. If I want to read history with story in it—history that makes me laugh as well as think—I want to read Svigel.”

Wayne Stiles, Executive Vice President of Insight for Living

 

“Rarely does one find a book so rich in content communicated so well. RetroChristianity is anything but retrenchment. Instead Michael Svigel advances an agenda to move the church forward without losing the moorings of sound theology grounded in a historical biblical conviction. His words says it best, ‘It’s not rewinding to a more favorable era, but reclaiming the forgotten faith for the future.’ This is a most worthy read!”  

Mark L. Bailey, President, Dallas Theological Seminary

 

“Michael Svigel’s fun and rich book helps us rediscover our vibrant Christian heritage even as he steers us clear of many common evangelical pitfalls. Full of expertly explained church history, cultural connections, and more clever phrasing than there were hairs in Athanasius’s beard, RetroChristianity is an excellent guide for those who justly wish to allow the story and theology of God’s historic church to breathe fresh life into modern faith.”

Owen Strachan, Assistant Professor of Christian Theology and Church History, Boyce College

 

“Helpful volumes on biblical ecclesiology are rare. Those that case their vision beyond the modern and pragmatic are even more rare. This is a volume on ecclesiology which brings light from the New Testament and the early church. However it is not a volume looking backwards. It shines light on today’s church in a way that is desperately needed. In an era of man-centeredness, unserious about the church and discipleship, I predict its light will send many bugs scurrying for some rock to hide under. RetroChristianity teaches biblical ecclesiology.”

Jeffery J. VanGoethem, Senior Pastor, Scofield Memorial Church (Dallas, TX), author of Living Together: A Guide to Counseling Unmarried Couples

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