Alumnus publishes article in Christianity Today

Author: 
Dr. Bradley Nassif

Alumnus Bradley Nassif (Master of Divinity, 1985) has a distinctive calling: he’s peacemaker, educator, and liaison between Orthodox Christians and Evangelical Christians. He also has a distinctive position: he’s the only Orthodox professor of Bible and theology working full time at an Evangelical institution of higher education, that is, North Park University in Chicago. Additionally, he has a distinctive background: born and raised in the Orthodox Church, Lebanese ethnically but a native U.S. citizen, he experienced an enlivening of his ancestral faith within the context of the Evangelical community.

Alumnus Dr. Bradley Nassif (photo: North Park University archives)Alumnus Dr. Bradley Nassif (photo: North Park University archives)The New Republic has described Dr. Nassif as “the leading academic expert on Eastern Orthodox and Evangelical dialogue.” He has been a keynote speaker for both the World Council of Church’s Orthodox-Evangelical dialogue and the international Lausanne-Orthodox Initiative. He has published numerous articles and served on the editorial board of the five-volume Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, which was edited by George Thomas Kurian and Mark Lamport, and contains a foreword written by Martin Marty (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). Moreover, he serves as a consultant and writer on Orthodox subjects for Christianity Today (CT) magazine, and he has also served as an Orthodox consultant for The New York Times, with his comments being published in that newspaper. As well, annually, he administers a grant from the John C. Kulis Foundation, titled, “Engaging Orthodoxy,” which is designed to strengthen Orthodox witness in America.

Most recently Dr. Nassif published an article in the December 2017 issue of CT, in recognition of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation this year. Titled, “The Reformation Viewed from the East,” the article assesses Martin Luther’s famous doctrine of sola fide (=faith alone), and encourages a re-examination of the doctrine by both Orthodox and Evangelicals “with more informed negotiations free from awkward encounters and inhospitable historic conditions.” In the article, Dr. Nassif finds a possible touchstone of unity between the Orthodox and Evangelicals in the writings of Mark the Ascetic (c. 430–535), in particular in a treatise titled, “On Those Who Think They Are Made Righteous by Works.” (Read the full CT article here.)

Dr. Nassif's most recent book is a co-edited volume on The Philokalia: A Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality, foreword by Kallistos Ware (Oxford University Press). He was also the editor of New Perspectives on Historical Theology: Essays in Memory of John Meyendorff, foreword by Henry Chadwick (Eerdmans); and the author of Bringing Jesus to the Desert, a popular introduction to the Desert Fathers (Zondervan).  

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Dr. Nassif and his wife, Barbara, are parents to their daughter, Melanie, who is studying theology at Union University (TN).  Brad and Melanie are chanters and, with Barb, sing in the choir at Holy Transfiguration Antiochian Orthodox Church in Warrenville, IL.

St. Vladimir’s Seminary thanks Christianity Today for its permission to post Dr. Nassif’s article, “The Reformation Viewed from the East,” on svots.edu.