The number of studies that explore the theological orgins of modernity (and postmodernity) seem to be growing. From Michael Gillespie's Theological Origins of Modernity and Bruce Holsinger's Premodern Condition to Charles Taylor's magisterial work, The Age of Secularism, Cyril O'Regan's studies on gnostic geneologies, and the work of the Anglo theologians of Radical Orthodoxy.
This kind of work has found a delighted audience among Protestant scholars and evangelical culture makers who rightly chide the secular modernists for drafting off the efforts of the Judeo Christian tradition in general and medieval Christian theology in particular without acknowledging or realizing it.
Yet Protestant and evangelical scholars, especially those shaped by the Schleiermacher-Barth theological axis, take heed. What's good for the goose is also good for the gander. Protestants and evangelicals tend to practice the same kind of convenient historical forgetfulness when it comes to the Christian tradition they so selectively embrace. They often take for granted the formative theological leg work done on the Trinity and Christology during the fourth and eighth centuries, choosing rather to believe that it's simply the product of the "clear teaching of the Bible" and the right application of Sola Sciptura. The irony is that they take for granted this hard theological leg work even while they criticize the theologians responsible for it. (Yet this is perhaps not so surprising given the fact that Protestantism and evangelicalism, like secularism, are children of modernity.)
This is most egregious with the seventh ecumenical council, Nicaea II, which mandated the veneration of the icon as the visual means to preserve Christ's incarnation. The Council declared that Christ can (must) be circumscribed in paint because he was circumscribed in the flesh. Nicaea II was not about aesthetics or "art in the Church." It was about Christology. Yet many Protestants and evangelicals reject the insights of Nicaea II precisely because of a shallow view of Solus Christus.
Protestants and evangelical thinkers and culture makers must acknowledge the common Christian heritage of those five centuries that account for the heart of the theological tradition, a heart that continues to pump blood through the Christian body, especially through those appendages of the Reformation traditions. Moreover, and more importantly for this writer, it is also the same heart that pumps blood throughout the body of Western thought and cultural practice.