By G. R. Evans
I simply comprehensive this useful little ebook and located it very illuminating. It provides a background of the way dissent got here to be outlined as "heresy", which have been the real ones from the time of Saint Augustine and after, and why it's tricky to evangelise the "social gospel" even this present day. i need to learn the various different books during this sequence.
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Additional resources for A Brief History of Heresy (Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion)
The twentieth century saw fundamental challenges from academic theologians, which continue into the twentyfirst. Mid-twentieth-century ‘Process’ theology explored the idea that God is not the changeless being of the early Christian world but a dynamic force, himself able to alter. Other theologians have interpreted the death of Christ as a message to the world that God himself is vulnerable. Others still have spoken of the ‘death of God’ and the ‘post-Christian world’. Where missionaries in the nineteenth century had taken a ready-made faith and with it a good deal of the culture of the West and imposed them upon the communities of new Christians they won to the faith, twentieth-century missionaries became more sensitive to the cultures of others.
Heresy involves choice, and perseverance in an opinion when the Church has pronounced it wrong. It has not been regarded as heresy to discuss whether something might be a heresy, or to raise a question about a 34 The Boundaries of Orthodoxy: Faith point of faith, especially when the purpose was to establish where the right view lay and to set out a ‘confession of faith’ or statement of belief. The question was whether to introduce into the teaching of catechumens (converts under instruction in preparation for baptism) an element of real discussion, so that they could get such uncertainties resolved or ‘out of their systems’.
Some things may not matter; they may be questions on which Christians remain free to take different views. A variety of different points have presented themselves in different periods as ‘unresolved questions’ on which 20 The Importance of Being United the Church has taken no settled view and on which there is therefore no orthodoxy. Many of these have remained ‘things indifferent’ (adiaphora), and therefore matters on which no position (within a certain range of options) is ‘heretical’. The origin of the soul is an important example.
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