I just finished Philip Jenkin's latest book called "Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years"
Funny title. Good content. Not a riveting book but quite a relevant one to read this week, with all the controversies about what is orthodox and what is not. What Jenkins adds to the conversation is that the fate of "Christian orthodoxy" has been very fragile and fickle, the councils and creeds could have gone any which way, the fight over heresy had a much greater body count than present day twitter-spats over Rob Bell's book, we will always be fighting over how Jesus is both God and Man, and Turkey in the summer is far too sultry to enjoy a good theological conversation.
Best part was hearing about the Coptics and their theological journey, something that I think might pop up in the near future, especially in that part of the world.
Jenkins ends the book with this sentence . . .
"A religion that is not constantly spawning alternatives and heresies has ceased to think and has achieved only the peace of the grave."
“A religion that is not constantly spawning alternatives and heresies has ceased to think and has achieved only the peace of the grave.”
I suppose there is some truth in the observation that disagreements (“alternatives”) and divisions (“heresies”) are a sign of life. The Apostle Paul seems to have implied as much (1 Cor. 11:19). But I don’t think they’re always a sign of serious thinking. Frequently they are symptoms of the lack of same.
Maybe our theological colleges should be running courses in creative heresy. It’s an uncomfortable Anabaptist thought to reflect that Nicea happened because people like me were too inconvenient for unity.