Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth

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9780060822149: Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth

IN RECENT YEARS THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN HERESY AND ORTHODOXY HAS COME UNDER FIRE BY THOSE EAGER TO REJECT THE FORMAL BOUNDARIES OF SANCTIONED BELIEFS ABOUT GOD, JESUS, AND THE CHURCH. IN A TIMELY CORRECTIVE TO THIS TREND, RENOWNED CHURCH HISTORIAN ALISTER MCGRATH ARGUES THAT THE CATEGORIES OF HERESY AND ORTHODOXY MUST BE PRESERVED. REMAINING FAITHFUL TO JESUS S MISSION AND MESSAGE IS STILL THE MANDATE OF THE CHURCH DESPITE INCREASINGLY POPULAR CRIES THAT TRADITIONAL DOGMA IS OUTDATED AND RESTRICTS INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM. OVERTURNING MISCONCEPTIONS THROUGHOUT THE BOOK, MCGRATH EXPOSES: HOW MANY OF THE HERETICAL BELIEFS AND PRACTICES REJECTED BY THE CHURCH WERE ACTUALLY MORE STRINGENT AND OPPRESSIVE THAN RIVAL ORTHODOX CLAIMS. THAT MANY THEOLOGICAL ALTERNATIVES WERE REJECTED WHEN THE CHURCH HAD NO POWER TO ENFORCE ONE VIEW OVER ANOTHER, LONG BEFORE CONSTANTINE MADE CHRISTIANITY THE OFFICIAL RELIGION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. IN HERESY, MCGRATH EXPLAINS WHY NO HERESY HAS EVER BEEN ERADICATED-RIVAL BELIEFS ONLY GO UNDERGROUND AND RESURFACE IN DIFFERENT FORMS. MCGRATH PRESENTS A POWERFUL, COMPASSIONATE, AND DEEPLY ATTRACTIVE ORTHODOXY THAT WILL EQUIP THE CHURCH TO MEET THE CHALLENGE FROM RENEWED FORMS OF HERESY TODAY.

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Never has there been such interest in heresy and the 'religious forbidden' But what is heresy? Why has it been sprinkled with stardust in recent years? How did it originally develop? Are heresies liberating ideas that were ruthlessly suppressed? Or are they flawed visions of Christianity, abandoned because of their inadequacies? In Heresy, worldrenowned historian and theologian Alister McGrath expertly reveals the surprising history of his subject, presenting a powerful, compassionate and deeply attractive orthodoxy that will equip the Church to meet the challenge from renewed forms of heresy today.

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"A penetrating examination by an intellectual powerhouse."--Booklist

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