Very readable overview of some of the key heresies during the course of church history. Heresy is defined as “that which deviates from the central teachings of the Christian faith, as expressed in the rule of faith and subsequently in the church’s confessions.” The Nicene Creed is given as a way to show if someone is a heretic or not. According to this author, if they subscribe to the Nicene Creed, then they would not be a heretic, regardless of what other doctrines they may believe.
Many of the heresies that arose during the early church were an effort to better understand what the Bible was teaching on certain issues – such as the Trinity and Jesus’ divinity and humanity. These heresies caused the early church to meet and hash out these truths and to define them in better detail in order to contradict error. We do well to learn from these as many of these heresies exist in some form or another today.
Each chapter goes through the historical background of the heresy or the person primarily known for the heresy, then details what the heretical teaching was. Then the orthodox response is given along with the relevance of this for today. Orthodoxy is defined by this author as “the teaching that best follows the Bible and best summarizes what it teaches – best accounts for the paradoxes and apparent contradictions, best preserves the mystery of God in the places where reason can’t go, and best communicates the story of the forgiveness of the gospel.”
Discussion questions are included with each chapter along with options for further reading.
Would definitely recommend this as a good resource for better understanding some of the key heresies that played a part in shaping what the church believes and teaches today.
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher through Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my review.