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Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth
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Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth

by Alister McGrath
 

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Why the Church must defend the truth.

Our ongoing fascination with alternative Christianities is ondisplay every time a never-before-seen gospel text is revealed,an archaeological discovery about Jesus makes front-page news, or anew work of fiction challenges the very foundations of the church.Now, in a timely corrective to this trend, renowned church

Overview

Why the Church must defend the truth.

Our ongoing fascination with alternative Christianities is ondisplay every time a never-before-seen gospel text is revealed,an archaeological discovery about Jesus makes front-page news, or anew work of fiction challenges the very foundations of the church.Now, in a timely corrective to this trend, renowned church historianAlister McGrath examines the history of subversive ideas, overturningcommon misconceptions that heresy is somehow more spiritual orliberating than traditional dogma. In so doing, he presents a powerful,compassionate orthodoxy that will equip the church to meet thechallenge from renewed forms of heresy today.

Editorial Reviews

Justo L. Gonzalez
"Not only a riveting story of ancient controversies, but also a much needed and timely correction to the commonly held notion that heretics were mostly free thinkers who challenged a narrow and closed orthodoxy."
Dallas Willard
“Alister McGrath helps us understand what heresy is and why it exercises a powerful attraction upon the human mind. It is full of illuminating historical discussions and insights into the motivations that lead people to adopt heresy as a style of life and a personal demeanor.”
Justo L. González
“Not only a riveting story of ancient controversies, but also a much needed and timely correction to the commonly held notion that heretics were mostly free thinkers who challenged a narrow and closed orthodoxy.”
Booklist
“A penetrating examination by an intellectual powerhouse.”
Library Journal
McGrath (theology, religion, & culture, King's Coll., Univ. of London; Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-First Century) has written a scholarly synthesis of recent studies on the history of heresy in the Christian church, incorporating social, cultural, and theological aspects. Although he individually examines numerous heresies (mostly from the patristic period), it is primarily to use them as case studies to illustrate salient points about heresy in general. This work is not intended to be a comprehensive history of heresies but a history of the development of the concept of heresy, including its implications for the church today. Throughout, McGrath contrasts his findings with various other perspectives from church history, including the currently fashionable view of heresy as the heroic suppressed victim of history's arbitrary winners, found in many newer works about noncanonical gospels, Gnosticism, or the historical Jesus. VERDICT Although there are sections in which McGrath seems to wander away from the book's principal focus, this is still a useful contribution to the dialog on the nature of heresy from an orthodox Protestant perspective. Recommended for students of theology.—Brian T. Sullivan, Alfred Univ. Lib., NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061998997
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/02/2010
Pages:
282
Sales rank:
786,629
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are Saying About This

Dallas Willard
“Alister McGrath helps us understand what heresy is and why it exercises a powerful attraction upon the human mind. It is full of illuminating historical discussions and insights into the motivations that lead people to adopt heresy as a style of life and a personal demeanor.”
Justo L. Gonzalez
“Not only a riveting story of ancient controversies, but also a much needed and timely correction to the commonly held notion that heretics were mostly free thinkers who challenged a narrow and closed orthodoxy.”

Meet the Author

Alister E. McGrath is a historian, biochemist, and Christian theologian born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A longtime professor at Oxford University, he now holds the chair in theology, ministry, and education at the University of London. He is the author of several books on theology and history, including Christianity's Dangerous Idea, In the Beginning, and The Twilight of Atheism. He lives in Oxford, England, and lectures regularly in the United States.

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