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.
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About 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.
Table of Contents
foreword Dr. Rick Warren v
introduction Our Love Affair with Heresy 1
part 1 What is Heresy?
1 Faith, Creeds, and the Christian Gospel 17
2 The Origins of the Idea of Heresy 33
part 2 The Roots of Heresy
3 Diversity: The Background of Early Heresy 43
4 The Early Development of Heresy 61
5 Is There an "Essence" of Heresy? 81
part 3 The Classic Heresies of Christianity
6 Early Classic Heresies: Ebionitism, Docetism, Valentinism 101
7 Later Classic Heresies: Arianism, Donatism, Pelagianism 135
part 4 The Enduring Impact of Heresy
8 Cultural and Intellectual Motivations for Heresy 175
9 Orthodoxy, Heresy, and Power 197
10 Heresy and the Islamic View of Christianity 223
conclusion The Future of Heresy 231
What People are Saying About This
“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.”
“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.”