Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Choosing between truth and error

I have had an interest in heresy for the last ten years. One of my concerns has been to explore the the pastoral and moral implications of heresy for those peddling it and those taken in by it.

There is a great danger in having such an impoverished view of doctrine that we consider it to be merely a cerebral matter. But whether we are willing to embrace orthodoxy or heresy is more than a matter of intellectual preferences. It is in fact an litmus test of the "rectitude of the heart." Truth and error elicit from us not just intellectual agreement but reveal our ultimate commitments in matters of authority, the place of reason and faith, our moral disposition, what we love etc.

Take note of the images, metaphors, and practices that occur in the New Testament when the subject of false teaching crops up. Choosing between truth and error is never divorced from holiness, godliness, humility, pride, ungodliness and sin.

Luther had it exactly right when he penned these words:
For when we begin to be, in the least degree, disposed to trifle, and not to hold the sacred truths in due reverence, we are soon involved in impieties, and overwhelmed with blasphemies.
The Bondage of the Will

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