Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ambition is the mother of all Heresy

"Heresy, a particularly virulent strain of false teaching, is worse than occasional theological error. After all, it is virtually impossible for finite human knowers, even saints, not to be in error about some things. Heresy is not merely an instance of imprecision or ignorance; it is altogether more destructive, both in regard to truth and in regard to its effects on those who hold it...Heretics willfully and stubbornly insist on preferring their own ideas to those of the community of faith, their own way to the way of Jesus Christ. The heretic is the one who stubbornly insists on following 'a different gospel--not that there is another gospel' (Gal. 1:6)".

"Heresy is dangerous not because it is creative but because it is novel: theology is faith seeking creative understanding, but heresy is pride seeking clever grandstanding. Heresy develops not simply by employing new concepts but from making judgements that go against the canonical grain...heresy diverts our attention away from what God was doing in Christ. Heresy is dangerous because it proposes an alternative economy of salvation--not that there is one".

Kevin Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine, p. 423-4

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