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Why the Church must defend the truth.Our ongoing fascination with alternative Christianities is on display every time a never-before-seen gospel text is revealed, an archaeological discovery about Jesus makes front-page news, or a new work of fiction challenges the very foundations of the church. Now, in a timely corrective to this trend, renowned church historian Alister McGrath examines the history of subversive ideas, overturning common misconceptions that heresy is somehow more spiritual or liberating than traditional dogma. In so doing, he presents a powerful, compassionate orthodoxy that will equip the church to meet the challenge from renewed forms of heresy today.
Alister E. McGrath is a historian, biochemist, and Christian theologian. 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.
Table of Contents
introduction Our Love Affair with Heresy
What Is Heresy?
Faith, Creeds, and the Christian Gospel
The Origins of the Idea of Heresy
The Roots of Heresy
Diversity: The Background of Early Heresy
The Early Development of Heresy
Is There an ôEssenceö of Heresy?
The Classic Heresies of Christianity
Early Classic Heresies: Ebionitism, Docetism, Valentinism
Later Classic Heresies: Arianism, Donatism, Pelagianism
The Enduring Impact of Heresy
Cultural and Intellectual Motivations for Heresy
Orthodoxy, Heresy, and Power
Heresy and the Islamic View of Christianity
Conclusion: The Future of Heresy
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