The Cult of the Heretics

I am listening to a bishop say what I have said for many, many years. That is, the heretical cults of Christian history always meet around one extreme or the other. There are those who flatly deny the divinity of Jesus the Christ or, on the other hand, there are the heretical cults who deny the humanity of Jesus. The Church does its work when it swings to the middle, away from each extreme, to the place of Orthodox Christianity, where Jesus is the Christ, the God conceived son, the Man-God.

Neo-Orthodoxy is the seminal thought pattern of my yout,  made it more difficult for me to think Orthodox thoughts. Neo-Orthodoxy, for all the good it did (pragmatism, utilitarianism, liberation) also made various claims that challenged traditional Christianity, if only by degree. For instance, one of the preeminent Neo-Orthodox theologians declared the Cross to be certain, specific, sacrificial, but, sadly, not unique.

That is, there were other examples of sacrifice, human for human, made on a mass scale, in human history. The Cross of Christ is not unique, according to the Neo-Orthodox, the Cross cannot be effectively potent if it were absolutely unique (one wonders how something can be less than absolutely unique, but that is another matter for another day). The Christian answers, the Cross is unique because it is the only recorded spot in history, time or place, where God the Divine offers His own human body for humankind. The Christian Distinctive that is the Cross is this; that God, who is offended by our sin becomes the perfect sacrifice for the sake of the offender.

So, the Cross is unique, in its setting, in its purpose and in its result. One should note the Neo-Orthodox, who did so much good in answering the extreme liberalism of its day (the Neo-Orthodox Niehburs where the favorite theologian/philosophers of Camelot) moved a bit toward the heretical extreme, it could be argued, where Jesus was more common than Christ. I am glad to hear someone besides me recognize how important it is to know this.

One Response to The Cult of the Heretics

  1. Gary says:

    Rick, You and I are of the same Era, as opposed to Area – I from the rolling hills of SE Oklahoma, through Southwestern at the End of Naylor, but I’m curious regarding how much you are skewing the demographic of your ‘class’? At my tent-making job, I have yet to be relegated to the “Old Man Yelling at Clouds” class, but soon, very soon.

    How about ye?

    Curiosity Filled,

    Gary, of Clan Skaggs

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