Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Return to heresy

With Advent and Christmas ended, and my (hopefully minimal) winter travel schedule not yet underway, I've picked up the book Heresies and How to Avoid Them again, and oh boy is it ever slow going. The first four addressed by the book were relatively easy, but after that it becomes a slog. Some of the later repeat elements of the earlier, but intellectually tie things in increasingly complex (I won't say Gordian) knots. None of this is helped by the translation of the Greek original of "heresy" into English as simply "choice."

What started out as a fairly light-hearted adventure through a small paperbound book is becoming anything but light-hearted. Worst is the repeated realization that these heresies are for the most part not willful deceptions but errors by honest and best-intended believers. I am repeatedly minded of a painting my Greek Orthodox friend has shown me of a ladder to Heaven, how some are led off the higher rungs by errors such as these.

Memory says Fr. McGrath had suggested I conduct an Epiphany class on this topic; once I might have agreed, but now I'm not sure even Lent is long enough (even without my travel). We will see.

The only thing I can say is that at some point we need to have this class -- if only to have it "in the books" for our (St. Bartholomew's) future. The ease with which we Christians can be led into error is frightening, and this book is at least as relevant today as it might have ever been in the history of Christendom. The Church Fathers struggled with much; we forget that at our peril.


  • At 4:41 PM, Blogger Douglas Bienert said…

    I have been enjoying your blog and the sermons on your parish web site. I attend The Parish of Saint Mark in Portland, Or (continuing Anglican).

  • At 5:15 PM, Blogger Continuing Home said…

    Thank you very much!! It's always a joy to hear from other continuing Anglicans, and to visit in person (there or here) when the opportunity arises.

    It's a shame I no longer have family in the Portland area; I know we'd have been visiting you when staying with them.


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