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Orthodoxy and heresy

23 April 2008

This is a follow-up post to the synchroblog on “Emerging heresy”. After reading the other posts I realised that words like “heresy” and “cult” aren’t the only ones that cause misunderstandings. When it comes to “orthodoxy” we are not only not on the same page, we’re not in the same book, and perhaps not even in the same library.

Part of the problem is that as an Orthodox Christian I’m not really part of the “emerging” part of the title. In the two years or so since I first heard the term “emerging church” I’ve come to understand that the emerging church movement is a reaction against certain trends in Evangelical Protestantism, and possibly Neopentecostal Protestantism as well. My contact with it has been almost entirely in the blogosphere, and so I’m not really familiar with the trends in evangelical Protestantism that it is reacting against. So a lot of the terminology is unfamiliar to me, and some of it seems to be used in different ways. So as an Orthodox Christian I come to the “emerging conversation” from outside, and attempt to converse with this conversation from an Orthodox point of view, and Orthodoxy has different terminology, or uses some of the same terms in different ways. So I think theres a need to explain some of the terms that Orthodox Christians seem to use differently, and to try to establish some kind of common platform for understanding, even if we can’t reach agreement.

So what is “orthodoxy”?

In what follows, I write as an Orthodox Christian, but not as a spokesman for the Orthodox Church. This is what the Orthodox Church calls a theologoumenon, a pious opinion, which I hope other Orthodox Christians who read this will extend, elaborate or correct if necessary.

1. Orthodoxy is the straight path to glory.

Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

“To sin” and “to fall short” are tautologous. To sin means “to fall short”, and what we fall short of when we sin is the glory (doxa) of God. The image of sin (amartia) is from an archery, like an arrow that falls short of its target and misses the mark. Any arrow shot on earth is governed by the forces that act on it — the quality of the bow, the strength and aim of the archer, the distance to the target and the earth’s gravity. Any arrow shot on earth will follow a curved trajectory — the further away the target it, the more pronounced the curve. So much for the metaphor.

In our case, the target is the glory of God, and we have fallen short. And God picks us up, and sets us on the straight (orthos) path (odos) to glory (doxa). So orthodoxia, orthodoxy, is the straight path to glory.

I went to a Methodist school, and sometimes we used to sing some rather kitschy choruses. One of the better ones, which expresses this point rather well, was:

He took me out of the Pit
and from the miry clay
He set my feet on a rock
establishing my way.

God picks me up and puts me back on to the straight path to glory.

2. Orthodoxy means right worship

This is perhaps one of the more difficult terms for establishing a common understanding and meaning, because within the last 30 years or so the term “worship” has taken on a rather different meaning in Neopentecostalism, especially in phrases like “worship leaders” or “time of worship”, so that the word itself conveys different meanings to different people. Back in 1983 I was at an ecumenical gathering where Tom Inglis, a music (‘worship’) leader in the Rhema Church asked me what I meant when I referred to worship. It meant something completely different to him.

Nevertheless for Orthodox Christians in general, and Slavic Orthodox Christians in particular, Orthodoxy is primarily “right worship”. The Russian Orthodox Church is Russkiy Pravoslavniy Tserkov. In Russian, “Orthodoxy” is “Pravoslavie” from pravda (truth/justice/right/righteousness) and slava (praise, glory, fame).

At the end of many prayers in Orthodox services we hear the refrain: Slava Tebye Gospodi, slava Tebye! Doxa Si Kyrie, doxa Si! Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee!

3. Right understanding

A secondary meaning of doxa is view, opinion, outlook, way of looking at things, and hence “orthodoxy” can mean “right dogma” or “right doctrine” (teaching). This seems to be the only meaning known to Protestants who use the term “orthodoxy”. For Orthodox Christians it also has this meaning, but it is all of a piece with the other two meanings. It is a holistic understanding — the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The three meanings together form a greater whole.

Recently I read (I can’t remember if it was a comment on this synchroblog or somewhere else) a statement by someone that Christianity was relational rather than doctrinal. To me, as an Orthodox Christian, this sounds strangely one-dimensional. It is like saying that something has length rather than breadth; and setting length and breadth in opposition to each other. But the Christian faith is three-dimensional (at the very least) and St Paul speaks of the “breadth and length and height and depth” (Eph 3:18).

We can liken doctrine to two of these dimensions, if we see it as a map. But we should not confuse the map with the territory. Dogma (things believed) and doctrine (things taught, teachings) are like a map in this sense. They express the relationship in words that can communicate. While we need to recognise the imitations of human speech, it is foolish to say that it is better to be like dumb beasts, because of the limitations of our attempts to utter the unutterable.  It is equally foolish to say that we should throw away the map, or that we shouldn’t care whether it is accurate or not because being relational is more important than doctrine.

If we consider the three meanings of “orthodoxy” I have given above, the first two are “relational” and the third is “doctrinal”. The first is what God does for us. The second is our response to God, and the third is the attempt to describe what is going on in the first two.

That’s enough for now, but for those who haven’t read the posts in the synchrblog that provoked this one, here is the list of links again:

Aratus – The Gender of the Creator and Face forward
Cobusvw – Conversing with the heretics
FakeExpressionsOfTheUnknown Who’s Heresy
Liquid Light – Coming out a heretic emerges
Mike Smith – Emerging Heresy
Nic Paton – The Lif Cycle of Heresy and The Blessings of Heresy
Roger Saner Towards a heretical orthodoxy
Ryan Peters – Calling the “H” word and dropping the “H” bomb
Steve Hayes Cult
Tim Victor – Confessions of a heretic

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephen permalink
    23 April 2008 12:58 pm

    Steve – I’m not an Orthodox Christian – as you probably know I come from and move in a Reformed Evangelical tradition. But when it comes to your definition of ‘orthodoxy’ I’m on exactly the same page as you and I know of many others in evangelicalism who would be. I suppose emphasis gets out of hand and we often end up looking like we only affirm the 3rd point. Part of my hope for the emerging church is that it will correct this overemphasis.

  2. tduffie permalink
    23 April 2008 2:13 pm

    I’ve been a enquirer/visitor to an Orthodox church for the last few months. Before that I was part of a Reformed Evangelical tradition. Most of the more traditional members would agree with most of the above understandings of “Orthodoxy” and would proudly claim that for themselves. However, the trends in Evangelical traditions over the past few generations has somewhat changed the vocabulary.
    One example comes to mind: One local Baptist church has officially dropped “Baptist Church” from its title in favor of a more agreeable “Family of Faith”.
    Perhaps it’s a combination of both cultural influences and the charismatic movement.
    Definition #2 is probably the main reason I continue to attend Orthodox Liturgy: it’s worship. I can understand how the “worship leader” spoken of would have a different definition (or understanding) of “worship”. It really is different not only in content, but in experience.

    TDuffie

  3. 23 April 2008 2:29 pm

    Steve – in retrospect this little 3 part lesson is foundational. Here we are sprouting away on the “H” word and the “O” word but we haven’t really touched on some basic definitions.

    Direct glory, right worship and right understanding; 3 dimensions of spirituality. Thats a framework worthy of much consideration.

    Stephen feels that the “Emerging Church” emphasises the 3rd point, right understanding. But it seems that one thing Emerging Voices are suggesting is that we switch from right understanding to understanding the right way; I can’t really see this emphasis.

    Also the EC has taken worship, point 2, very seriously, from what I see. But they are taking a long route to this, because there is a lot of work to do to make this possible.

    It’s all too easy to fall back on the organ or the guitar (I use worship in its narrow sense here, Steve) but to shift sacred thinking is a life’s work. In my view wrong thinking will never result in right worship.

    Not that thinking is going to lead to worship, as if it was a purely cerebral matter, but our myths of G-d will define how we view and act towards G-d. We have mythical work to do.

    Regarding the Direct Glory, point 1, I’d agree that the EC is making the idea of simple and direct access to the Divine Parent more muddly, complex and difficult. I wish it weren’t so, I wish we could se G-ds glory directly and now, but I don’t buy into ideas of cheap access into the throneroom.

    I’m not saying anyone does, I am just dialoging with my own past here, especially the aspects of it which remain inauthentic. I want glory, and I want authentic glory.

    Like dreams of cheap fuel, I don’t see modernity being able to facilitate this for much longer.

  4. 23 April 2008 3:47 pm

    Steve,

    I understand the “O” word to be used negatively not in reference to the “Orthodox” traditions as much as to the canonisation of white, male, north american theology as “true” and hence other theologies, be they liberation, indigenous, emergent, etc. as by default “H”.

  5. Stephen permalink
    23 April 2008 4:01 pm

    Sorry Nic didn’t mean to cause confusion as it seems I have. I think evangelicals have overemphasize the 3rd point not the EC. I agree with you that the EC most emphasizes the 2nd. My main issue with evangelicalism is their negelct of point 2. My main issue with some forms of the EC is, as you put it, the muddling of point 1 and some extreme forms of unsettled thought on point 3.

  6. 24 April 2008 6:30 am

    Thanks to everyone who commented and perhaps take the discussion forward.

    One of the things that I have found encouraging in the “emerging conversation” is the willingness to look beyond the cerebral/rational emphasis of modernity, one of the manifestations of which is seeing “orthodoxy” as being solely concerned with correct doctrinal expressions. But I was a bit disappointed that in this synchroblog so many seemed to simply accept that, and therefore conclude that “orthodoxy” must be a bad thing, and that “heresy” was somehow good.

    In his magnum opus on missiology, Transforming mission, David Bosch discusses several mission “paradigms”, and one that he mentions is the “Eastern Orthodox” one. One of the frustrations I had with his premature death was that our discussions about that were cut short. I thought that was one of the weakest points in his book, because he jumped from pre-Nicene to the 20th century with little attempt to connect the two, and he relied almost entirely on books.

    The problem is, you can’t get Orthodox theology from books. Orthodoxy doesn’t really have any systematic theology in the Western sense. St John of Damascus is perhaps the closest, but there is no Aquinas, no Calvin, no Barth. It is primarily an enacted theology. You have to see it, hear it, sing it, smell it, taste and see how gracious the Lord is. What you read in books isn’t half of it.

    I owe a huge debt to Davis Bosch, because he was the one who helped me to see the premodern, modern and postmodern paradigm shifts as a kind of interpretive framework. It doesn’t explain everything, but it helps to explain quite a lot.

    Yet so much of what he said and taught was thoroughly within the Reformed paradigm, even when he was reacting against it. Much of what he said and wrote and taught about things like “older churches” and “younger churches” cannot be understood unless you know the history of Dutch Reformed Church mission in southern Africa — yet he never explained that, he just assumed it, since it was part of his experience. But students from other backgrounds, with a different experience, found it hard to understand, and either just learnt what he said by rote, to reproduce in the exams, or missed it altogether.

    And that is so in all such discussions.

    I’ve been to many ecumenical meetings and discussions where you can see that people are failing to communicate, because words mean different things to them, and different experiences, even where they are rebelling against them. What does “church” mean? It means different thigns to different people. To rebellious Methodists it means (or did mean 30 years ago) an anonymous bureaucracy, like Kafka’s castle, “conference”, an authoritarian juggernaut that crushed everything in its path, with a stationing committee that said you go here and you go there, faceless and impersonal.

    To an Anglican, in the same period, it was a bishop, perhaps just as authoritarian, but not as impersonal; at least there was a face, someone you could talk to. At one such meeting there was a call for a “black confessing church”. It came from a Dutch Reformed delegate, from one of the “younger churches” in that tradition. In his context it was understandable, but if I returned to my then home in the Anglican diocese of Zululand, where the bishop and 90% of the clergy (and 98% of the laity) were black, and said “We need a black confessing church” they would all look at me blankly and say “What for?”

    For Lutherans (in SouthAfrica), the problem revolved around “missionaries” and “pastors”, and their perceptions of “church” were shaped by that.

    The guy whose blog post sparked off my contribution to this synchroblog by mentioning the perception of Seventh-Day Adventists as a cult said that, as a Lutheran, he sees Protestants as divided into “Lutheran” and “Reformed”, and all non-Lutherans are “Reformed”. But for me, Arminians don’t count as “Reformed” — I use “Reformed” to mean “Calvinist”.

    So I think my main point in all this is the need to define our terms, and to be aware that others’ definitions may be different. The “Emerging conversation” may be post-evangelical, but it is still cross-cultural.

  7. 24 April 2008 6:50 am

    The emerging church is so very pluriform that its hard to say anything definitive about it. But, with that caveat, I would suggest that in many ways it could be described as evangelical Christianity striving for a more holistic expression of itself, one that is less historically and culturally blind and more in touch with ancient tradition and global diversity.

    It is this search for historical depth and cultural bredth which brings us into contact with Orthodox Christianity (as well as Celtic and other forms of Christianity) for we see in Orthodoxy some of the forgotten ways we are seeking to recover, that we see lacking within evangelicalism, and while we’re generally not open to converting, we are open to learning.

    But it is this very openness which opens us up to the charge of heresy from more doctrinally rigid Protestants. It is precisely because we are open to your options 1 and 2 above.

    Myself personally, I think heresy talk should be restricted to far more core issues, such as renunciation of the Trinity and Incarnation, something we are NOT by and large guilty of.

    If anyone other than Reformed theologians are heretics, then yes, under that definition I suppose I would be a heretic, but by that definition so would the Orthodox. Rather a paradox is it not?

  8. 24 April 2008 8:47 am

    Matt,

    Your first two paragraphs are a very good summary of the impression I have of the “emerging church” movement.

    For myself, I don’t use the words “orthodox” or “heretic” to describe anyone outside the Orthodox Church (unless they have been excommunicated for holding such beliefs), or “heresy” to describe any beliefs that have not been declared heretical by a council recognised by the Orthodox Church. I know that some Orthodox disagree with that. They say that if people hold beliefs that are regarded as heretical by the Orthodox Church, those who hold such beliefs must be heretics. But, as someone pointed out in the synchroblog, the essence of heresy is choice, and that means that to be a heretic a person must have deliberately chosen to hold some doctrine contrary to the dogmatic teaching of the Orthodox Church.

    That, I hope, makes it clear what standards and what criteria I am using when I say that something is “heresy”. And what I said in my original post in the synchroblog was that anyone who uses such words should be prepared to state their criteria and say what theyb mean by the words. But in such discussions I think it would generally be better not to use such words at all.

  9. 24 April 2008 5:35 pm

    Agreed, I don’t find “dropping the H-bomb” to be the most constructive move you can make in any conversation, even where it is technically warranted. And using it where its not technically warranted is even worse; under such circumstances it degenerates into little more than a religious swear word. Something that edifies no one.

    As for under what circumstances its technically warranted, I would not define it the same way as yourself but I suspect the practical impact would be much the same. Many of the ancient heresies denounced by the councils Orthodox Christianity did after all arise over inadequate understandings of the Trinity and the Incarnation, precisely the two things I mentioned above.

    My basic rule of thumb is, the closer it is to Christ the more core it is to Christianity.

    So issues associated with who Jesus was and what Jesus did are of the upmost importance. But arguments about the days of creation or the timetable for the end times or the ways we interpret post-modernity are not nearly so. To call label people heretics over more peripheral matters is just poor judgment arising out of lack of perspective.

  10. 25 April 2008 8:51 am

    Steve
    I have been musing over your comment

    “orthodoxy” as being solely concerned with correct doctrinal expressions… I was a bit disappointed that in this synchroblog so many seemed to simply accept that…

    and wanted to say 2 things
    1. I am probably the guilty party who has been using the word “orthodoxy” perjoratively, and in fac, in an unorthodox way. It’s a practice I adopted a year or two back to describe what I felt was a dead or dying structure where people were neither looking forward to the new nor looking back to the ancient, but stuck in a morass of modernity.

    This is not I don’t think what you undersatnd by it. I have at various times highlighted my admiration of your Orthodox Faith which comes with it a clear and deep rationale. While you have adopted many practices outside of your “natural” culture you have done so consciously to seemingly to good effect.

    2. I was disappointed with the fact that many detractors of “heresy”, or upholders of orthodoxy, saw no redeptive irony in its use. There was little acknowledgement of the creative edges of spirituality, and a generally rather defensive attitude to private myths of christianity.

    Like our common hero Berdyaev I deem the creative act at the core of the Gospel, but I am not sure people got this.

  11. 25 April 2008 9:47 am

    Nic, yeah I shy away from contrasting orthodoxy with orthopraxis precisely because I understand “doxa” in similar ways to Steve, as translatable as “glory” and “worship” as well as “belief”. In a sense, to worship God rightly and glorify him in everything we do and say IS to practice Christianity rightly, so in a way orthodoxy could be said to encompass orthopraxis. If people minimize “orthodoxy” to mean theological correctness in the same way that “faith” is often reduced to mean dry intellectual affirmations that is unfortunate, but I don’t feel a need to buy into it.

    I understand why others sometimes use heresy ironically but the reason why I shy away from it is (1) I hang around too many of the genuine kind who could hear me as endorsing things that I do not if I play loose with language, and (2) I am accused of heresy often enough by the witch hunter generals of this world without baiting them even further.

  12. 26 April 2008 6:50 am

    Nic,

    I don’t have time right now to give a proper response — towards the end of Holy Week we have 3-4 hour services twice a day, and battling the traffic between Pretoria and Joburg takes another 5-6 hours out of the day, but this year we get an Easter Monday so I’ll try to look at it again then.

    I just want to reiterate one point — that even if “orthodoxy” is seen mainly as referring to doctrinal correctness, one needs to make clear Whose doctrine one is talking about. And as Matt has pointed out, the “emerging church” movement has so much variety that using “heresy” to describe it doesn’t even (as sometimes happens) tell you more about the speaker than the thing they are speaking about. It really tells you nothing about anything unless it is qualified.

    More later.

  13. 26 April 2008 2:11 pm

    Steve, I believe you’ve quoted me in a misleading way in this comment above:

    The guy whose blog post sparked off my contribution to this synchroblog by mentioning the perception of Seventh-Day Adventists as a cult said that, as a Lutheran, he sees Protestants as divided into “Lutheran” and “Reformed”, and all non-Lutherans are “Reformed”. But for me, Arminians don’t count as “Reformed” — I use “Reformed” to mean “Calvinist”.

    The thing I actually said in a comment to my post is this:

    In Lutheranism we have a strong tendency to use the word “Reformed” as a broad category for pretty much all non-Lutheran Protestants. Though I think there’s a defensible theological rationale for that category, I think we should use a different word. I don’t think it helps inter-church communication when we give our own meaning to a familiar word.

    The things that I did say in that comment are that (1) there are defensible ways in which various non-Lutheran Protestants can be grouped together in a broad category, but that (2) “Reformed” isn’t a good word for that broad category, since others use the word to mean something else, usually “Calvinism”, as you say. This an example of the problem you discussed above of Christians from different backgrounds using terms to mean different things, resulting in miscommunication. In my comment I was fessing up as a Lutheran to one way that I believe Lutherans have contributed to the communication gap.

    Perhaps my choice of terms was too subtle to be clear, but when I said “we have a strong tendency to use the word “Reformed” as a broad category … “, I intended not to make a broad declaration of how I “see” things, but to set up a self-criticism of how Lutherans often categorize others (and I decided it would be classy and honest of me to include myself in the blame, rather than verbally distance myself from other Lutherans, especially since I’ve sometimes used the word “Reformed” in the exact way I’m now criticizing). As to the matter of “broad categories”, yes, I’ve stated that one can find a rationale for putting Calvinists and Arminians together in one category and Lutherans in another. But one could also find ways to reshuffle the groups so, for example, Arminians and Lutherans fall in one category opposite Calvinists (I know Calvinists who do that very thing). You yourself responded with the very appropriate comment that “I would have a problem with saying that Arminians and Calvinists are both “Reformed”. Arminians are closer to the Orthodox concept of synergy than Calvinists are!”

    One could group Catholic and Orthodox in one category in contrast to Protestant, and it would make sense. Or one could group Christians into Orthodox and Western (Catholic + Protestant), and that would make sense too. Perhaps if someone really dug deeply, he could find a way to put Calvinist and Orthodox in one category and Lutherans and Arminians in another. But he would really have to dig. (no, I don’t have any way in mind to make those categories work, I’m just giving a wild example.)

    My point is, since you’ve taken the time to cite my comments, I would ask you not to read too much into the example I gave of how we Lutherans often categorize Protestants. C. S. Lewis spoke of “Nothing buttery”, that is, “the tendency to say something is ‘nothing but’ something else (as in, ‘The Mona Lisa is nothing but daubs of paint on canvas’), without acknowledging that the whole that emerges may be greater than the sum of the parts.” By stating of me that he sees Protestants as divided into “Lutheran” and “Reformed”, and all non-Lutherans are “Reformed”, without acknowledging the context of my remarks, I believe you create the impression that I’m a “nothing butter”, that I’ve shot my bolt on how I “see” Protestants when I explain the “Lutheran” and “Reformed” categories. I don’t think that it was hard to understand that, in my post, I was offering these Lutheran categories as an example of a Lutheran contribution to miscommunication, rather than expounding the way I “see” things. I don’t mind learning that I need to use words more carefully or write more clearly, but please don’t cite the categories I mentioned as the way I “see” things when in fact I was offering self-criticism of Lutheran terminology. I’m trying very hard not to be a “nothing butter”, so please don’t cite me in a way that makes me look like one.

  14. 26 April 2008 2:44 pm

    I’m sorry, it looks like I left out the tag to end the italics in my comment above.

  15. 27 April 2008 9:28 am

    You know, I see the same problems coming up with many labels.

    Example 1 – fundamentalist. Some use the word to mean “any Christian who is not liberal”, some would use it even more broadly and pejoratively to mean “any religious person I don’t like”, some would use it far more narrowly, distinguishing between evangelicals and fundamentalists, and some (but not so many) would even use the word in the way it was originally coined.

    Example 2 – evangelical. Some distinguish between the evangelical movement and the charismatic movement, some would point out that charismatics are evangelical.

    So there’s a long history.

    Coming to the emerging church and heresy claims, one of the problems is that many don’t get the distinction between “emergent” and “emerging” in our conversations. They miss we are swapping between talking about Emergent Village, an influential American group within the movement, and the Emerging Church, the global movement taken as a whole. I find critics from more hierachial traditions often make the flawed assumption that the former defines the theology of the latter so theologically critiquing the part counts as a theological critique of the whole. Nothing could be further from the truth. We do our theology from the bottom up. Emergent Village are a prominent voice, true, but only one voice in a very eclectic movement which tolerates a high diversity in less essential matters.

  16. 28 April 2008 4:00 pm

    I’m just curious looking at all this… does the word “orthopraxy” get used at all in the east or is it just a western word made up to explain something that the east wouldn’t imagine to be separate in the first place?

  17. 28 April 2008 5:48 pm

    Michael,

    Apologies for misrepresenting your thoughts — I was over-simplifying, and that is of course always the problem with over simplifying.

    I can see that one could put Lutherans in one category, and Arminians and Calvinists in another. In some ways Orthodox might do that, because though the Arminian position in some ways resembles the Orthodox understanding of synergy, it was developed in reaction to Calvinism, but Orthodoxy was not. The same with the Emerging Church. Some of the things said, for example by Brian McLaren, are similar to Orthodox teaching, but he is setting it over against Evangelical Protestantism.

    Matt,

    Yes, there are lots of words that cause misunderstanding. Fundamentalism for me means the five Fundamentals, but I’ve heard them used very loosely.

    Evangelical is another weasel word. Do you mean evangelical as opposed to ecumenical; evangelical as opposed to Anglo-Catholic (a party within Anglicanism); evangelical meaning Lutheran as opposed to Reformed, or something else?

    J-Tron

    Yes, “orthopraxy” is a word used by the Orthodox; it covers the area that could be broadly described as ecclesiastical etiquette — how to make the sign of the cross, how and when to bow and make a prostration, how to behave in church, keeping the fasts of the church and things like that. These things of course have symbolic means, so they are not seen as something “separate”, but it is also possible for people to get so hung upo on the details of orthopraxy that they fail to see the wood for the trees.

  18. 29 April 2008 3:11 am

    “Some of the things said, for example by Brian McLaren, are similar to Orthodox teaching, but he is setting it over against Evangelical Protestantism.” Yes exactly. The framework matters.

    Many within the emerging church are finding inspiration within Orthodox Christian tradition, Celtic Christian tradition and other traditions, but it is ultimately within an Protestant framework. It does not make us Orthodox or Catholic. Our attitude to authority (Biblical authority over credal authority, Biblical authority over institutional authority) is still, by and large, very evangelical. Our openness to independant house church networks is ample testiment to that. We are far more anti-hierachial. We do not accept Apostolic succession equates to institutional succession. That we pay more attention to tradition and the communal nature of knowledge than your more archetypal Evangelicals should not obscure the fact we share the same origins.

    Many of us see the Catholics and Orthodox as offering us correctives, but they are correctives from an Evangelical perspective, correctives that we only follow so far. That Restorationism and Anabaptism are others stream that some find inspiration from should be duly noted.

  19. 30 April 2008 3:35 pm

    I am a Pentecostal and would agree with much in your post. Thanks. Brian

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