- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers (June 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1598560131
- ISBN-13: 978-1598560138
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,807,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe Paperback – June 1, 2007
There is a newer edition of this item:
See the Best Books of 2017 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
The Revd Dr Ben Quash is Professor of Christianity and the Arts, King's College, London, and the author of Theology and the Drama of History (CUP, 2005).
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
These essays began life as a series of sermons. This is helpful, since it means they are not written in academic jargon. However, these sermons were delivered by professional theological scholars, so this isn't a light bedtime read. Plan to dedicate time to committed study of this book, coupled with references to scripture and time spent in prayer.
This book divides heresies in two groups, controversies on the nature of Christ, and controversies on the nature of salvation. Within these groups the heresies are paired up so we see, for instance, the Arian heresy (Christ is a separate being created by God) and the Docetist heresy (Christ is so thoroughly God that He has no humanity whatever) in contrast to each other. Seeing them laid out this way, it appears the most common root of heresy is a tendency to absolute thinking: God must be all one thing or all the other.
The twelve chapters are mostly lucid and can be read and reread easily. Three of them resist quick reading. Nicholas Adams' abstruse, allusive guide to Pelagianism raises more questions than it answers. Anders Bergquist's guide to Gnosticism requires endurance to plow through his dense, marathon-length paragraphs, some of which run to nearly two pages. And I can't put my finger on why, but Michael Ward's overview of Theopaschitism was just opaque to me.
I wish I could read about some of the specific heresies in more detail, since they seem to reveal a great deal about their culture and about Christian faith. But since the chapters don't cite sources, I lack any way to do that. An appendix includes a list of books for further reading, but most of them appear to be other synoptic books like this one. A little more detail in that regard would be rewarding.
Most Christians who fill pews on Sunday morning are woefully unprepared to deal with challenges to the intellectual structure of their faith. The world wants to make Christ simple and salvation cheap, which they are not. If more Christians take time to read guides like this one so they could be aware of what their faith is and what it is not, the church could be a flourishing fountain of rich, thoughtful discourse for spiritual seekers in our difficult, baggage-laden age.
The format of the book makes it a quick book to read. The information packed into each chapter is definitely worth keeping on hand. This book will become a handy reference for those who confuse all the heretical -isms; one chapter per heresy makes it easy to find what you're looking for. The only criticism I have is that the last part of every chapter was devoted to seeing how each heresy was present today and how to avoid it, and this seemed a little forced in some of the chapters. For example, chapter 4 on Eutychianism, the author was forced to concede that this was not a prevalent heresy today, even though he continued from there to tell the reader how to avoid it.
Most recent customer reviews
Would by for personal read if it was not required for class.