The Heresy of Orthodoxy

HoOOne of the popular ideas you may see in mainstream media or hear in your UW Religion classes (disclosure: I’m just stereotyping and have no idea if that’s true) is that our modern notion of Christian theology would be unrecognizable to the early church. This is because, it’s said, the current makeup of the Bible and the content of early creeds from that Bible is simply the products of “the winners” of early theological controversies. That is, there is no such thing as “orthodoxy” or “heresy,” it’s simply a matter the folks who won the early religious debates getting to decide what orthodoxy is and arbitrarily declaring those who disagreed with them as heretics. It’s sort of a theological version of “history is written by the victors.”

If that sounds like a bunch of academic hooey that doesn’t bother you or affect your life, fine. You can stop reading.

But if you’re a little intimidated by people with a lot of letters after their names telling you that your foundational beliefs are nothing but the product of an ancient post-modernism run amok, then I have some help for you. Andreas Kostenberger and Michael Kruger wrote a book called The Heresy of Orthodoxy (Amazon/Westminster/Monergism) that I found very helpful. It’s a brief, faithful, orthodox treatment of early Christian orthodoxy (was there such a thing?), how we got the books we got in the Bible (canon), and how that set of books was transmitted to us today.

I recently heard James White urging people to buy it for their elders. I’ll urge you to buy it for you.