Friday, June 4, 2010

The Heresy of Orthodoxy

Michael Bird has called attention to a new book: The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped our Understanding of Early Christianity by
Andreas Kostenberger and Michael Kruger. On the part that seems like it would interest me most is the response to Walter Bauer's Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Chirstianity:

Part one examines "The Heresy of Orthodoxy: Pluralism and the Christian Origins of the New Testament". This is by far the best section of the book as the Bauer thesis is taken apart brick by brick. Bauer over-estimated the influence of the Roman church, certain groups like the Valentians were parasitic on the proto-orthodoxy rather than prior to and independent of them, and Bauer claimed to know too much based on far too little. There is no denial that Christianity was diverse, but there are good arguments provided to support the notion that the groups that were later judged as "heretical" deviated from a common core of widely accepted beliefs and traditions.
 I think I will post something on the issue very shortly.

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