When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

30 June, 2014

Heresy of the Week: Molinism

This week's heresy is a "compromise" between two beliefs that are, in themselves, heretical.

Molinism is a 16th century protestant Semi-Pelagian heresy (of a largely Calvinist bent) that attempts to reconcile predestined action and free will. Molina taught that God has three sets of knowledge, obtained by God in this order: necessary truths, “middle” knowledge (or counterfactuals) and free knowledge (the ontology of the world). They believe that God uses His “middle” knowledge and foreknowledge to survey all possibilities (somewhat like multiple realities) and then actualize whichever one He wants to come to pass. Essentially, it was used to try and explain that while we still have free will (we can and do choose whatever action we want in some realm of existence) that God still has final control to make His predetermined outcome ultimately occur. Molina believed that one could learn about salvation by understanding this concept. This attempt was made to try to bring the nearly diametrically opposed Arminianism (free will) and Calvinism (predestination) into harmony.

23 June, 2014

Heresy of the Week: Johannism

Very few heresies have survived intact today and are still practiced openly under their name.  This week's heresy is one of those few.

Johannism is a very early Gnosticism heresy which suggested that John the Baptist, rather than Jesus, was the true Savior. They died out fairly quickly, and are considered the predecessors of Mandaeism sect. It was revived in 19th century France by Priest Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat and called “The Johannite Church of Primitive Christians”. In the year 2000, a man named James Foster claimed to be a member of this church (which many had believed to have died out by then) and expanded its reach to several other countries, renaming it the “Apostolic Johannite Church”.

16 June, 2014

Heresy of the Week: Heliocentrism

This week's heresy is actual not a heresy at all, but an interesting piece of church history nonetheless.

Heliocentrism is a Renaissance-era “heresy” that teaches (correctly) that the sun is the center of the solar system. It was deemed heretical because it was thought to contradict several Bible passages. Nicholas Copernicus was the first to write about this, but Galileo Galilei was perhaps most famous for his confrontations with the Church over this. It was never officially declared a heresy, although books on the subject were put on the index of forbidden books. In 1992, Pope John Paul II issued an apology on behalf of the Vatican over the “Galileo affair”.

09 June, 2014

Heresy of the Week: Novatianism

This week's heresy reveals an interesting piece of early church history, with the first big "split".

Novatianism (also known as Sabbatianism) was a 3rd century heretical sect that is connected with Albigensism and Donatism. They wanted to reject giving communion to baptized Christians who denied their faith or performed the formalities of pagan sacrifice under Roman pressure of persecution, calling them “Lapsi” or “lapsed Christians”. They also held that second marriages were unlawful. The leader, Novatian, was the first antipope after he challenged the election of Pope Cornelius in 251. They called themselves the “katharoi” or “Puritans”. They went so far as to rebaptize (like Anabaptism) their converts to separate themselves from the “corrupt Catholic Church”. They were condemned as heretical by a synod in the 4th century.

02 June, 2014

Heresy of the Week: Audianism

After many months of being busy, I decided it was time to make this a priority again.  Welcome back to Heresy of the Week!
Audianism is a 4th century heresy with two main teachings: first, that God has a human form (an idea known as anthropomorphism, which refers to giving human qualities and characteristics to any non-human), and second, that Jesus’ death should always be celebrated during the Jewish Passover (on the date 14 Nisan in the Jewish calendar, also known as Quartodecimanism). While the Quartodecimanism practice was outlawed at the 325 Council of Nicaea, Audianists continued anyways. It soon died out, although it enjoyed a brief revitalization in 10th century Italy.