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The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy [Paperback]

By C. Fitzsimons Allison (Author)
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Item description for The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy by C. Fitzsimons Allison...

Ancient heresies have modern expressions which influence our churches and culture, creating cruel dilemmas for today's Christian in the forms of error, sin, and various distortions of orthodox faith. In The Cruelty of Heresy Bishop Allison captures the drama and relevance of the Councils of the fourth and fifth centuries, and shows how the remarkable achievements of these early struggles still provide valuable guidelines, embodied in the Creeds, for believers "who are mystified and disturbed by attempts to jettison key doctrines of the faith."

Publishers Description

Ancient heresies have modern expressions that influence our churches and culture, creating cruel dilemmas for today s Christian in the form of error, sin, and various distortions on orthodox faith. In Cruelty of Heresy, Bishop Allison captures the drama and relevance of the Councils of the fourth and fifth centuries and shows how the remarkable achievements of these early struggles provide valuable guidelines for believers today. "

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Morehouse Publishing
Pages   197
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1994
Publisher   Morehouse Publishing
ISBN  0819215139  
ISBN13  9780819215130  

Availability  1 units.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Cruelty of Heresy: An Affirmation of Christian Orthodoxy?

History for the Nicene Creed  Apr 19, 2008
For nearly three hundred years after Christ's Crucifixion, a welter of muddled concepts circulated in the Biblical World. Bishop Allison takes us through the various sects of thought showing the heretical nature of these ruminations, which led to the formation of the Nicene Creed. Persecutions, notwithstanding, during this period, Christian unity and like-mindedness prevailed with the best minds of the day. The legacy is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control: for which St. Paul tells us there is no law against.
Unusually clear explanation of revisionism  Jul 30, 2007
In this short book, Bishop Allison gives the meaningful clarity that today's Christians need to discern whether or not certain popular trends in our churches are congruent or incongruent with the historic gospel of Jesus Christ. So many of us take for granted the traditions from which we come. Yet, even our "good" churches have toyed with these "incorrect beliefs" and we too often embrace them because we have not deliberated on our theology. We live in our embeded theology (that which we have been taught) and do not see the ultimate consequences of wrong belief.

The reality of the Incarnation and its significant in a world that knows much suffering impacted me personally a great deal. One of the many deriviative heresies that result from not living in light of this spiritual truth is the abysmal lack of the theology of suffering by Christians for those who preach a "prosperity gospel". Allison also brings to light many other such important realities.

His explanation of how heresy is closely allied with truth, but actually a counterfit of it is very helpful. It is also helpful to see how much of wrong belief stems from a few simple premises that when accepted lead us into many practices and traditions that ignore what Jesus taught and what God had long revealed through his scriptures.

I commend this scholarly work to all who wish to sharpen their discernemnt of their own Christian camp to make certain that they have not bought into practices that quickly at their heart take us away from a relationship with they one true God. This is not a book that you will read only one time and put in your library. You will come back again and again to keep learning. Every page is filled with significant insight which is as relevant to our 21st century churches as it was to those in the first and second century. I have to rate it with five stars.
Today's Heresy is Hidden and Latent Phenomenon  Jul 30, 2005

"One of the great values of secular philosophy - in this it is not unlike heresy - is the stimulus it gives to Christian thinkers to rethink their position." Colin Brown

Quastiones Disputatae:
"Heresy lies in the sense assigned, not in the word written (in scriptura); and the guilt is that of the expositor not of the text." Hilary of Poitiers
Heresy, according to the eminent theologian Karl Rahner, in his authoritative Essay, "On heresy," was described as, "heresy today is not so much a formulated, false religious doctrine as a hidden and latent phenomenon. Its peculiar danger is to remain implicit, not as a former times to be expressed in explicit propositions.
It may indeed coexist with a verbal orthodoxy and an anxious, 'correct' care never to express views that might conflict with the official doctrine. In the form of moral attitudes, moods and points of views, heresy today is not necessarily directed against the faith; it may even spring from Christian opposition to heresy or outmoded views. (About the book)

Cruelty of Heresy:
In an interview about his book, retired Bishop C. F. Allison warns about the cruelty of heresy, explaining;

Q: What is it that makes heresy a cruelty to Christians?
Allison - It panders to our worst inclinations

Q: What can church members do to counter the heretical drift of their hierarchies?
Allison - First of all is to realize that our hierarchies have often been captured by single-issue folk who are not committed to the historic faith and are imposing their issue in an attempt to commandeer the denomination. I don't think you ought to subsidize something that is destroying and apostatizing the church.

Q: What are some of the consequences when the church fails to protects its members from heretical teachings?
Allison -The church becomes very neurotic. When you have a self-esteem doctrine in which the church's function is to help people feel good about themselves, then you turn the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector upside down, and Jesus is teaching bad hygiene when the masochist beating his breast is justified rather than the upstanding man who feels good about himself.

Book Appraisal:
"I know of no other book that so strongly points out the practical consequences of theology. Far from dry theoretical speculation, the heart of life's meaning and experience was at stake." ( matt, the reading room)
"The Cruelty of Heresy, a very readable text of fewer than two hundred pages. The book's format is wonderfully well expressed and full of memorable examples and analogies from everyday life." (A reader)
The burning of books this creed occasioned in order to establish the primacy of the One Book should be reason for any reader to weep. Roger R. Easson, who rated the book a lone star, utilized the history of the development of Church dogma very ably to criticize the South Carolina Bishop, "Yet Allison dismisses this history of horror by asserting that it is in reality the heretics who are cruel. If this weren't such a serious subject, this book might almost be comic. If you want to know why we Christians need to hang our heads in shame, read this book and be astonished at the overbearing narrow-minded, amnesiac quality of this defender of our faith."

Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison
Born and raised in South Carolina, C. FitzSimons Allison retired as Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina in 1994. Between sojourns in his home state, Allison received a Ph.D. from Oxford, served as a pastor in New York City, and wrote several books, in addition to the one reviewed.
Great Explination of Christology  Jan 19, 2003
Most of the heresies of the early era of the Church were concerned with the nature and person of Christ Jesus. This book delves into the contraversies that surrounded the definitions of the Ecumenical Councils and the key theologians that proposed both hetero and orthodoxy. I know of no other book that so strongly points out the practical consequesnces of theology. Far from dry theoretical speculation, the heart of life's meaning and experience was at stake. Sound over dramatic? Read it for yourself and find out!

Other books of interest may include: "The First Seven Ecumenical Councils" by Leo Davis; "Fathers and Heretics" by Prestige; the works of Georges Florovsky; "INcarnation:Myth or Fact?" by Skarsaune; "Christology" by O'Collins. Enjoy!

A Critical Book For Modern Christians  Jul 19, 2002
If you are a parent who has ever watched the painful consequences of wrong thinking in your children, you will immediately recognize the value of this book. While this concisely written book is historically accurate and highly beneficial as an introductory work on ancient heresies, it is profoundly valuable for its actual intended purposes: (1) to highlight the fact that heretical opinions are cruel to those who hold them, and (2) to alert and warn the reader that ancient heresies have a way of reappearing in modern forms. If a reader keeps in mind these dual purposes, this book is extremely valuable. It is cogently written in a readable style and its tone is pastoral. Moreover, it is highly practical. It increases the apologist's arsenal with the information that wrong thinking about theology hurts people. Not only are there serious theological implications to holding heretical views, but such views will hurt you, and the last thing a modern Christian wants is discomfort and pain. So, this book is a timely reminder that we should beware of thinking wrongly about God.

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