Monday, October 01, 2007

Worst Heretic Poll

Which heretic has done the most damage to the gospel?

Marcion for driving a wedge between the Old and New Testament revelation of God?
Cerinthius for his doceticism which denied the true humanity of Christ?

Arius for denying the full deity of the Son of God?

Pelagius for holding that it is is possible to be saved by works rather than by grace alone?

Schleiermacher, the father of Liberal theology who taught that Christianity is the product of human consciousness rather than divine revelation?
The Pope, meaning the institution of the papacy that tries to usurp Christ's primacy over the world-wide church of God, claiming infallibility and promulgating doctrinal novelties like the immaculate conception and assumption of Mary?
Vote in the poll and leave a comment to explain your decision.


michael jensen said...

Well I put in a vote for Scheiermacher because I reckon his Romanticism is more of problem for today's church. Cerinthus would have been second.

Thing about Marcion and Arius is that they were partly right: and an overreaction in the other direction is equally bad.

David Reimer said...

There's an interesting irony in this poll. Each of those heretics provoked a response which, over time, has served to protect and promote the Gospel.

So with that in mind ... I guess one way of approaching your poll would be to ask which of the nominees has received the weakest reply. Hmmm....

David Reimer

Martin Downes said...

You really need to include Faustus Socinus, he was the godfather of anti-gospel heresy.

Anonymous said...

The Pope...if only because of the teaming millions who have followed him/them to their eternal destruction.


Guy Davies said...

Some interesting comments. I agree djr that in the providence of God, responding to the challenge of heresy has often given the church a clearer understanding of the gospel. Without Arius, no Nicaea.

Sorry Martin, once a poll has been published, it can't be edited. I did think about including Socinus, but I already had Arius with regard to the Trinity.

Martin Downes said...

Fair enough, but you do get the total package with the Sozzinis (anti-trinitarian, pelagian, anti-justification, anti-penal substitution, open theism...the list goes on and on).

Guy Davies said...

Martin, I bow to your expertise as a heresy hunter. Looks like I could have done a poll just on Sozza's worst heresy.

Jonathan Hunt said...

I went for Pelagius. Because his teaching is at the heart of EVERY false religion from RCC to Islam...

Family Blogs said...

Along with Michael I've opted for Schleirmacher because of the contined reverberations which we feel today from his teaching. I wonder about some of the more modern heretics as well though like McLaren et al. I suppose that only the incoming decades will tell what their abandonment of truth will do to the church.

Martin Downes said...

I've gone for Pelagius. This heresy makes Christ and his work redundant.

Guy Davies said...

John Owen once said,

"A Socinian Christ for a Pelagian man".

It is only when we see ourselves as hopeless sinners that we realise only God could redeem us.

Blackhaw said...

Of this list I would have to say Marcion or Schleirmacher. My gut is to go with Marcion.

I did not go with Arius because at least he thought of Christ as divine.

Pelagius is big in the west but not really so much in the east. His heresy is big but much bigger in a western model of salvation.

Cerinthius is a good one but Marcion broke up God and the Bible. So he is bigger.

The pope was too general. There has been some very good popes. Even Luther and Calvin would admitted to that I think.

I was very tempted to go with Schleiermacher but other people had said him. Also Marcion makes the OT a product of a lesser god rather than the God so I think he has to be bigger.

So Marcion is my choice. He split up the Bible and he also split up the God of the OT and the NT. Which is interesting since He is the same one God the Father, the Son of God Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

The real Schleiermacher, not the stereotype you use, was no heretic--although I have problems with his theological method and some of his conclusions. He shouldn't even be in this list.

I pick Marcion because even though he was formally rejected, he began a process of making Jesus and the gospel "un-Jewish" that has yet to be stopped. Forms of this heresy infect some liberal biblical scholars and some supposedly orthodox conservative Christians. It's a very difficult heresy to uproot.

Jensen's comment that Marcion and Arius were "partly right" could be said about ANY heretic.