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Heretics for Armchair Theologians

(Armchair Theologians)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  54 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In this unique Armchair volume, noted church historians Justo and Catherine Gonzalez introduce readers to important early church figures whose teachings were denounced by the church as heresies. Instructional for what they taught and for revealing what the church wished to safeguard and uphold, these "heretics," including Marcion, Arius, Nestorius, and Pelagius, are engagi ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 31st 2008 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published October 1st 2008)
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Lee Harmon
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent little book covering the major “heretics” of the first five centuries. The authors do not try to present these men as evil or anti-Christian at all. On the contrary, they were sincere people trying to understand the Christian faith in their own context, asking important questions and seeking to lead others to what they took to be a fuller understanding of the Gospel. The authors eventually describe a “heretic” as a person who carries one truth about God too far, such that it distort ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
A non-scholarly work summarizing common heretical movements in the early Church up to the Fourth Ecumenical Council in 451. “Heresy” is defined by the authors* as an idea that is dangerous or threatening to the core beliefs of the faith.

The Ebionites were a sect of early Jewish Christians who held a collection of heterodox views, but the one for which they are remembered is the first articulation of adoptionist Christology, by which Jesus was chosen by God as prophet and perhaps even endowed wit
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book focuses on the early church and how they worked out the core beliefs of the catholic church. There were many people, with many ideas that all had to be sorted through for what would become orthodox and what would become heresy and this book is about that process. This book explains why Christians today believe what they do.
It is clearly written for the armchair theologian, not for the scholar. Nearly every page features a cartoon on the subject. There are no footnotes to sort through,
David Withun
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
As with most of what I've read by Justo L. González, I enjoyed this book a lot. It is an excellent, though simplified, introduction to Christian heresies from first century Ebionism and Docetism to the Monophysite heresy and the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

As always, González offers a thoroughly readable and engaging discussion of the topics at hand. His comparisons of the ancient heresies with some modern-day sects is not only rather brave on his part but also very informative. And, for the kid
David Greenberg
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
This short non-fiction work provides brief introductory level essays on various heresies and theological debate topics. The writers fairly treat the heretics—they were men and women who sought to declare God's truth, but pride in their own wisdom became their folly. The book is not "academic," but it is written by academics. So the book is well researched. Nevertheless if you want a theology textbook you should not purchase this book.
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of the best in the "Armchair Theologians" series (so far, anyway). The Gonzalezs make difficult ideas simple, without being trite (like some of the other books of the series do). They also deal appropriately when drawing connections between ancient heresies and modern religious movements, leaving the reader to draw our own conclusions about which fit where (usually).
John Mundy
Nov 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Just skimmed this. Looked good for nonscholarly audiences, lots of appropriate cartoons. Definitely aimed at a Protestant audience with a few shots at Catholics. Humorous. I recommend instead McGrath's Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth for those who already have some background in patristics.
Aug 03, 2011 added it
I appreciated how the authors overviewed the main early heretics while not verbally burning them at the stake. At the same time they showed how the church's response to these early heretics shaped the future of our beliefs as Christians and what we consider "orthodox."
Oct 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in Theology, History
This book was alright... chapter by chapter the authors covered the major historic heresies. This particular series (Armchair Theologians) uses some pretty annoying cartoons. I find them distracting. Otherwise the book was a decent read.
Carlos Vallarino
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You learn so much in this little out of the way books and you niggysob then darn christianities.
John Hanscom
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very good overview.
Feb 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a great cursory introduction to "heretics" in church history. Gonzalez' writing style and humor make the book a light enjoyable read. I rarely give five stars but this book gets them.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good book. Mostly readable with goofy cartoon along the way.
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Justo L. González, author of the highly praised three-volume History of Christian Thought and other major works, attended United Seminary in Cuba, received his MA at Yale, and was the youngest person to be awarded a PhD in historical theology at Yale. He is one of the few first generation Latino theologians to come from a Protestant background. He helped to found the Association for Hispanic Theol ...more

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