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Cruelty of Heresy [Paperback]

Fitzsimmons Allison
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 27 2002
"In a time when many traditional churches are drowning in a morass of new polysllabic hersies, it is a de-light to find this spirited defense of orthodoxy..I hope it will do for this generation what Chesterton and C.S. Lewis did in the first half of thise century". D.H.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Explination of Christology Jan. 18 2003
By matt
Format:Paperback
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!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Critical Book For Modern Christians July 19 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cruelty of Heresy Dec 26 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is not anticipated that the readers will have much familiarity with terms like "Monophysite" and "Eutychian". Furthermore, the expectation is that readers will be under the influence of the media and popular culture and therefore inclined to view orthodoxy as boring and heresy as exciting.
They will probably be surprised by the central thesis of the book, namely, that the Christ of the heretics cannot save us...and they are certainly free to challenge it. But those same readers will in turn be challenged by the compelling argruments advanced by C. FitzSimons Allson, retired Bishop of South Carolina in The Cuelty 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. (E.g., "the Appollinarian train carries only freight and not people, while the Nestorian train comes through the station but does not stop" for sinners, who must learn to run faster if they want to earn a place on board.)
The importance of an orthodox understanding of Christology and the Holy Trinity is that it points the way to God's saving grace. Both Adoptionism and Gnosticism are forms of spiritual elitism, and they are widespread today. Frequently, they mask themselves as true Christianity, deceiving many good sheep and not a few of the shepherds who are supposed to be guarding the flock.
Heresies are as real, relevant and dangerous as a flask of deadly poison. Bishop Allison demonstrates the cruelty of heresy and the vitality of orthodoxy, contending that heresy is essentially an error of the will whereas faith is a rectitude of the heart. What is perhaps most impressive is that he is able to do so in such a readable and engaging book.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Critical Book For Modern Christians July 19 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Explination of Christology Jan. 18 2003
By matt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusually clear explanation of revisionism July 30 2007
By Larry Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book You Wish Everyone Knew of and Would Read June 20 2009
By Greg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bishop Allison provides an invaluable study of early church heresies and their ongoing presence in the church and outside it today. While being readable and practical, it's far from a trivialization of the subject matter. It challenges the reader to think through what's being presented.

He indicates that what many people (historically and now) have taken to be Christianity and rejected is instead a form of heresy. He goes beyond definitions and dates to illustrate clear distinctions between heresy and orthodoxy, especially as both relate to our salvation in Christ, which heresy fails to accomplish.
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