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Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

A Heterodox


Although Christianity has always had a significant diversity of belief, mainstream Christianity considers certain core doctrines essential. Those accepting them often consider followers of Jesus who disagree with these doctrines to be Heterodox /1, heretical, or “outside” Christianity altogether. That does not have to be the case. It’s just a position taken by many Christians that might have an unreasoned position.

On the other hand, the term heterodox is occasionally used by some Christians to refer to themselves when they are in disagreement with orthodox understandings, but voice this disagreement while still maintaining the overall value of the tradition. The heterodox Christian therefore remains in the tradition, and attempts to stimulate constructive dialog around issues with which they disagree.

Or, from my standpoint, one can value the tradition, yet not hold to some of the core beliefs – the Christ element – for example, while believing there is one God.

This is not, however, unique to Christianity:

“Most of the Kurds were Sunni Muslims, but perhaps a quarter or a third adhered to heterodox varieties of Islam that preserved traces of earlier religions. They fight with members of other faiths, who seem to challenge their claim to a monopoly of absolute truth; they also persecute their co-religionists for interpreting a tradition differently or for holding heterodox beliefs.”/2

[…]  Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History

I address similar thoughts, albeit from a different perspective, in my (future) post: Image

Peace to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

1/ Heterodox comes from Greek heterodoxos, “of another opinion,” from hetero-, “other” + doxa, “opinion,” from dokein, “to believe.”

heterodox \HET-uh-ruh-doks\, adjective:
1. Contrary to or differing from some acknowledged standard, especially in church doctrine or dogma; unorthodox.
2. Holding unorthodox opinions or doctrines.

NOTES: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX, Monotheism; William F. Albright, From the Stone Age to Christianity; H. Richard Niebuhr, Radical Monotheism and Western Culture;, Monotheistic Religion resources; Jonathan Kirsch, God Against the Gods; Linda Woodhead, An Introduction to Christianity; The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Monotheism; The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, monotheism; New Dictionary of Theology, Paul pp. 496-99; David Vincent Meconi, “Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity” in Journal of Early Christian Studies pp. 111–12

2/ Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History

4 Comments to

“A Heterodox”

  1. Avatar April 1st, 2009 at 7:13 pm reasoning « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    […] Faith, more because a contrarian view is healthy and interesting if you take a heterodoxal position (and, I do). I also stumbled upon (or, was possibly led to) Nick Milne’s The Daily […]

  2. Avatar July 17th, 2009 at 5:20 am blackberry IS all business « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    […] a Blackberry). So, there is an example of me being a Heterodox. Learn more about that by reading: A Heterodox and possibly: Do the Math, for good […]

  3. Avatar December 26th, 2011 at 11:03 am The Unsinkable brian cork™ » Blog Archive » does Christ have a fake ID? Says:

    […] was this sense that I could not prove it did not happen. and, I’d been playing the Heterodox card so long I had forgotten the circular argument that, ultimately, believing in a thing (any […]

  4. Avatar February 15th, 2013 at 8:38 am The Unsinkable brian cork™ » Blog Archive » Social Networking is like a Sexual Orgy Says:

    […] my role in your lives. that’s me being the Heterodox (it’s been awhile since I’ve used that term), and a Jeffersonian Heterodox, at that. […]

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