Saturday, June 28, 2014
Each chapter in Know the Heretics provides historical context, why the teaching was heretical, what the orthodox church's response was and how knowing about each heretical theology is relevant today. Holcomb closes each chapter with discussion questions for a small group and a brief bibliography for learning more.
By arranging the heresies historically, Holcomb also instructs readers on how the church had to define beliefs on the character of God, the nature of Christ, the persons of the Trinity, and the means of salvation.
This is not an easy subject and this book, though brief, is not a quick read. However, Holcomb provides enough information to begin a study on each historical heresy. It's particularly good that he includes a section on contemporary relevance, since some of these heresies refuse to die and persist in modern churches, particularly churches that are moving away from using established church creeds and historical study. Whether you always agree with Holcomb's conclusions or not, this is the sort of book that makes you think about what you believe, about what your church is teaching, and about the message of contemporary Christianity in light of the historical church.
I received a copy of this free from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.