A touch of coincidence today, coming across two positive references to Christian heretics within about half an hour.
The first is this blog on necessary heresies, ‘What the heretics have to teach us.’ (Go on, click through and read – it’s great stuff.)
Then, while re-reading part of this classic commentary on Romans, I read
One needs neither a special sympathy with Pelagianism nor the sort of nationalistic fervour which led Milton to make excessive claims for Wyclif, to to recognise in Pelagius (died after 418), the first known British commentator on Romans, a considerable biblical scholar. His commentary shows a deep and extensive knowledge of scripture, familiarity with earlier and contemporary biblical scholarship …, a by no means insignificant spiritual insight, great moral earnestness and a pleasing and succinct style.
One thing that worries me about contemporary Christians is our reaction to wrong.
We might completely write off a person/idea (‘heretic!’) in a manner that suggests we simply don’t want to engage. Or we shy away from discussing difference at all, as ‘too divisive.’ Much better is seen in these two examples of honesty with humility: ‘I disagree, but know I will learn much by interacting with you.’