From a question that arose during family worship, the prof turns the pastor and parishioner’s attention to II Peter 2 and asks how to identify a heretic. For it is a term that is often used wrongly (Luther was called one!) but should not be thrown around lightly. The parishioner immediately zooms in on the Trinity, and the pastor makes a distinction between heresy and a heretic. The guys focus on other key doctrines that, if done wrongly, constitute heresy. From there they highlight when a person should be deemed a false prophet. Then they even name some names as they point to a few of our modern day heretics!
You will want to take a listen and learn with the 3GTers how to sniff out a heretic!
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4 thoughts on “Episode 51: Heretic! Heretic!”
Thank you for a helpful episode!
If I understand correctly, NT Wright has been widely, openly promoting what appears to be fundamental heretical teaching on justification and more recently on the atonement – denying penal substitution.
Do you believe he passed from promoting heresy into being classified as a heretic, the extremely serious, permanent charge of being an deliberate, knowing apostate from the faith?
Thanks for writing and glad the episode was an encouragement.
In response to your specific question about N.T. Wright, one of the things we should have expressed better in this episode is the place of church courts in matters such as these. The synod of the denomination I serve, the RPCNA, has adopted the OPC paper on the New Perspective on Paul and the Federal Vision (https://www.opc.org/GA/justification.pdf). So though this statement condemns much of the teaching of Wright as erroneous and I would even say heretical at points. However, it does stop short of labeling him as a heretic. So though I believe inherent in Wright’s teachings are dangerous seeds of anti-gospel teaching, until fathers and brothers in the Lord more knowledgeable of him and his teachings condemn him this way, then I would be hesitant as well.
Thanks Barry, makes sense and appreciate your work.
The URCNA have also rejected the recycled “New” Perspective.
Maybe Anglican courts can properly adjudicate this , but not really too hopeful for that.
And I don’t believe there is such official recourse for guys like Bell, Osteen, etc.
Finally, are you aware of Wright’s more recent teaching on the atonement? If I understand correctly, he seems to be heading over a theological cliff in a very bad use of his influence and gifts.
But as you say, that’s not a matter for private judgment but perhaps denominational (or NAPARC?) consensus.
Good thoughts above.
Some men like Bell and Osteen are so clearly identifiable it does not take a church court to determine their heretical standing, whereas Wright’s departures are more subtle so help is needed.
No, I have not read Wright’s most recent writings on the atonement. Yes, there may be a time for the NAPARC churches to address him and his teaching again more directly.