9:50 is a warning against rejection of all who are not "officially"
members of the Christian community. One might think today of Gandhi, e.g.,
or of Muslims who (if they indeed pay heed to the Qu'ran) have very high
regard for Jesus. It should, _a fortiori_, warn "conservative" Christians
against automatic exclusion of "liberal" Christians because they don't hold
particular doctrinal positions. (The parallel Mk.9:38-41 is more
detailed.) This seemed to me the basic point that Burgy & Howard were
11:23 is a reminder that there is a fundamental distinction between
being "for" Jesus and being "against" him. All religious faiths, all
ultimate commitments, are not equivalent.
The opposite of exclusionary fundamentalism is naive universalism,
often manifested in phrases like, "It doesn't matter what you believe just
as long as you're sincere," "After all, we all believe in the same God," &c.
As to the general point: Most heresies are the result of unnuanced
emphasis on one aspect of the faith to the exclusion of others. &
conversely, "orthodoxy" is often a matter of _avoiding_ such narrow
emphases. E.g., an adequate doctrine of the Trinity must avoid both the
idea that there are three Gods AND the idea that there is simply one God who
appears in the 3 different ways. An adequate Christian anthropology must
recognize the seriousness of original sin but cannot think it so serious
that unredeemed humanity would no longer be God's creation.
Theology is often a matter of staying toward the middle of the road
& not falling into the ditch on either side. But it's a road with some
width, so we aren't restricted to walking a narrow line.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
"D. F. Siemens, Jr." wrote:
> I have noted that the opposite consequences are based on a plural (9:50)
> and a singular (11:23) first person pronoun. We can accept all the help
> we can get. But Christ demands unconditional surrender. How is this
> relevant to any heresy except rejection of his lordship? Is its opposite
> also heretical?
> On Mon, 18 Feb 2002 22:31:51 -0500 george murphy <email@example.com>
> > "Howard J. Van Till" wrote:
> > > >From: george murphy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > >
> > > > It's worth noting that both Luke 9:50 and 11:23 are in
> > the same
> > > > Gospel.
> > >
> > > OK, I've noted it. Now what?
> > Now keep in mind that the mirror image of a heresy is
> > generally also
> > heretical.
> > George
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