Thursday, April 26, 2007


Tony Jones has recently posted about a presentation he did at Wheaton. His presentation elucidated his position on orthodoxy. Jones purports that orthodoxy is an event, not something static and established. People come together at different times and establish what they believe to be orthodox.

I find the entire concept interesting, and challenging. We are constantly claiming orthodoxy in our beliefs as if they are tried and true, grounded and never to be moved. We act as though our creedal formulations of beliefs are so well established that they are without need of adaptation or updating.

If we view orthodoxy not as an established set of rules, but rather as a fluid dynamic process, what is orthodox today, and who is to decide? What determines right belief?

I think theology like all other forms of art and science must be ever evolving. If you stop growing your dead.


steven said...

This is a very interesting concept. Nestorius was seen as orthodox with in his own group, while the Chalcedon thought of themselves as Orthodox, same with the Alexandrians. It appears that Orthodoxy many times is determined by the one who holds earthly power. I am unsure why all these views could not be seen as a theological conversation that scripture does not fully explain.

I like Tony's view here, but we would have to hold to the simple truths of Jesus, explained to us in scripture (if there is such a thing). At least that is where I stand at this point.


steven said...

"The ancient Persian church was the only one to espouse the cause of Nestorius; as a result it lost communion with the rest of Christendom. The head of the church, called the patriarch of the East. The church has relations with some Jacobites and some Anglicans; in 1994 the Nestorian and Roman Catholic churches signed a declaration recognizing the legitimacy of each other's theological positions. Among the Nestorians lives a community in communion with the pope, known as Chaldean Catholics. They have rite and practices in common with the Nestorians, but have had a separate church organization since the 16th cent. "

It seems to me that this shows us that Orthodoxy is fluid and it does change when our questions change. It also shows us that we are fully human and our knowledge is limited (as well as our understanding). Orthodoxy must change, the question is how, and who sets the orthodoxy?