To Be as Gods

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From the description on the book jacket:

What does it mean to “think straight” about religion?  Is it not possible that the religious heresies of one generation may become the orthodoxy of the next?

….In dealing with these and many other questions, Modern Heresies explores much of contemporary theology.  It presents a fascinating survey of the nature of heresy, showing that the line between it and orthodoxy can be very close, and that heresies have times and seasons.  But the main focus of the book is on problems that arise from religious “tolerance” and on the fact that many dangerous heresies are with us today simply because they are able to masquerade under the guise of liberalism and are not taken seriously.

Here are some of the specific present-day heresies: heresies in traditional theological language, the positive thinking heresy, the heresy of secularism and universalism, the heresy of the personal God, and the “divine spark” heresy.  As each is carefully examined in this important study, it becomes only too clear that these heresies should be taken seriously, for their effect on the thoughts and actions of people has become more far-reaching than one might suppose.

Responding to secularism, Krumm says it is:

best confronted…by theological orthodoxy.  That man has wide areas of freedom and responsibility is part of the biblical doctrine of his creation in the image of God.  But the myth of the Garden of Eden says that this freedom and responsibility are both the source of splendid insight and imaginative aspiration and also the source of overweening pride and limitless ambition…The solution lies in the preaching of the doctrine of human sin and that man lives by faith in God’s forgiveness of that sin…[W]e may formulate orthodoxy’s answer to this heresy that man is the center of the universe in this way: man is a creature of God and to him he owes his existence, his reason, his freedom, and all that he has and is, but God made man for freedom and responsibility; and as a father seeks to draw his son into a mature relationship, not of slavish obedience but of a glad sharing of insight and purpose, so God calls us into a service in which we find our destiny in the glorious liberty of the sons of God.  We are neither so autonomous as our modern heresy assumes, nor are we such puppets as authoritarian ecclesiasticism assumes.  Orthodoxy confers on us a status as sons of God, and that phrase exactly describes both the fullness of our freedom and the depth of our dependence.

This book was published in 1961.  I think the author might not be too surprised at our cultural landscape in 2016.

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