Heretic : Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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37 Responses

  1. Gina says:

    There are so many passages I loved but,
    “ Nonetheless, we have thought the best of each other and have never impugned the others’ motives. Both of us, however, have learned, grown and changed through the years. Moreover, we have allowed for that learning, growth and change in the other person.“
    But this one stood out because that is my dream for my family, my church, and my country.
    Thank you from the depths of my soul.

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks… simple “friendship” has much to teach us about “fellowship”.

  3. Mike Ehrmantrout says:

    Duane—I for one deeply appreciate your studious and well-balanced contributions. Due to you and Michael, I’ve been doing the daily office and find it to be so rich and rewarding. It is growing me spiritually and I’m very thankful and happy about that. I actually had a question I wanted to ask you…could you recommend a book for a layman to begin reading about church history? I mean, what I really need is “Church history for dummies.” 🤷‍♂️ Literally have never read one thing about church history. I do realize I’m asking advice from a heretic, but what the hey, I’m pretty crazy! 🤣🤣 Thanks in advance.

  4. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks and I’m so pleased about the Daily Office . To start off I would recommend the one volume The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Present Day by Justo Gonzalez. It is not intimidating and gives a great overview. If you get bitten by the bug, move on to the Penguin Book series starting with The Early Church by Henry Chadwick.

  5. Mike Ehrmantrout says:

    Duane–Thank you so much for the recommendation. I knew who to ask. 😉

  6. Em says:

    What, exactly, defines a heretic with regard to the Christian Faith? Under grace, not law, what are the heretical doctrines?
    There are probably a myriad of mistaken stands/interpretations… But heretical? Hmmm…..

  7. Duane Arnold says:


    I think heresy at its root is a doctrine or system of doctrines that denies the person and work of Christ… that may be too broad for some, but it pretty well works for me.

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    In the instance cited above, however, “heretic” is simply a label. Once we can attach a label to someone, we strip them of their humanity, which allows us to either silence them or hate them…

  9. Bride of Christ says:

    Most of my life when I have met with these differences of opinion I would say outloud ( ior just silently think), ” Well, I suppose we must agree to disagree”. Once this was enough to maintain friendships in spite of differences of opinion. Somehow this just doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. This article made me very sad, because it is so true. I must say that it seems to be the conservative Republican viewpoint which has become the most rigid and unyielding. I voted Republican for over 30 years, but I no longer consider myself a Republican because I believe the Republican party today has become almost radicalized by rigid extremists. I believe the same has happened to the evangelical church. It saddens me very much because Christ wants us to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters and to strive to get along with everyone in our communities and to be good citizens. The Bible is very clear on this. Early Christians never attempted to overthrow their governments and they didn’t expect the establishment to cater to their every whim as Christians. How have we strayed so far from the teachings of Christ I wonder? Surely poor leadership by Christian cleaners is to blame, but I believe the internet and the many news channels which cater to their own political parties are also to blame.

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    B of C

    “How have we strayed so far from the teachings of Christ I wonder?”

    It’s a question that I ask myself every time I sit down to write…

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    Well said, Duane!

    It’s amazing to me how freely the word heretic is uttered, especially concerning things that have little or nothing to do with theology or practice. The Jews expected a political messiah, and many Christians have simply continued that tradition.

  12. Captain Kevin says:

    Bride of Christ,
    In many ways, I consider myself a conservative. I usually vote Republican. That said, I understand exactly what you mean. There is a radicalism among the ranks that scares the hell out of me.

  13. Duane Arnold says:

    Captain Kevin,

    I keep wondering how they deal with “my kingdom is not of this world”…

  14. JoelG says:

    “Once we can attach a label to someone, we strip them of their humanity, which allows us to either silence them or hate them.”

    I find that I do this more often than I’d like. It’s easy for me to put people into categories and shame them in my mind. The irony is I do it out of my own insecurity, inadequacy and shame.

    We are complex creatures. More complex than I can fathom. People do and say things for reasons that we wouldn’t understand unless we were in their shoes. And maybe not even then. When disagreements arise, perhaps we can remind ourselves that the “other” is a person created in God’s Image.. someone God died for and cares deeply for. Then maybe we can give each other the benefit of any doubts.

    Thanks for the good article and ponder Duane.

  15. Duane Arnold says:


    I think most of us have this tendency… recognizing it is at least a first step.

  16. Em says:

    Thank you, Dr Duane – makes sense to me…

  17. CM says:


    As as far as I know you have not followed Arianism nor denied the divinity of Christ, nor followed in the path of the Judaizers, so I don’t expect you will be slugged by Saint Nick like he would a JW. (Hmmmm. Maybe that it is why JW’s are not fans of the Christmas holiday….)

    Therefore, I can say you are not a heretic.


  18. Duane Arnold says:


    Thanks for the affirmation… I think you might be right!

  19. Jim says:

    Moral of the story? Libertarians are way cooler than partisans. 🙂

  20. CM says:


    I agree 100%.

  21. Jean says:

    Nice article Duane.

    When I read an article like yours that I agree with, I first look in the mirror, because I am a sinner too, and second I attempt to discern a root cause. In the context of the church, I would define what you describe as modern day Phariseeism. There are three elements in particular that come to mind: (1) Pharisees add their convictions and traditions to the Word of God; and (2) Pharisees keep people from Jesus and His grace; and (3) Pharisees lack love for people in need.

  22. Duane Arnold says:


    That was a “freebie” for you 😁!

  23. Duane Arnold says:


    Good analogy… I agree.

  24. Kevin H says:

    Very well said, Duane.

    The heresy hunters within church doctrine have often been bad enough as they make mountains out of mole hills that would be much better left for debate and discussion rather than accusation and condemnation. And, of course, the church has a long history of mixing politics with religion, but these last few years have been especially discouraging. The same Christians who will gladly directly violate God’s commands with slander and bearing false witness will then turn around and call out other Christians for being in sin or heretical for not voting for the “Christian” candidate, or maybe even choosing to not to vote, or of course issues like supporting a minimum wage or not supporting the building of a wall. So vey sad.

  25. CM says:


    Speaking of Saint Nick, this is rather funny, even though it out of season:

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    Kevin H

    Well said… I must say, however, that I never thought to see our divisions so deep…

  27. Mike Ehrmantrout says:

    Duane…”I must say, however, that I never thought to see our divisions so deep…” That’s one of the things I love about the Daily Office…the prayers for the unity of the church and the healing of divisions…boy, are they ever needed now.

  28. Duane Arnold says:


    I’ll say a double “Amen” to that…

  29. JoelG says:

    Not to argue or cause division… Isn’t the following statement a mixing of politics and religion?

    “Anglican commentator advocating a standard minimum wage and healthcare for workers in McDonalds and comparing American workers with their counterparts in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.“

    Just to be clear, I support government action that supports the “least of these”.

    Our faith in Christ should affect all aspects of our life. Are politics exempt from this?

  30. JoelG says:

    Here’s an example…. I believe Obamacare is a noble idea. Healthcare for the poor is what we should all hope for as Christ followers. However, the small business that I work for could no longer afford to provide healthcare for us after Obamacare. Which is fine. But I can see how small business owners, who provide a living for many families, would not think Obamacare helpful in providing for some of the “least of these”.

  31. Duane Arnold says:


    I think there are a whole range of issues which, although they have theological and biblical implications, are not fundamentally theological and/or biblical. In other words, we might have goals that align with Christian values (such as your example of healthcare for the poor) but also recognize that there may be a variety of policies that might reach that goal. (The policies, by the way, are usually arrived at by compromise.) To enshrine the policies themselves, however, as tenets of Christianity is where I think we get into trouble. I think that there are a whole range of policies about which people of good faith can have differing views, while still endorsing goals that align with faith values.

  32. JoelG says:

    Okay I see. That makes sense. Thank you Duane.

  33. CM says:

    JoelG and Duane,

    To piggyback off of this, there is a tendency to wade to in the reeds on politics and policies as a whole, as well as the unfortunate urge to look at one’s faith (and Christianity as a whole) through the idolatrous lens of politics (this true for both Christian Left and the Christian Right, and regardless if you are on TEAM RED or TEAM BLUE).

  34. CM says:

    Many years ago, Russel Moore wrote the article, “God, the Gospel, and Glenn Beck.”:

    Here is perhaps the money quote of the article:

    “Too often, and for too long, American “Christianity” has been a political agenda in search of a gospel useful enough to accommodate it. There is a liberation theology of the Left, and there is also a liberation theology of the Right, and both are at heart mammon worship. The liberation theology of the Left often wants a Barabbas, to fight off the oppressors as though our ultimate problem were the reign of Rome and not the reign of death. The liberation theology of the Right wants a golden calf, to represent religion and to remind us of all the economic security we had in Egypt. Both want a Caesar or a Pharaoh, not a Messiah.”

    I highly would recommend that Dr. Moore reread this article as he seems have been ignoring what he wrote all those years ago. I would also recommend that everybody (including me) look in the mirror as well.

  35. JoelG says:

    Agreed CM. You articulate that well.

    I’m glad God gives us space to work through this stuff. Hopefully we can all learn to do the same with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

  36. filbertz says:

    Sorry Duane that I’m late to the pyre…er, party. I appreciate the gracious manner in which you share that event and balance it with perspective. That is a better method moving forward than to torch the speaker, literally or figuratively. The practice of grace is just that…an endless rehearsal.

  37. Duane Arnold says:


    Well said…

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