How is Your Heresy IQ?

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65 Responses

  1. Duane Arnold says:


    Feel free to leave comments or questions… BUT NO ANSWERS! ?

  2. josh the baptist says:

    This is great 🙂

    It is actually tough. I’ll check some of my answers via google.

  3. Em says:

    Weeel, i recognize the heresies even if i don’t know the label…?

    But then i am not a theologian (and i never hope to be one ) i just try to discern which ones to learn from – God help us all ?

  4. Em says:

    P.S. I will download the answers tonight…
    You never know when someone will hit you with a big word… Like neo-Manichaean. LOL

  5. Michael says:

    It’s tough…especially if you’ve been away from the history books for a while…

  6. Duane Arnold says:


    Don’t go to Google too quickly! Ponder… ?

  7. Duane Arnold says:


    Corner office or above?

  8. Michael says:


    I did well…mainly because I was preparing a story on the difference between real heresy and what ODM’s call heresy when you sent me this quiz…

  9. Duane Arnold says:


    I would have thought as much!

  10. j2theperson says:

    Yeah. If I took the time to fill it out I would probably get a zero. Guess I’ll go back to cleaning my house.

  11. ( |o )====::: says:

    Each “heresy” is but a squinted vista during our shared incomplete and unfolding journey. When we’re home we shall no longer see these views through dust & haze and weary eyes.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    My wife has taken “attending seminary” off her bucket list… (although she did take NT Greek with me!).

  13. Michael says:

    1. Pelagianism __e___
    2. Monophysitism __d__
    3. Nestorianism __h___
    4. Arianism __c___
    5. Apollinarianism __g___
    6. Manichaeism __b___
    7. Docetism __f___
    8. Adoptionism __a___
    9. Eutychianism __k___
    10. Sabellianism __l___

  14. Xenia says:

    seven outta ten right.

  15. Duane Arnold says:


    You’ve been raiding the pastor’s library!

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I found it odd on a thread about heresy, not that “G” thinks heresy doesn’t matter, that it will all wash in the end – but that it caused no ripple of disturbance here.
    With a poll last year showing up to 70% of Christian respondents answering in the affirmative that Jesus is the first and greatest creation of God we have a problem.
    If we say JWs are not Christians, what do we do with this group sitting in our churches holding to major JW heresies?
    This is NOT one of those “glass darkly” moments. If others do not see these as non Christians also worshiping the wrong Jesus, then we have a major divide.
    “G’s” statement, although ranking high on the ‘can’t we all just get along’ scale is actually from the pit.

    I just wanted there to be one dissent on record in case some unsuspecting soul passes by.

  17. Em says:

    Jesus as first and greatest might have been understood as His standing, not His origin? AND might have been read as hs humanity….?
    Dunno … ? ?

  18. Jean says:


    Go easy. Pelagius would have been a rockstar in contemporary American Christianity. Almost nothing is more affirming than a free will.

  19. Michael says:

    What we did here is list what the historic Christian church defined as heresy.
    I think it’s helpful in two ways.
    It defines what has been agreed upon as heretical…and leaves out those issues where we should invoke other terms when we disagree on doctrine or believe there is error.

    Gman has been here for years…we agree on some things and don’t agree on others.
    I count him a friend and a brother.
    Raising hell with him might please some, but will change nothing.

    Duane gave us the historical list that we might see where we stand in our knowledge and as a winsome way to end the week.

    I’m glad he did.

  20. Xenia says:

    Almost nothing is more affirming than a free will.<<<<

    The Orthodox Church teaches free will. We also have a strong theology of suffering.

  21. ( |o )====::: says:

    My post is from the heart of Jesus when He said, “And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.”

    I’m so very thankful Jesus shall receive me, you, and everyone who, even imperfectly, is His.


  22. ( |o )====::: says:

    John 6:39


  23. Duane Arnold says:

    Defining ancient heresies is helpful. When the said definitions are used to bludgeon others, without a full hearing of their views, it is less than helpful.

    BTW, Pelagianism and all that it involves has been a matter of debate in the Church for almost 1600 years… and there are very fine scholars who are still working on the question.

  24. Jean says:


    I fear that nearly anything I write may trigger someone, so I am reluctant to continue further, but if it’s deemed appropriate, I would ask you to define what makes a “very fine [Christian] scholar.”

    Such a definition might aid a reader in making a beneficial discernment.

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, my comment was not at all against Duane’s quiz, but with “G’s” comment unchallenged the result is that a bunch of old guys codified various teachings that don’t matter.
    As I said, I was watching out for the unsuspecting.

  26. Duane Arnold says:


    I tend to define scholarship by familiarity with primary sources in the original languages. Pelagius is a very good example. His writings are not extant. We know what we know of his views through the writings of others (often his critics or enemies). We get some sense from the eight canons of the Council of Carthage (418) on the views of early Pelagians. And then we have the writings of Augustine. So we look for expertise in language, church history, and historical theology just to approach what he might have said. Only then can we evaluate the “theology behind the words”. Now for the discerning reader of this scholarly output, we have to evaluate if the scholarship is biased in any way by sectarian concerns or other prejudices. Now, all of this does not negate what the Church affirms concerning the errors of Pelagianism, but it does help us in our understanding of the original context in which the decisions were made. There are very fine Orthodox, RC, Lutheran, Evangelical, Baptist and other scholars, but the scholarship has to be based in an honest assessment of the materials.

  27. ( |o )====::: says:

    “G’s” comment unchallenged the result is that a bunch of old guys codified various teachings that don’t matter.”

    Wow, reading into something, then putting words into someone’s mouth much?!?

    Here’s my experience, my confidence, my faith in Jesus summed up…

    I simply take the words of Jesus over everything else and solely place my confidence in Him.

    I am filled with joy, I have confidence in Him, no fear about this world, and have peace.

  28. Babylon's Dread says:

    I knew 6 of the right off the others were muddled in my old mind. I managed 7 correct but one was more guess than conviction.

    I love historic theology but focus on systematic theology and am horrified that I missed 3 but in truth focusing on orthodox construction of Trinitarian theology keeps you on the rails but it would be better had I more quickly identified the actual monikers of the deviations.

    Heresy primarily focuses on Christology for non-Catholics even Orthodox I would reckon.

    Good exercise even if I stunk up the house

  29. Duane Arnold says:


    I’ll join you in the “old mind” club! Fresh out of seminary, or while doing my doctoral work, I could have rattled these off in my sleep. These days I have to think. I’ve been reading Bonhoeffer on Christology – the 1933 lectures. He seems to be of the view that if you get Christology right, everything else follows – especially with regard to ecclesiology. It has promoted some new thinking on my part!

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane – if you are going to do a follow up quiz, pick 10 statements – in the fashion of the one I posted above “Jesus is the first and greatest creation of God” – and ask if each is true or false and see how folks answer.

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    An old Lutheran statement is “All theology is Christology” – this has been ‘culturally appropriated’ by some groups and cursed by others. I hold to it.

  32. Duane Arnold says:

    The quiz is meant to be fun and informative… not “heresy hunting” or “gotcha…”

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Where is the ‘gotcha’ if no one posts their answers for public viewing? This is just another example if I say “the sky is blue” you will counter it just to be heard.

  34. Duane Arnold says:

    “…ask if each is true or false and see how folks answer.”

    No thanks, “the quiz is meant to be fun and informative… not “heresy hunting” or “gotcha…”

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It was meant with the same admonition not to post answers. Have it your way.

  36. Jean says:

    There are two ways to look at orthodoxy:

    One is a matter of the intellect, which focuses on right doctrine, and is popular in Western post-Enlightenment Christianity. This model ignores the physical means by which God sanctified His people and renders sanctification a mental or intellectual exercise and/or moral improvement.

    The other is a matter of the holiness of God, which focuses on using, worshipping and teaching the Name, in such a way that recognizes His holiness and desire to sanctify His people with His holiness, and His people’s desire not to desecrate His holy Name.

    The two are not mutually exclusive, but a fixation on correct formulas of doctrine may cause someone to miss a lot of how God relates to His people in Scripture. An over focus on the mental will miss the incarnational, sacramental and physical means by which God communicates his holiness (i.e., sanctifies) to his people.

    Someone should want to believe and/or teach right doctrine because he is speaking of a holy God.

  37. Duane Arnold says:

    “One is a matter of the intellect, which focuses on right doctrine, and is popular in Western post-Enlightenment Christianity. This model ignores the physical means by which God sanctified His people and renders sanctification a mental or intellectual exercise and/or moral improvement.”

    I think the Church Fathers of the first seven ecumenical councils might disagree with you. For them, orthodoxy in doctrine went hand in hand with orthodoxy in practice… As you say, the two are not mutually exclusive.

  38. Jean says:


    The ecumenical councils were called to address doctrinal questions and/or divisions. They didn’t just have the councils to expound doctrine. Thus, I don’t think they would have disagreed with me. But, as I said, the two are not mutually exclusive.

    When there is false teaching, it is the solemn duty of every faithful Christian to mark it and reject it. In that case, it is not a model for doing theology or an over fixation, but the love of neighbor at work.

  39. Duane Arnold says:


    Thank you for instructing me on the church councils… ?

  40. Muff Potter says:

    I hold to the tenets of The Apostle’s Creed as non-negotiable axioms.
    I trust in Jesus of Nazareth’s very literal bodily person and in nothing more.
    The stuff beyond that?
    I’m an idontknowian, and more often than that, an idontcareian.

  41. Em says:

    Everyone who confronts the fact that there was a man who was crucified for claiming to be sinless, claiming to be God, must come to terms with the fact that no one born to a mortal man and a mortal woman could make the claims or live the life that Jesus Christ did. There is so much to learn about both God and man from that life. So much to affirm in humility or twist to suit our human viewpoints… It is beyond sad to claim Jesus as simply a role model – to not understand the necessity of the virgin birth and the incarnation, the jaw dropping truth that God became a man to provide a way of redemption – life – to His corrupted creation…. The Greatest Story Ever Told, indeed. But it is not a fiction
    God keep

  42. Jean says:


    I invite your thoughts on the following:

    If man’s will is free, then God’s will is not free.

    If God’s will is not free, then He cannot make immutable promises.

    Is this what you mean by free will?

  43. Michael says:

    Christology is often worked out by what we agree upon as error as has been laid out by the creeds and councils.
    Still, there is no single positive affirmation of a complete Christology that all orthodox believers agree on.
    The East and West are different…even the children of the Reformation, the Lutherans and the Calvinists differ on some points.
    i accept the definitions of the councils on what is heretical and and listen to the positive points of my brethren with humility.
    Man defining God demands such in my opinion…

  44. Michael says:

    “When there is false teaching, it is the solemn duty of every faithful Christian to mark it and reject it.”

    Who defines what is false?

    When I was a card carrying Calvinist, only the Reformed (and by association, myself) were correct.
    The Orthodox and Rome were not only false teachers, but “enemies of the Gospel” despite bring the oldest expressions of the faith.
    Calvinists loved Luther despite the the fact that most Lutherans utterly scorned Calvinists.

    We all agreed that evangelicals were idiots.

    My problem was that I kept seeing the fruits of repentance and a love of Christ among all those error filled sects…and found a coldness and lack of love in my own.

    Doctrinal wars sucked all the joy out of salvation and reduced relationship to a set of formulas.

    The solution for me was Anglicanism…because it meant that I didn’t have to pick a sect and die defending every aspect of it, but could appreciate and incorporate what seemed right in all of them while respecting the differences that remain.

    A lot of “false teaching” become differences in understanding.

    I might be wrong…but I hope to be wrong for the right reasons.

  45. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I would think that universalism is heretical – so I marked “G’s” statement as such. It was not well received here.

  46. Em says:

    “If man’s will is free, then God’s will is not free” a false premise….
    God granting man free will to chose does not negate God’s control of the outcome
    But, Xenia is the one to whom Jean was speaking… I anticipate reading her answer, too .?

  47. Duane Arnold says:

    The purpose of this quiz and this thread was the identification of heresies identified by the ecumenical councils. It was not to determine the relative orthodoxy of individuals commenting on this thread…

  48. Jean says:


    “God granting man free will to chose does not negate God’s control of the outcome”

    Your statement is not logical. How can both coexist?

  49. Michael says:

    I don’t recall G saying anything about universalism.
    I suspect that most Christian universalists are simply aligned with Christ’s desire that all men be saved…

  50. ( |o )====::: says:

    Pray tell, disciple of Martin Luther, how is it to be a self-appointed heresy-hunter who has a track record that rivals Trump in inaccuracy and equals him in hate?

    My post was about OUR sure assurance of His continued presence, regardless of how dimly and poorly we see while we journey. Jesus is my sure promise in this life and for eternity.

  51. Jerod says:

    ” I invite your thoughts on the following:

    If man’s will is free, then God’s will is not free.

    If God’s will is not free, then He cannot make immutable promises.”

    What’s incredible about God is both things can be true at once.

    God has the sovereignty to grant man free will.
    God has the sovereignty to disallow it.
    Whether or not I grasp the reason of it doesn’t matter a hill of beans.

  52. Xenia says:


    Read Boethius.

    Or The Ainulindalë.

  53. Jean says:

    Okay, I get it. No discussions.

    Anyway, It’s colder than all get out here, but I got in two workouts. The first one shoveling snow. It’s now beer-thirty, so cheers everyone.

    I hope all of you have access tomorrow to God’s means of grace. It’s where God meets man and communicates his holiness to you, gratis. Peace.

  54. Xenia says:

    Well, both of my recommendations actually do reflect my view about God-given free will. Both are written by Catholics, whose view of free will is similar to my own. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with Boethius on this topic, and Tolkien gets it exactly right in The Ainulindalë, the creation story of Middle-earth.

  55. Xenia says:

    Both are written by Catholics<<<

    Boethius is the writer, not the book. Sorry bout that.

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Free will if true is the saving work of the old Adam.
    Many think that the will is what leads to conversion when in fact it is the will that is the object of conversion.

  57. Jean says:


    May I quote your last sentence in another venue? That was brilliant.

  58. Em says:

    If man is not free to respond negatively or positively ti the gospel, then God needs to explain why He doesn’t just “cause” everyone to accept redemption and get this over with…
    I believe there is something in us that is inherent, an overriding gene, perhaps, of pride or humility that responds to the message accordingly. “I set before you life and death, choose life”. Duet. 30:16-20
    Lame example, perhaps, but..

  59. Em says:

    Deuteronomy. ?

  60. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, those are already the people of God. People chosen by God being told that obedience is their choice – not salvation.

    If one can ‘will’ themselves to be saved, isn’t that an act of the old Adam, who I think we are told is dead in his sin?

  61. Em says:

    No, no MLD, one doesn’t will themselves to be saved….
    I think we’d agree that God is omniscient. Therefore, He *knows* beforehand who will respond. But, i still say that we respond to the Holy Spirit, i.e., we don’t just go along and suddenly – ZAP! God infuses us and voila! A Christian.
    You insist it is all a work of God? I agree, but it is ours to respond… I think God makes that point in the Deuteronomy passage referenced ?

  62. Duane Arnold says:

    While it is best to actually read Boethius, ‘The Consolation of Philosophy ‘, there is a good overview here:

  63. pstrmike says:

    Are you referring to The Consolation of Philosophy?

  64. Xenia says:

    Pstrmike, yep.

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