Who said this?

Tyler DurdenTyler Durden Shipmate Posts: 2
Hi. I remember someone quoting an old saying that was something like "Any 'new' theological idea you have has a) been said before b) was said better and c) was also later deemed heretical.

Any ideas?

Comments

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Are you asking our opinions on that statement? Or do you just want to know the name of the person who first said it?
  • "Before you tell me your new theological idea, let me tell you three things about it:

    1) It was already propounded by a 5th century Syrian monk
    2) He expressed himself better than you will
    3) He was wrong"

    Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006), professor at Yale

    source here, dates from Wikipedia
  • Tyler DurdenTyler Durden Shipmate Posts: 2
    Brilliant. Thank you.
  • "Before you tell me your new theological idea, let me tell you three things about it:

    1) It was already propounded by a 5th century Syrian monk
    2) He expressed himself better than you will
    3) He was wrong"

    Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006), professor at Yale

    source here, dates from Wikipedia

    What a put-down!
    :flushed:
    stetson wrote: »
    Are you asking our opinions on that statement? Or do you just want to know the name of the person who first said it?

    Yes - is there something you'd like to discuss? Such as *Was Professor Pelikan right?*

    ISTM that he may have been correct insofar as his student was concerned, but I doubt if what he said is true of every new theological insight (if such things there be).

  • ISTM that he may have been correct insofar as his student was concerned, but I doubt if what he said is true of every new theological insight (if such things there be).

    There certainly seems to be a pattern of retreading ancient heresies for the present day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses and Arianism).
  • tclunetclune Shipmate

    ISTM that he may have been correct insofar as his student was concerned, but I doubt if what he said is true of every new theological insight (if such things there be).

    There certainly seems to be a pattern of retreading ancient heresies for the present day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses and Arianism).

    When I lead confirmation classes, I always tell the kids not to worry about whether their views are heretical or not. ISTM that the great challenge of the faith is to make it your own. While there is some value in recognizing heresies and learning why the hierarchy considers them as such, the greater challenge still seems to engage with things that are at best elusive. It really doesn't matter if someone else thought what you did and did a better job of it -- what does matter is that you work through what resonates with you and what doesn't in the faith. failure to take ownership of one's faith life strikes me as endemic in our churches now, and is far more destructive to the faith than espousing, say, one of the myriad heresies of the trinity. As often as not, the Church seems to be whistling in the dark when it pontificates on such matters anyway.
  • Why do I need to make my own theological beliefs? I don't need to make my own axle-gimballed rolling device. Much more important what I make, in my daily life, of what the Church has already hammered out, and don't run over things in my car.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    I see a significant difference between 'was later deemed heretical' and 'was wrong.'

  • ISTM that he may have been correct insofar as his student was concerned, but I doubt if what he said is true of every new theological insight (if such things there be).

    There certainly seems to be a pattern of retreading ancient heresies for the present day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses and Arianism).

    I invited some JWs in for a bible study once. Once they got over their surprise, and got over thinking I was asking them about Aryanism, we had a good time. I asked them if they thought you could get a fag paper in between what Jesus thought about things, and what God the father thought - and got a shocked and resounding 'no'. That seemed to me to make our positions on the Trinity less different than they might have been; but I might still be missing something.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Why do I need to make my own theological beliefs? I don't need to make my own axle-gimballed rolling device. Much more important what I make, in my daily life, of what the Church has already hammered out, and don't run over things in my car.

    I find this view attractive, but run up against the fact that the Roman Catholic church got the core moral challenge it faced since WW2 so badly wrong, being the challenge of child sexual abuse.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Why do I need to make my own theological beliefs? I don't need to make my own axle-gimballed rolling device. Much more important what I make, in my daily life, of what the Church has already hammered out, and don't run over things in my car.

    I find this view attractive, but run up against the fact that the Roman Catholic church got the core moral challenge it faced since WW2 so badly wrong, being the challenge of child sexual abuse.

    The church was not acting according to its Christian beliefs. It was acting with the mindset of secular corporate managers out to protect the company at all costs, and according to the aphorism that I had said to me by my grandma, that children should be seen and not heard. They were precisely not acting in accordance with the doctrines of the church.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited February 27

    ISTM that he may have been correct insofar as his student was concerned, but I doubt if what he said is true of every new theological insight (if such things there be).

    There certainly seems to be a pattern of retreading ancient heresies for the present day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses and Arianism).

    I invited some JWs in for a bible study once. Once they got over their surprise, and got over thinking I was asking them about Aryanism, we had a good time. I asked them if they thought you could get a fag paper in between what Jesus thought about things, and what God the father thought - and got a shocked and resounding 'no'. That seemed to me to make our positions on the Trinity less different than they might have been; but I might still be missing something.

    Well, for one, by the JW view, it wasn't God who died on the stake.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I once had two six year old boys in the class I taught argue whether Jesus was hung on a cross or a stake. A JW and the local Baptist Pastors son.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited February 28

    ISTM that he may have been correct insofar as his student was concerned, but I doubt if what he said is true of every new theological insight (if such things there be).

    There certainly seems to be a pattern of retreading ancient heresies for the present day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses and Arianism).

    I invited some JWs in for a bible study once. Once they got over their surprise, and got over thinking I was asking them about Aryanism, we had a good time. I asked them if they thought you could get a fag paper in between what Jesus thought about things, and what God the father thought - and got a shocked and resounding 'no'. That seemed to me to make our positions on the Trinity less different than they might have been; but I might still be missing something.

    I'm sure you mean Arianism, the heretical views attributed to Arius, and not Aryanism, the belief in the superiority of the Aryan race.

    Removed duplicate quote. BroJames, Purgatory Host
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »

    ISTM that he may have been correct insofar as his student was concerned, but I doubt if what he said is true of every new theological insight (if such things there be).

    There certainly seems to be a pattern of retreading ancient heresies for the present day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses and Arianism).

    I invited some JWs in for a bible study once. Once they got over their surprise, and got over thinking I was asking them about Aryanism, we had a good time. I asked them if they thought you could get a fag paper in between what Jesus thought about things, and what God the father thought - and got a shocked and resounding 'no'. That seemed to me to make our positions on the Trinity less different than they might have been; but I might still be missing something.

    I'm sure you mean Arianism, the heretical views attributed to Arius, and not Aryanism, the belief in the superiority of the Aryan race.

    Removed duplicate quote. BroJames, Purgatory Host

    I interpreted Mark as meaning that he asked them about Arianism, the theology, but they misunderstood and thought he was asking about Aryanism, the racialist ideology. I guess Mark can clarify, if he'd like.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Why do I need to make my own theological beliefs? I don't need to make my own axle-gimballed rolling device. Much more important what I make, in my daily life, of what the Church has already hammered out, and don't run over things in my car.

    Yes, this does seem to be the core of the difference between Protestants and RC/Orthodox: is the Church the repository of authority or a gathering of fellow-travelers? I think we have each chosen the group that best fits our views.
  • stetson wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »

    ISTM that he may have been correct insofar as his student was concerned, but I doubt if what he said is true of every new theological insight (if such things there be).

    There certainly seems to be a pattern of retreading ancient heresies for the present day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses and Arianism).

    I invited some JWs in for a bible study once. Once they got over their surprise, and got over thinking I was asking them about Aryanism, we had a good time. I asked them if they thought you could get a fag paper in between what Jesus thought about things, and what God the father thought - and got a shocked and resounding 'no'. That seemed to me to make our positions on the Trinity less different than they might have been; but I might still be missing something.

    I'm sure you mean Arianism, the heretical views attributed to Arius, and not Aryanism, the belief in the superiority of the Aryan race.

    Removed duplicate quote. BroJames, Purgatory Host

    I interpreted Mark as meaning that he asked them about Arianism, the theology, but they misunderstood and thought he was asking about Aryanism, the racialist ideology. I guess Mark can clarify, if he'd like.

    Yes, that's what happened. I guess they thought I was a total tin-foil hat, but it turned out I was more of a heresy-nerd :smile:
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited February 28
    stetson wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »

    ISTM that he may have been correct insofar as his student was concerned, but I doubt if what he said is true of every new theological insight (if such things there be).

    There certainly seems to be a pattern of retreading ancient heresies for the present day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses and Arianism).

    I invited some JWs in for a bible study once. Once they got over their surprise, and got over thinking I was asking them about Aryanism, we had a good time. I asked them if they thought you could get a fag paper in between what Jesus thought about things, and what God the father thought - and got a shocked and resounding 'no'. That seemed to me to make our positions on the Trinity less different than they might have been; but I might still be missing something.

    I'm sure you mean Arianism, the heretical views attributed to Arius, and not Aryanism, the belief in the superiority of the Aryan race.

    Removed duplicate quote. BroJames, Purgatory Host

    I interpreted Mark as meaning that he asked them about Arianism, the theology, but they misunderstood and thought he was asking about Aryanism, the racialist ideology. I guess Mark can clarify, if he'd like.

    Yes, that's what happened. I guess they thought I was a total tin-foil hat, but it turned out I was more of a heresy-nerd :smile:

    From what I've just been reading on the internet, JWs(or at least the ones who are allowed to study this stuff) actually reject the label "Arian" for their christology. Though I'd be curious to know exactly how they think it differs from Arianism.

    I do think there's a misperception in some quarters that Arianism means something like "Jesus was a great moral teacher, but he was only a man", and I'm guessing the Witnesses might be reacting against that.
  • The oldest guy in the posse I spoke to was OK with Arius, and was making points about Trinitarian doctrine being 'history written by the victors' of early controversies. I didn't push it, really - I was more interested in how it played out in their view of the authority of Jesus, and (as I mentioned) as far as I could see it wasn't a big part of why we might have different views on things. I liked them - and felt sorry for them, knowing the little I know about the JW organisation.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited February 28
    I was more interested in how it played out in their view of the authority of Jesus, and (as I mentioned) as far as I could see it wasn't a big part of why we might have different views on things.

    Well, if you believe that Jesus was the first-created being of God, and that he moonlights as Michael The Archangel, not to mention the standard idea that he died to redeem mankind, that's probably all gonna make him seem like a singularly authoritative guy, even if you don't quite go whole-hog for the Trinity.

    I would think that, for most people, the soteriological exclusivity of the JWs, combined with their subtly obnoxious anti-social behaviour, would be the big deal-breaker, even before getting into the rest of it.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    There certainly seems to be a pattern of retreading ancient heresies for the present day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses and Arianism).
    I invited some JWs in for a bible study once. Once they got over their surprise, and got over thinking I was asking them about Aryanism, . . .

    Arianism: a heresy of the early church, named for one of its more prominent proponents
    Aryanism: something else entirely
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    There certainly seems to be a pattern of retreading ancient heresies for the present day (e.g. Jehovah's Witnesses and Arianism).
    I invited some JWs in for a bible study once. Once they got over their surprise, and got over thinking I was asking them about Aryanism, . . .

    Arianism: a heresy of the early church, named for one of its more prominent proponents
    Aryanism: something else entirely

    A tad slow on the uptake there, @Crœsos
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    "You're not the first to think that everything has been thought before."

    - Something for Kate, one of my favourite bands.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    tclune wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Why do I need to make my own theological beliefs? I don't need to make my own axle-gimballed rolling device. Much more important what I make, in my daily life, of what the Church has already hammered out, and don't run over things in my car.

    Yes, this does seem to be the core of the difference between Protestants and RC/Orthodox: is the Church the repository of authority or a gathering of fellow-travelers? I think we have each chosen the group that best fits our views.

    I'm seeking to formulate an OP on the question of authority from my point of view, but I'm quite busy with work in what is supposed to be my off week. If someone else feels the urge, that would be nice.

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited March 1
    Part of me says, why worry? If they deny me communion at the RCs, the Anglicans will take anybody. I can get my Lit Fix and communion there.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Indeed. I doubt you’ll be denied Communion at Lonsdale St unless you get to the front of the queue and shout “ Arius was right!”
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    should you be going to communion with the Anglicans ,based on the idea that 'the Anglicans will take anybody' ? surely you are not just 'anybody' you are in God's eyes 'somebody'
  • Perhaps *everybody* would be a better word?
    :wink:

    On the basis that in God's eyes, every *anybody* is indeed a *somebody*.

    IYSWIM.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Forthview wrote: »
    should you be going to communion with the Anglicans ,based on the idea that 'the Anglicans will take anybody' ? surely you are not just 'anybody' you are in God's eyes 'somebody'

    Well, I'm assuming Simon Toad doesn't really regard his worship practices as a "fix" either. So I'd read his style there as just a bit of humourous self-deprecation.
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    thank you, BF, for that clarification. ST's statement would then be much improved.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    Forthview wrote: »
    surely you are not just 'anybody' you are in God's eyes 'somebody'

    And surely that is true of everybody. ;)
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    tclune wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Why do I need to make my own theological beliefs? I don't need to make my own axle-gimballed rolling device. Much more important what I make, in my daily life, of what the Church has already hammered out, and don't run over things in my car.

    Yes, this does seem to be the core of the difference between Protestants and RC/Orthodox: is the Church the repository of authority or a gathering of fellow-travelers? I think we have each chosen the group that best fits our views.

    I'm seeking to formulate an OP on the question of authority from my point of view, but I'm quite busy with work in what is supposed to be my off week. If someone else feels the urge, that would be nice.

    I would worry that such a thread would be destined to devolve into sectarian conflict, as it would be starting life perilously close to the rim of it. It's an important topic if it can be approached in a way that generates more light than heat, but I have my doubts on that score.
  • Surely if everybody's somebody then no-ones anybody?
  • Well done, that Boy at the back! W S Gilbert is the correct answer...
    :wink:
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    tclune wrote: »
    Forthview wrote: »
    surely you are not just 'anybody' you are in God's eyes 'somebody'

    And surely that is true of everybody. ;)
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    tclune wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Why do I need to make my own theological beliefs? I don't need to make my own axle-gimballed rolling device. Much more important what I make, in my daily life, of what the Church has already hammered out, and don't run over things in my car.

    Yes, this does seem to be the core of the difference between Protestants and RC/Orthodox: is the Church the repository of authority or a gathering of fellow-travelers? I think we have each chosen the group that best fits our views.

    I'm seeking to formulate an OP on the question of authority from my point of view, but I'm quite busy with work in what is supposed to be my off week. If someone else feels the urge, that would be nice.

    I would worry that such a thread would be destined to devolve into sectarian conflict, as it would be starting life perilously close to the rim of it. It's an important topic if it can be approached in a way that generates more light than heat, but I have my doubts on that score.

    I hope not, it will have to be limited in scope. The other edgyness will involve the issues of gender and sexuality, my major areas of disagreement with my church. I am planning to call myself out on using the child sexual abuse scandal to denigrate the authority of the church when I know that @Alan29 has the right of it, above.

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Forthview wrote: »
    should you be going to communion with the Anglicans ,based on the idea that 'the Anglicans will take anybody' ? surely you are not just 'anybody' you are in God's eyes 'somebody'

    Stestson has the right of it, though that bit was disparaging of the Anglican practice of an open table, something which I fully support.
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