Introduction to this Blog

Welcome to Adversus Haereses [1] (Against Heresies)! My name is Reagan, and I have started this blog so that we can discuss and learn about theology, history, politics, etc. But why should the average person study theology? I myself am not a pastor or church officer, and am actually only seventeen years old. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 we read:

“‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.'” [2]

God has revealed Himself to us through creation and more specifically through his Word, the Bible. As God’s people we are commanded to learn God’s commands and what they reveal to us about His nature, and to dwell upon them constantly all throughout the day, discussing them with one another and teaching them to those who are new to the faith.

“‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'” Matthew 28:19-20 (emphasis mine)

“He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:9 ESV

“But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1

“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” II Timothy 4:2-4

Over and over again the importance of having sound doctrine is repeated in Scripture. Sadly, this aspect of the Christian life has been largely ignored by the church today and the culture at large. We live in an age where “there are no absolute truths” (except for the statement that there are no absolute truths, which is in fact an absolute truth, which are not supposed to exist…). But what is the cost of this philosophy? Do ideas really matter? I would like to answer that question with one of my favorite quotes from G. K. Chesterton (after all, is any article really complete without a G. K. Chesterton quote?…):

“At any innocent tea-table we may easily hear a man say, ‘life is not worth living.’ We regard it as we regard the statement that it is a fine day; nobody thinks that it can possibly have any serious effect on the man or on the world. And yet if that utterance were really believed, the world would stand on its head. Murderers would be given medals for saving men from life; firemen would be denounced for keeping men from death; poisons would be used as medicines; doctors would be called in when people were well; the Royal Humane Society would be rooted out like a horde of assassins. Yet we never speculate as to whether the conversational pessimist will strengthen or disorganize society; for we are convinced that theories do not matter.” [3]

Ideas do matter. If we are convinced that human life is not important, then we will murder babies by the thousands and call it a “constitutional right”. If we believe that marriage is defined by culture and circumstances, then we will have no problem with allowing two men to “marry”, no matter what the ill effects on society will be. If we believe that there is no such thing as individual property rights, then socialism becomes an attractive political theory. Which brings us to our next topic: Politics.

Everyone lives out their theology, and politics is living out our theology with regards to government and the public sphere. The reason that our government is going in the wrong direction politically is because they have already gone in the wrong direction theologically. Now, I am not advocating that we should re-institute the Mosaic law (which was largely ceremonial) and enforce capital punishment for blasphemy, adultery, etc. or force everyone to agree with our religious beliefs. All those areas are outside of the government’s rightful authority [4]. However, I believe that as Christians we should vote and participate in politics in a way that is consistent with what God has commanded in the Bible: sound doctrine.

As for history, Mark Twain once said, “History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” It is very important to understand how we got where we are in order to understand where we are going. We must also avoid making the same mistakes that have been made in the past. As the Venerable Bede said, “For if history relates good things of good men, the attentive hearer is excited to imitate that which is good; or if it mentions evil things of wicked persons, nevertheless the religious and pious hearer or reader, shunning that which is hurtful and perverse, is the more earnestly excited to perform those things which he knows to be good, and worthy of God.” [5]

So to conclude, having a correct understanding of theology is critical because everything else flows from it. If a person is consistent in their worldview, then their views on politics, history, philosophy, ethics, science, etc. will reflect their views of theology. Politics is especially important since it is how we live out our theology in government and the public sphere, and history is also important to understanding how we got here and where we are going.

I would also like to add that I am not writing of these three subjects exclusively; these are just the main three areas that I will be focusing on for now. I will however branch out from these categories from time to time, as well as writing book reviews (the books being about theology, politics, and history).

Such is the purpose of this blog.

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FOOTNOTES:
[1] The phrase “adversus haereses” is Latin for “against heresies” and is the title of Irenaeus’ great five volume theological refutation of the gnostic heresies
[2] All Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible, unless otherwise indicated
[3] G. K. Chesterton: Heretics (1905)
[4] There are actually some fringe groups known as theonomists or “dominionists” who believe that the Mosaic Law should still be enforced by the government, including capital punishment for adultery, blasphemy, etc. Their claims however are rejected by the majority of evangelical theologians.
[5] Venerable Bede: Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation (c.a. 731)