On Feb 25, 12:20 pm, Evan Kirshenbaum <kirshenb...@hpl.hp.com> wrote: > "Peter T. Daniels" <gramma...@verizon.net> writes: > > > On Feb 25, 10:20 am, Evan Kirshenbaum <kirshenb...@hpl.hp.com> wrote: > >> "Peter T. Daniels" <gramma...@verizon.net> writes: > >> > On Feb 24, 5:04 pm, Evan Kirshenbaum <kirshenb...@hpl.hp.com> wrote: > > >> I would like to know what definition you would use for determining > >> whether a group (however heretical) was, in fact, a (heretical) > >> Christian group. > > > "Heretical" _means_ they're not part of the fold. You can hope and > > pray that they renounce their heresy, but until they do, they're > > out. > > Well, that's the argument I've heard that Catholics (or Protestants or > ...) aren't Christians, but I wouldn't have thought it would be taken > seriously much anymore.
The right wing of the Anglican Communion has claimed that the Anglican churches that have ordained women and/or homosexuals are heretical. There was a heresy trial in some conservative US church not long ago over something along the lines of race-mixing. (Don't ask me, it was a brief mention on some news broadcast some time.)
> I had thought, though, that in order to be > heretical you actually had to *be* Christian (or at least the doctrine > had to be). But wrong. Or are Jews and Hindus considered "heretics", > too?
Of course not.
> >> > The wannabes don't get to define who belongs to the club. The > >> > gatekeepers do. > > >> If it's an appeal to authority, then I presume your original question > >> was begged. If the "gatekeepers" assert that the Nicene Creed is > >> part of being Christian, then no Christian groups fail to use it by > >> definition. > > > That would seem to be the case. (And there's a difference between > > regularly reciting a creed, and accepting it as part of doctrine. > > You'd be hard pressed to find a copy of the Athanasian Creed -- at > > least, before internet days -- yet it sets forth the basics of, at > > least, Western Christianity.) > > Okay. If your original question was begged I certainly can't argue > with it.
I don't process well passive statements of which the agent is utterly unrecoverable. What _are_ you talking about?
> >> > The various canons of Scripture (which differ slightly around the > >> > edges) accepted by the various brands of Christianity were > >> > finalized 1700 or more years ago. No option exists within > >> > Christianity for adding to that canon. Especially forgeries > >> > claimed to be found on golden plates and translated by > >> > angels. Into a pastiche of centuries-old diction. > > >> Or, presumably, if an archaeological site uncovered a new letter, > >> fully compatible with the current canon, determined by Christian > >> authorities to have been written by St. Paul. Any church which > >> added it to their canon would becom non-Christian by your argument. > > > Many similar documents have been discovered in recent decades, and no > > Christian church has even _considered_ adding them to the canon. > > Well, at least no question-begging Christian church. But I'm curious > which documents you have in mind with your "similar". I wasn't aware > of any accepted by the church as having been written by an author of a > canonical text (which was, after all, the point of my statement).
Very few canonical texts were written by their "authors," so again I don't know what you're talking about. (Look up Pseudepigrapha in a Bible dictionary.)
> That documents rejected from the canon when it was constructed (or > representing schools considered heretical at the time) aren't added to > the canon upon being discovered isn't particularly surprising.