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Saturday, January 23, 2010


Bosco Peters is concerned:

I think the word “orthodox” might be in trouble. Let’s try and save it from losing its meaning.

I am seeing a lot of people calling themselves “orthodox” Christians and using the term to put down others as “unorthodox”, “heterodox”. But actually I don’t think these particular people should be allowed to use the term “orthodox” – as they are changing its meaning (and hence emptying its meaning IMO).

These self-proclaimed "orthodox" Christians, according to Bosco, are better described as "homodox," a term meaning, "of the same opinion."

Many people who are misusing, abusing the term “orthodox” are in fact not orthodox at all, they are homodox (let me preempt the comment now: it does not mean worshipping gays ) They want everyone to think exactly like them (yes, often particularly about gays). Orthodox can cope with diversity, do not need everyone to agree about everything, celebrate diversity, honour difference: In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas. (In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.)

Above all else, says Bosco, the term "orthodox" refers to "right worship":

If you call yourself orthodox, at the very least it should mean that most Christians for the first 1500 years or so of Christian history should be able to walk into your worship and pretty much feel at home.

See the full post.

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At 1/24/2010 6:51 PM, Blogger Craig L. Adams said...

Well, I just don't think the word "homodoxy" will catch on. There has always been a need for a word that means sorta-conservative but not fundamentalist and evangelical no longer seems to fit the bill for some people.

At 1/24/2010 10:11 PM, Blogger Steve Hayes said...

Robin Lane Fox, the historian, in his book Christians and pagans, says:

'"Paganism" is a Christian coinage, a term that suggests a system of doctrine and an orthodoxy as Christianity knows one. But pagan religion was essentially a matter of cult rather than creed. No group of pagans ever called themselves "the
faithful". There was also no pagan concept of heresy - to pagans the term meant a school of thought rather than a false and pernicious doctrine. Among pagans, the opposite of heterodoxy was not orthodoxy but homodoxy, meaning agreement."

At 1/25/2010 3:26 AM, Blogger Craig L. Adams said...

Thanks for the quote, Steve.


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