Heresy is the New Orthodoxy
In A Heretic's Guide to Eternity, Spencer Burke and Barry Taylor say that heretics are "people who will push past and beyond the accepted wisdom of the dominant group and pull us across sacred fences that hold us back and keep us tied to perceived orthodoxies." (xxv) One of the examples they give is Copernicus, who believed that the earth was not the center of the universe:
Not surprisingly, Copernicus had many detractors. Although he was not personally committed to God and saw his work as a way of glorifying God, the powers that be were quick to tell him he was threatening the faith. Tolosani, a Dominican monk, wrote that Copernicus "seems to be unfamiliar with the Holy Scriptures since he contradicts some of its principles, not without risk to himself and to the readers of his book of straying from the faith. (18)
The first chapter of the book is called "Jesus Beyond Christianity." The question is asked: "Is it possible to encounter God's loving goodness outside the confines of religious patterns and practices?" (6) The main thesis of the book is that we need to move beyond religion on a worldwide level.
Unlike Luther, I'm for Protestant transformation, not reformation. Actually, my desire for change runs deeper. I'm not just in favor of Protestant transformation. I'm for the transformation of all institutional faiths into something new and different. (97-98)
I'm not entirely sure what this "new and different" something is yet, but I'm only halfway through the book! As the authors point out, Jesus never suggested that his followers should start a new religion. (19) They seem to be saying that if Jesus' message is followed in a radical way, we should be able to circumvent the need for religion altogether. The authors make the following comment on fundamentalism:
The rise of fundamentalism is evidence of the desire for reassurance—for ways of fitting a complex world into manageable categories. But religions don't function at their highest and best when they attempt to provide simple answers to life's biggest questions. (20)
Do you think we need the kind of heretic's that Burke and Taylor talk about? Is it possible that we need to get beyond Christianity in order to truly get to Christ?