What kind of heresies were there in the early church?

There were many, just as there are today. But I can answer that question with four examples:

(2nd century A.D.)
From papal candidate to leading Gnostic

A brilliant theologian who taught in Alexandria, Egypt (the Oxford of his day), Valentinus ...

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What is the Book of Joel about and how does it apply to us today?
What is the Book of Joel about and how does it apply to us today?

To answer your question, I thought it would be fun to pretend to interview Joel.

Is it true that you're a real Old Testament prophet?

Yes, that's correct.

You were sent by God to pronounce judgment on the nation of Israel?

I was sent to the Israelites, ...

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Does God have a sense of humor?

A: How can we his creatures think things are funny unless the whole idea came from God in the first place? I've never heard a sermon about God's sense of humor. Nor have I read a theology book that lists God's laughter as one of his immutable characteristics. ...

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Do we ever get to stop fighting against the evil within?

How much sin should we expect in the church? We have gauges for other elements of church life. We generally monitor attendance. We know how many people are in small groups. Somebody counts the offerings. And often we don't just measure what we're interested ...

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Are There Many Paths to God?
Is it right for Christians to claim there's only one way?

Jesus often surprised people with teachings that cut across the grain of human nature. "Lose your life to save it." "The first will be last." "The meek will inherit the earth." "Rejoice in persecution." "Pray ...

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What did Jesus mean in John 6:54 where he says, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life ..."? Is he referring to Communion?
The answer is what lies before and after in the Gospel of John.

The reference Jesus made to eating his flesh and drinking his blood is a metaphorical way of describing the person who draws on, claims, or lays hold of the reality of his atoning sacrifice by putting personal faith in him. We've constantly got to come ...

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How do we explain seeming inconsistencies between accounts in Scripture?

Seeming inconsistencies can be noted when Scripture contains variant accounts of the same event. Such different reports can be found, for example, between the narratives in Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, and between the accounts of the Synoptic Gospels. ...

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What do we gain from a bodily resurrection?

The world in which Christianity arose affirmed the immortality of the soul, a cornerstone of Greek philosophy. Platonic arguments for the soul's innate immortality have influenced views about life after death from Gnosticism to the New Age movement today. ...

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Does praying over and over for a need show godly persistence-or lack of faith?

This important question has been pondered many times throughout church history. As a matter of fact, theologian John Calvin was dealing with the exact same question when he preached these wise words almost 500 years ago: "We must repeat the same supplications ...

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Why has God answered others' prayers for healing, but not mine?

This is a complicated and tender question. Right now I'm praying for a close family friend who was diagnosed with terminal cancer five years ago. Two years later, he was "healed" (if you talked to his Christian friends), or in an "unexpected ...

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Lay Teaching in the Church
How can churches fight heresy when laypeople teach others?

Q: How can churches fight heresy when laypeople teach others?

A: It's my firm conviction that churches ought to foresee the unhappy possibility of heresy getting in when lay folk are leading, and counter the possibility by what in the history of the church's ...

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Is there a way to understand the balance between his approachability and his holiness?

With one brief query, you've touched on an enigma that's stymied the smartest theologians since the beginning of recorded history.

Many people see God as either a lion, a harsh disciplinarian who's bent on squeezing the joy out of their ...

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What is the difference between preaching with authority and preaching in an authoritarian manner?

Preaching in an authoritarian manner is preaching in a cultivated style that is intended to convey the thought that this person has authority. The preacher is wearing it on his sleeve, so to speak. He is making a big deal of the fact that he has authority, ...

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How can I reconcile my belief in the inerrancy of Scripture with comments in Bible translations that state that a particular verse is not in better manuscripts?

The answer to this question parallels that of Charles Spurgeon who, when asked to reconcile human freedom with divine predestination, said, "I never reconcile friends." He maintained that the two realities fit together. So here.

Manuscripts ...

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What is "Righteous Anger"?
What is "Righteous Anger"?
How can I know whether I'm feeling that or just being a hothead?

I grew up believing anger was a "bad" emotion. So I've needed several years of Christian counseling even to admit I get angry, much less to learn I can express those feelings righteously! Thankfully, God's Word sets clear parameters ...

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What does Jesus mean in Matthew 5:33-37 where he's talking about oaths?
Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

Jesus is referring to the ceremonious way in which Jews, particularly the Pharisaic types, took oaths. It was one of the things in the culture of the time. Jesus was nailing it as an undesirable procedure because it was all about pulling the wool over ...

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