Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics by Doug Powell

By Doug Powell

In today’s pluralistic society, now not each method of sharing the gospel will paintings with every person. Being able to supply purposes for the wish we now have in Christ potential figuring out the contextual framework of the folks we're addressing.
In the Holman QuickSource consultant to Christian Apologetics, Renaissance guy Doug Powell defends the Christian religion in a brand new key; taking timehonored methods in apologetics and freshly proposing them for a brand new iteration.

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The Elect (or perfecti [perfects], as inquisitors called them) were a highly ascetic minority. Because the consolamentum was the only means of salvation and was to be administered only once, those who accepted it in their youth faced an austere and difficult path. The Good Men and Women sometimes traveled from one community to another or, particularly among the Good Women in Languedoc, established houses that functioned as social centers for local sympathizers. Once ordained, however, a member of the Elect had to remain in that exalted condition of purity, untarnished in the midst of the carnality and corruption of the material.

With equal parts dismay and disgust, Eberwin described their behaviors and beliefs. “This is the heresy of those people,” he began: They say that theirs alone is the Church, inasmuch as only they follow in the footsteps of Christ. They continue to be the true imitators of the apostolic life, seeking not those things which are of the world, possessing no house, or lands, or anything of their own, even as Christ had no property nor allowed his disciples the right of possession. . 1 Not only do they falsely claim apostolic purity and righteousness, Eberwin continued, but they diverge from proper Christian observance in matters of personal and sacramental behavior as well: the heretics forbid milk and anything born of sexual intercourse; they reject marriage as fornication; they believe that baptism should be performed by the laying on of hands; and they assert that anyone among them who is baptized in this way has the power to baptize others in turn.

To meet the challenge, the Elect appear to have held themselves to uncompromising standards. indb 34 11/9/10 2:10 PM Good Christians, Heresy, and the Apostolic Model 35 obscenities (that fictional but frequent weapon deployed against religious dissenters), even hostile observers noted that the Good Men and Women adhered rigorously to the spiritual and behavioral standards of their faith and provided a potent spiritual model for their adoring followers. An additional ritual called the apparellamentum provided an outlet for the extremely minor transgressions that even the most scrupulous of souls commits.

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