In this book, McGrath converges Christian history and systematic theology in ways that are insightful and instructive. I loved this book. It was thought-provoking, and there were many “aha” moments.
Basically, Heresy is about what its title indicates. McGrath discusses the nature of heresy, the rise of heresy, some classic heresies, the reemergence of heresies in our day, and much, much more.
Some of the more emphasized points in the book include these:
(1) Classic heresies were not advocated by people who thought of themselves as deviating from Christian orthodoxy–in their minds, they were trying to uphold Christianity, not subvert it.
(2) Over time, heresies are recognized to be such because they (if left unconfronted) would pose a corrupting and destructive threat to Christian orthodoxy.
(3) In the first few centuries of the church, it is clear that orthodoxy triumphed over heresy because of the intellectual and theological veracity of the truth, not because of political or social powers who had an agenda.
(4) Heresies do not go away; they simply reemerge in different packaging.
In 10 chapters, McGrath treats the topic of heresy in a way I have not yet encountered before. His treatment has references from the patristics, all the way to our present day with authors like Dan Brown and Richard Dawkins.
I learned a great deal from this book, and I think every Christian will be immensely helped by chewing through its chapters. Get and read Heresy. You will love the truth more as a result!