Re: "orthodoxy" I continue to have Thomas and Anselm as my favorite exemplars. Theology (as they exemplify it and I try to imitate) starts from truths accepted in faith and then proceeds to seek understanding of those truths. A few things to note:
1) Orthodoxy marks off the core truths to be accepted, but these are beginning point to inquiry and disputation, not an end point. It marks off the mystery to be investigated, not the answers to all questions.
2) From within faith, we can make use of the objections of those who don't share our faith for the purpose of seeking understanding, as they will tend to poke holes in the understanding we think we have better than we will. Dialog is good!
3) The right attitude to those who share some but not all articles of faith with us is not to appeal to authority, but to do our best to reason our way from truths we share in common to those we don't. Again, orthodoxy begins and opens up inquiry rather than ending it.
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