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Home NEW 20 Quotes from Trevin Wax on the Emotion of Orthodoxy

20 Quotes from Trevin Wax on the Emotion of Orthodoxy

The following 20 quotes caught my eye as I read Trevin Wax’s excellent new book The Fiction of Orthodoxy: Rediscovering the Adventure of the Christian Faith (IVP, 2022). This book will turn you on for all the right reasons.


The church faces its greatest challenge, not when new errors begin to win, but when old truths are no more. (1)

It is boring to adapt the Christian faith to suit people better; what is exciting is the adaptation of people to better fit the Christian faith. (8)

Doing nothing can result in movement. If you don’t actively resist the move, you’ll end up somewhere you didn’t intend to be. (20)

Assuming that orthodoxy is the way to abandon orthodoxy. . . . Once you put the basic Christian truths in “of course!” category and then move on to something else, you make yourself vulnerable to currents that would lead you away from the truth. When we assume the gospel, it is a sign that we have lost sight of the beauty before us. We wander when we lose our wonder. (27)

The best way to counter the deviation into heresy is with the enthusiasm of orthodoxy. (32)

The basic doctrines of the Christian faith are more than just a knapsack on a trip, something optional to carry with us in case we need them. Instead, they are more like maps that make our destination clear, warn us away from dead ends, and orient us to the landscape, helping us interpret our current moment and move forward as faithful strangers. (34–35)

The most rebellious thing we can do in a world that values ​​nonconformity above all else is to stand out from the crowd by intentionally aligning our spirit, mind, and body with a truth greater than ourselves and our desires. (37)

The greatest adventure is to explore something beyond the depths of our heart. The greatest adventure comes when we find something beyond the realm of mine perspective and YOUR experiences—truths we did not invent or adapt to suit ourselves, but truths we discovered that we they fit. Finding the truth is a bit like dealing with the weather. . . . You may have your preferences, but you don’t tell them mine the weather and YOUR the weather, because you are not in control. (38)

Orthodoxy is like a blueprint for a building, a grammar for a language, a map to give us the lay of the earth. Lines and border markers are not meant to bind us, but to set us free. (44)

Short-lived will be a movement more keen on hunting down heretics than converts. (62)

Care about theology is an expression of love, not a distraction from it. (63)

The key phrase of the Christian is not “I create,” but “I confess.” What we believe matters. By confessing our faith, we are standing on something we know to be true. In confessing our faith, we are saying not “I build a religion,” but “I believe in revelation.” Not “I invent”, but “I take”. (81)

Heresies insist on either-or, while orthodoxy freely embraces both/and. In orthodoxy, we see the union of seemingly opposite opposites, not in some kind of fusion or compromise, but simply affirming both in their fiery fullness. Our vision must be large enough to see truth from multiple angles, to see how truths relate to and support each other. The Orthodox keep their eyes open – to receive Christian truth in a way that honors its depth. Orthodoxy presents the Christian truth in multiple dimensions. Heretics blink. (89)

Orthodoxy is more open-minded than the “free thinker” who, because of his materialism, is not free to accept any supernatural phenomena. Orthodoxy is also more open-minded than the mystic or spiritualist who is bound to believe in spirits, ghosts, or whatever miracles they say happened. We believe in both science AND miracles. . . . Orthodoxy insists on holding together what heresy would separate, standing wide when heretics narrow. (97)

No matter how well error is marketed as wider than orthodoxy, it is always narrower. . . . From the outside, heresies always seem larger than they are, and orthodoxy seems narrow. But inwardly, heresies are narrow fragments that multiply, and orthodoxy is the broad and all-embracing truth supported by the God of the gospel. And no matter how much the would-be extenders of Christianity shrink the truth, or how fallible and weak the defenders of Christianity are in fortifying the walls, we can trust that orthodoxy will continue. Trying to shrink truth down to a more manageable size never succeeds in the end, because the church is on a mission, roaring down the hill in battle against the gates of hell, and—led by the Spirit who guides us through the Scriptures—the People of God refuses to bow before fast fashion. (99, 103)

We are always tempted to challenge the constraints of orthodoxy at the pressure points where we need those constraints most. The excitement of orthodoxy means that we adhere to a religion that refuses to embrace our error, no matter how sincerely we may hold it, no matter how passionate we may be, no matter how much we may think that a certain accommodation will was the best for the world today. (122)

The idea of ​​exploring our faith is good when the focus remains on it trust; but very often mine in “exploring my faith” it has all the weight and suddenly we are back to “my truth” and “your truth”. exploring mine faith often means no longer confining myself to the confines of orthodoxy. Like the fish that says, “The ocean isn’t big enough for me!” we dare to fall into the sand. The good kind of exploration of our faith calls us to the deepest parts of the ocean; the bad kind blows us completely out of the water. . . . The spirit behind a question can be either faith seeking understanding or disbelief seeking justification. (166, 167)

The answer to a world where doubt is celebrated should not be a church where doubt is condemned. (167)

Nothing robs a church of its wonder faster than a lack of new converts. (176)

When we depart from the teaching of the Scriptures on a certain subject, it is so we who are resisting the greatness and breadth of the church’s global witness. To reject a key Christian doctrine in the name of “breadth” is to limit ourselves to the narrowness of schism. Those who depart from what the churches around the globe have always and everywhere confessed do not become greater; they are reduced to bits and pieces. (179)

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