Heresy and Its Uses: A Twentieth-Century Heresiarch and his Evangelical Detractors

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Authors
West, Taylor Cade
Issue Date
2022
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Journal Article
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Abstract
The embers of heresy in Christianity were neither snuffed out in antiquity nor in the Middle Ages. The United States of the twentieth century was home to its own champions of theological unorthodoxy; chief among them was Herbert W. Armstrong, whom conservative evangelicals branded as dangerously and even satanically heretical. Despite Armstrong’s straying from traditional Protestant orthodoxy, from the 1930s onward, he was able to create a massive publishing and religious “empire,” as evangelicals called it. Although Armstrong had a global footprint, the scholarship on American religion is largely silent when it comes to this religious leader. Even less has been written about the tension between evangelicals and Armstrong, their theological opponent. This article brings to light this history of accusations of heresy, examining the rhetoric that surrounded it and how the allegation of theological unorthodoxy fit and fed into an atmosphere of alarm during the Cold War.|Keywords: Heresy, Evangelicalism, Herbert W. Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God, American Christianity
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Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke Center, Creighton University
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The journal is open-access and freely allows users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of all published material for personal or academic purposes.
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1522-5658
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