Invitation to “Heretics Like Us” Lent 2019


Invitation to

“Heretics Like Us”

Lent 2019


 40 days of preparation for Easter

 Ash Wednesday March 06

To Holy Saturday April 20

(plus 6 Sundays)


Traditionally, Christians prepare 3 ways:

Give something up (fasting)

Take something on (prayer, charity)

Learn something (catechism)


That’s ‘just not you’? Reconsider!

Admit you’re a heretic like us!

You’ll find that heretics like us!

Meet some more heretics like us!



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weekly at


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Heretics Like Us – Lent 2019


The Plan and Pattern

Each Sunday, we start with an affirmation of faith

Rooted in one of the first centuries of Christianity

Before there were clear ‘orthodox’ to call others ‘heretic’

Monday to Saturday, we’ll meet ‘heretics’ of that century

Which were like us?  Which would have liked us?

Week A in Lent
The Axial Age Artists

1st Century of Common Era

Jesus’ Century – ‘The Naughts’

Transfiguration Sunday March 03

“Who do you say that I am?”

Karen Armstrong popularized the term ‘Axial Age’

How was a faith tradition reinvented?

Who was Jesus – and who were with him?

Who wrote our Christian scripture – why?

What communities and audiences drew it out?


Monday before Lent

Jesus – heretic like us?
Jesus lived and died a Palestinian Jew

Aramaic speaking – in Greek culture – under Roman rule

Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras before Lent
Paul, Appealing or Appalling Apostle

Biography and autobiography

of our other ‘founder’

Day 1 of 40:

 Ash Wednesday
Earth, Ashes, Dust

What survives death,

in what context

Day 2 of 40:

 Thursday of Week A

According to whom?
Which voices do you tune in,

and which do you tune out?

Day 3 of 40:

Friday of Week A

Apocalyptic Revelations
How big is ‘my story’, and ‘our story’,

in ‘God’s story’?

Day 4 of 40: 

Saturday of Week A

Free Spirits and Legalists
How do you balance authenticity and sincerity,

freedom and order?

Week B in Lent
The Boys and The Book

2nd Century of Common Era

‘The 100’s’

First Sunday in Lent: March 10

Hippolytus’ 3 Questions
Can you say ‘I believe’? 

Can I get an ‘Amen’?
Who frames the defining questions?

Who selects the defining texts?

Day 5 of 40:

Monday of Week B: 

Did Jesus really suffer, 

and will I?

Day 6 of 40:

Tuesday Week B: 

If the Spirit is in me,

 then you’re not the boss of me!

Day 7 of 40:

Wednesday Week B:

Is the God of law 

not the God of grace?

Day 8 of 40:

Thursday Week B: 

How big is this club, 

and how complicated is the test to get in?

Day 9 of 40:

Friday Week B: 

Sophistication is fine, 

but what about when push comes to shove?

Day 10 of 40:

Saturday Week 2: 

What’s really real,

 and what’s ideal?

Week C in Lent
Crude Creeds
3rd Century of Common Era

‘The 200’s’

Second Sunday in Lent: March 17

Apostles’ Creed
How did 3 questions

 become a dozen answers?

Day 11 of 40:

Monday Week C:

Do we good people really have to put up with

backsliding clergy?

Day 12 of 40:

Tuesday Week C:

Cyprian of Carthage
If there’s no salvation outside the church,

make a revolving door!

Day 13 of 40:

Wednesday Week C:

Dionysius vs Dionysius
What do our fights look like

from the outside?

Day 14 of 40:

Thursday Week C:

If God is one,

then do we just see different faces?

Day 15 of 40:

Friday Week C:

Paul of Samasota
If God is one,

how does the adoption of Jesus work?

Day 16 of 40:

Saturday Week C:

Anthony the Hermit
If we just go off alone to be holy,

whose feet shall we wash?

Week D in Lent
Deliberations and Deceptions

4th Century of Common Era

‘The 300’s’

Third Sunday in Lent: March 24

The Nicene Creed(s)
How long is your party line?

Trinitarian fights in Greek councils

Day 17 of 40:

Monday of Week D:

Is normative

necessarily normal?

Day 18 of 40:

Tuesday Week D:

 Arius and The Arians
What would Jesus do –

and why don’t you?

Day 19 of 40:

Wednesday Week D:

What’s the fundamental element of being human

for you: heart, mind, or soul?

Day 20 of 40:

Thursday Week D:

It doesn’t make one iota of difference to me –

does it?

Day 21 of 40:

Friday Week 4:

John Chrysostom
Are all poets and preachers

bad at politics?

Day 22 of 40:

Saturday Week D:

What about the Spirit

in this economy of Jesus and Trinity?

Week E in Lent
Education and Elaboration

5th Century of Common Era

‘The 400’s’

Fourth Sunday in Lent: March 31

Chalcedon – “Athanasian Creed”
Does it help to exhaust all the heresies

of the 5th – or of the 21st - centuries?

Day 23 of 40:

Monday of Week E:

Can you strengthen

 a weak chain?

Day 24 of 40:

Tuesday of Week E:

What’s your confession,

and your city of God?

Day 25 of 40:

Wednesday of Week E:

What’s your righteousness

and your responsibilities?

Day 26 of 40:

Thursday of Week E:

Mother of God,

what’s the big deal?

Day 27 of 40:

Friday of Week E:

Cyril of Alexandria
I hear you –

but I’m not listening!

Day 28 of 40:

Saturday of Week E:

How the Irish

saved civilization…


Week F in Lent
Fussing about Filioque 

6th Century of Common Era

The 500’s

Fifth Sunday of Lent, April 07


of the Second Council of Constantinople”

My tribe believes your tribe

should really be avoided.

Day 29 of 40:

Monday of Week F:

Clovis and Clothilde
What if the king

listened to the queen?

Day 30 of 40:

Tuesday of Week F: 

Is there consolation

between degenerates and barbarians?

Day 31 of 40:

Wednesday of Week F:

Bounce in a bear market,

 or last gasp of another last Roman?

Day 32 of 40:

Thursday of Week F:

Gregory the Great
What’s so Great

 about Gregory?

Day 33 of 40:

Friday of Week F:

Rounding out a century of barbarian conversion,

who converts whom?

Day 34 of 40:

Saturday of Week F:

Whose rule will organize people and stuff

to best effect?

Holy Week Passion
The Price of Pettiness

7th Century of Common Era

The 600’s



Palm Sunday, April 14

“A New Creed”

Dogma chasing Karma

Review at the Brink of Islam's Century

What would they make of us now?



Day 35 of 40:

Monday of Holy Week:

Jewish and Christian

Siblings sharing roots…



Day 36 of 40:

Tuesday of Holy Week:

Coptic and Christian

African originals


Day 37 of 40:

Wednesday of Holy Week:

Martyred and Christian


 not Perfected


Day 38 of 40:

Maundy Thursday:

Roman and Christian

Constantine’s conversion

 and Christendom


Day 39 of 40:

Good Friday:

Orthodox and Christian

Byzantine solutions


Day 40 of 40:

Easter Eve Saturday:

Celtic and Christian

Barbarians ‘R’ Us