Religion: The Hartford Heresies

Christian history is replete with bone-rattling documents of theological protest that capsuled the pressing issues of the day: Martin Luther's 95 Theses, which sparked the Reformation, Pope Pius IX's 19th century Syllabus of Errors, and the German Confessing Christians' Barmen Declaration against Nazism. The technique has fallen into disuse, but it was dusted off last week by a group of 18 Christian thinkers of nine denominations. After a weekend war council at the Hartford Seminary Foundation in Connecticut, they joined in a dramatic warning that American theology has strayed dangerously far afield.

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