Is good orthodoxy possible, or is it a moving target? Throughout history, Christianity seems to over correct against heresy by going too fundamentalist or minimalist. Each side makes good points but holds onto one idea and takes it too far.
The Puritans were one the prominent forms of Christianity in America from colonial days to the 1800's. People got wise to this law based Christianity and realized they could follow the rules outside of the confines of religion and the Deist movement was born. It was a belief that God created the world and then took his hands off of everything and let the world run on its own steam.
To regain the reigns of orthodoxy in America, the fundamentals were published in the early 1900's to pave the way for modern day Evangelicalism. Now that Evangelicals have become fat and culturally irrelevant, the New Atheists have entered the marketplace as a reaction against this tired form of Christianity.
How does one find good Orthodoxy? I think those of us that have to think for ourselves as being called as theologians. We have to be willing to read all perspectives of Christianity and understand why each sub denomination evolved. We have to learn history, anthropology, sociology, biology, psychology and other ologies to really take in how elaborate the creation we live in is.
This is scary territory, when we read outside the acceptable confines of our current position, we enter a wilderness away from our comfort zone. We can't go back to where we once were since we are totally changed and now different. Is the diversity we see in nature something we need to respect and understand in religion too?
We are the sum of our experiences and each theologian out there comes to conclusions based on that fact. So when we read a person we disagree do we ask how they got go where they are now? Do we look at ourselves and see why we reject the postions of those we disagree with? Is it pride or closed mindedness or just the facts don't add up?
I have no concrete answers here but realize that we are all on a journey. Do we allow ourselves the freedom to question and grow or do we stagnate and accept certain beliefs to fit in?