This cartoon I got from the following article, The Hubris of “Normative” Theology, listed below.
It points out the problem of people thinking that after 2000 they finally got theology right. Of course, I am not suggesting a complete relativizing of theology. But to assume that one theological stance is correct and everyone and everything else is wrong is doubtful.
One way groups, who want to feel superior in their theology but don’t want to appear to appear to be recent innovations, is to suggest that they are a return to “old truth.” Many groups of all flavors do this. I am Baptist and Landmarkism sought to show the “trail of blood” of Baptists all the way back to the Twelve (and some even say to John the Baptist). Pentecostals claim to rediscover the NT church. Apostolic churches and the “ancient” churches seek to find a link back to St. Peter or one of the other apostles. Even groups that drift further afield from Historic Christianity do this. Both Mormons and JWs believe they are a return to a church that disappeared shortly after Jesus ascended.
Ultimately, the body image of denominations and theology in the article listed above seems to hold some merit. I have no interest in the experiential/emotional form of religion of many groups (and its accompanying theology), nor in the heavily pietistic or contemplative. That doesn’t mean they have no place in Christ’s kingdom, but they should not deny my place in that kingdom either. I do believe that some theologies are so divergent from God’s revelation that they cannot be looked at as being Christian… but we need to be open to a bit of “Generous Orthodoxy” (from Brian McLaren) in areas that were the dividing line between the orthodox and the heterodox is not so clear.