What Is Unorthodox?

un·or·tho·dox (ŭn-ôr’thə-dŏks’)

adj. Breaking with convention or tradition; not orthodox.

Faith is composed of two interconnected pieces – doxis and praxis.

In English, “belief” and “action.”  To be orthodox is to supposedly hold to the right beliefs.

In religious circles, the term has been used historically to define the beliefs (and erroneously, the practices) of the Eastern Church as opposed to the Western, or Roman, Church.  But it is also used in evangelical circles as a synonym for the doctrinal fundamentals of Christian belief such as the deity of Christ, the virgin birth and the like.

Orthodoxy claims to be the historically correct version of Christian belief; but often it is simply the current version of Christian belief that is held to be historically correct by whatever group of Christians using the word at the time.

To seek out unorthodox ways is to consider how the “right way”, or more appropriately the “right ways” might be wrong.

And this is the reason this blog is called UNORTHODOX. We are not seeking to destroy Christianity.  We are not planning to rediscover or reform what exists today.

This unorthodoxy is simply questions.

We can no longer accept that what our camp or tradition holds as orthodox must be orthodox.

My name is Erik DiVietro.

I grew up in church as a pastor’s kid, so when I say in church, I mean it quite literally. I’ve seen real faith, fake faith and everything in between.

After graduating from Boston Baptist College (www.boston.edu, then Baptist Bible College East), I became a Christian school teacher and eventually the associate pastor of a fundamentalist Baptist Church. In 2003, I was ordained to the gospel ministry by that church.

The following year (2004), I left to become the pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Hooksett, New Hampshire. While there, I completed a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from Master’s International School of Divinity (www.mdivs.edu).

Over the course of the years, I have moved away from the extreme fundamentalism I encountered at college and working in a fundamentalist church. While affirming the fundamentals of the faith (the inspiration of Scripture, the divinity and humanity of Christ, among others), I have continually sought to form a Biblical theology – one that is inductively drawn from the Scriptures rather than using a theology as a framework for the Scriptures.

This has necessitated that I learn continually about the history of the world into which the Scriptures were spoken. What I have discovered it that far more often than we would like, history humbles theology.

Our Congregational Identity

In 2010, Heritage merged with another local assembly to form Bedford Road Baptist ChurchSince then, I have served as the full-time teaching pastor alongside some of the greatest lay elders I have ever known. Our congregation is intentionally intimate, built on relationships and environments where people encounter Jesus and journey together. As a result, our congregation is, in the words of one of my friends, “A jumble of God’s slightly off center artistry.”

Everything Else

I am also a husband and a father. In 2004, my wife and I welcomed our only child into our family. Our daughter is the joy of our lives, a living epistle of God’s goodness, despite the fact that she constantly beats me at Monopoly and tends to forget to do her chores.

My wife Nichole and I are both musicians. Although we are novice songwriters, we love the work of the great Christian songwriters of our generation – people like Rich Mullins and Michael Card. In 2011, my wife underwent a full thyroid removal and radioactive iodine treatment to combat thyroid cancer. The Lord was gracious and restored her amazing voice.

14 thoughts on “What Is Unorthodox?”

  1. Hi Erik, I noticed your recent blog post related to Tim Tebow and the prosperity preacher whose church he at one time planned to visit (canceled that visit, I believe). I took note of your comments on prosperity preaching and I’m wondering whether you would be interested in joining a blog tour for a new book titled Exploring Prosperity Preaching: Biblical Health, Wealth, and Wisdom by homiletics professor Dr. Debra Mumford. If you’d like to know more about our tour, please email me at the address below. Thanks!

  2. Your point of view on forming a “Biblical theology – one that is inductively drawn from the Scriptures rather than using a theology as a framework for the Scriptures” seems really similar to the one described on jw.org

    1. The Jehovah’s Witnesses reject fundamental orthodoxy. Their approach to Scripture is eisegetical and derives its authority from the Watchtower Society rather than the grammatical-historical method.

  3. I find you post most interesting for I too when given the moment to express myself over the years I’ll do something misshapen, odd, or questionable behavior by Christians. This is to find an avenue of hope among possible unbelievers.

  4. Back when i first started this journey God wkuld tell me i was an unorthodox Christian. Now i fully understand. Thanks for this blog

  5. Hello,
    My name is Benjamin Jude Nichols.I have Googled an Orthodox Christian Church to find out if it exists and where and how it would function. I have known and been calling myself an unorthodox Christian for many years now. I never knew if that was an actual term that other people used except in Judaism. I’m very happy to see that there is a thing such as the unorthodox Christian church because my life has been very full and has led me to not always believe in the fundamental doctrinal things of the First Baptist church that I grew up in.
    I have a wonderful Christian family. my father even has his master’s degree in theology. I have always been a bit of the black sheep of the family and some of my family don’t think I walk with Jesus as much as I know I do. There is always room to get closer to Lord Jesus however and I do strive to achieve that.
    now that you know a little of my background I would like to ask you if you know of any church that is along the unorthodox Christian model you stated in your text in the area I live in Southeastern Louisiana? In particular I live just east of Baton Rouge.
    I am without a church home currently because of a fall out between creation and evolution that I tried taking to my pastor twice and was dismissed twice to discuss the issue. Since then got his handle that problem in my life and I no longer stand on the scientific side of things the way I used to. However I don’t feel like I belong back in the standard type of First Baptist Church.
    I love to praise and worship and I also am a bit of a musician and strive to be a better one. I am a high-voltage technician by trade for the last 23 years but lost my home in a flood down here a couple of years ago and my health has demanded that I take time off to have some medical problems taken care of. Things have been very difficult since the floodand a true recovery has yet to happen in my life. I wish to have a church home again and I wish to get closer to the Lord because I have made some poor decisions lately that have affected me drastically.
    so if there’s any way that you could give me any pointers toward the type of church that I am seeking I would appreciate it or any other correspondence you would like to send me I will leave my email address here for you. Thank you and may God bless you.

  6. Eric
    Have you read “Pagan Christianity” and his most recent “Insurgence Reclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom”? Both are authored by Frank Viola. I think you would greatly enjoy his work. I have a Kingdom cell meeting in Nashua.
    Blessings, Kris

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