You hit the nail on the head.Paeter wrote:
And I'd agree that the scenario I described is highly improbable. I think my tendency, when talking about justification, is to grind it down to the most basic level possible in order to avoid any tacked on bits of legalism. It sounds like we're both driven to emphasize different things in order to avoid different heresies that we've personally seen cause harm in others.
On a purely academic, theological level, it sounds like we're probably in agreement. But we're both sensing the dangers of not representing this topic well in practical conversation. For example, you're sensing the very real danger of the rejection of Christ (despite one thinking they've "accepted him") because of a false view of God's nature. I'm sensing the danger of some form of works-based justification if anything more than the absolute essentials enter the discussion of justification.
But in an ongoing conversation with someone about justification I'd feel strongly compelled to bring in closely related, monumentally vital sanctification issues, such as core doctrines like the Trinity. And it sounds as though, at the end of the day, your concern is not so much with a person affirming the word "Trinity" but affirming the proper nature of Christ(fully man/fully God), which I think I'd agree is vital to justification.
I think we're in agreement.
I certainly don't want to become a legalist... or more specifically a pelagian (i.e. knowledge saves). But I also don't want to open the door so wide, as to accept untruth.
There is a tension here which is why the theologians noting the difference between formal and incidental heresy is so helpful.
Arius was a tool of the devil. But, I am convinced that many of those who came to faith in Christ under his teaching.. actually came to the real Jesus. And the proof is when they were confronted with the egregious error... they repented and came under sound doctrine.