Think about how much of your Bible, Old and New Testaments, is in the form not of doctrinal statements but of stories. Statements declare doctrinal truth; stories illustrate doctrinal truth. Doctrinal statements are like skeletons - bare bones, but absolutely essential to give form and order and interconnection to the body of revealed truth. Stories flesh out that skeleton, incarnate that truth, demonstrate how the doctrine looks and moves and acts in the real world of flesh and blood.
... the doctrinal differences between Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism are not anywhere near as important as doctrinal differences among Christianity and Islam and Judaism. Holy wars are not fought over them because verbalized statements about reality are never presumed to be reality itself.
Robert M. Pirsig
the doctrinal differences between Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism are not anywhere near as important as doctrinal differences among Christianity and Islam and Judaism. Holy wars are not fought over them because verbalized statements about reality are never presumed to be reality itself.
Robert M. Pirsig
All Scripture is profitable first for "doctrine"! The same order is observed throughout the Epistles, particularly in the great doctrinal treatises of the apostle Paul. Read the Epistle of "Romans" and it will be found that there is not a single admonition in the first five chapters. In the Epistle of "Ephesians" there are no exhortations till the fourth chapter is reached. The order is first doctrinal exposition and then admonition or exhortation for the regulation of the daily walk.
Arthur W. Pink
I want to say to all you Scribes, Pharisees, heresy hunters, all of you that are going around pickin' little bits of doctrinal error out of everybody's eyes and dividin' the Body of Christ...get out of God's way, stop blockin' God's bridges, or God's goin' to shoot you if I don't...let Him sort out all this doctrinal doodoo!...I refuse to argue any longer with any of you out there! Don't even call me if you want to argue...Get out of my life! I don't want to talk to you...I don't want to see your ugly face!
Beginning in 1519 and continuing until the end of his life, Luther expounded a theme that the Sacrament brings and means a fellowship of love and mercy: "This fellowship sonsists in this, that all the spiritual possessions of Christ and his saints are shared iwth and become the common property of him who receives this sacrament. Again all sufferings and sins also become common property; and thus love engenders love in return and [mutual love' unites... It is like a city where every citizen shares with all the others the city's name, honor, freedom, trade, customs, usages, help, support, protection, and the like, while at the same time he shares all the dangers of fire and flood, enemies and death, losses taxes and the like. For he who would share in the profits must also share in the costs, and ever recompense love with love... " For Luther, unity with respect to the Sacrament meant both doctrinal agreement and love. When the prerequisite to church fellowship is defined merely (however important!) in terms of doctrinal fellowship, it can end in a Platonic pursuit of a frigid and rigid mental ideal. Doctrinal unity, true unity in Christ's body and blood, is also a unity of deep love and mercy. If I will not lay down my burden on Christ and the community, or take up the burdens of others who come to the Table, then I should not go to the Sacrament. Close(d) Communion is also a fellowship of love and mercy with my brother and sister in Christ as Luther taught in the previous citation.
Matthew C. Harrison
At the heart of Galatians 2 is not an abstract individualized salvation, but a common meal. Paul does not want the Galatians to wait until they have agreed on all doctrinal arguments before they can sit down and eat together. Not to eat together is already to get the answer wrong. The whole point of his argument is that all those who belong to Christ belong at the same table with one another. The relevance of this today should be obvious. The differences between us, as twentieth-century Christians, all too often reflect cultural, philosophical and tribal divides, rather than anything that should keep us apart from full and glad eucharistic fellowship. I believe the church should recognize, as a matter of biblical and Christian obedience, that it is time to put the horse back before the cart, and that we are far, far more likely to reach doctrinal agreement between our different churches if we do so within the context of that common meal which belongs equally to us all because it is the meal of the Lord whom we all worship. Intercommunion, in other words, is not something we should regard as the prize to be gained at the end of the ecumenical road; it is the very paving of the road itself. If we wonder why we haven't been travelling very fast down the road of late, maybe it's because, without the proper paving, we've got stuck in the mud.
Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal 'security,' those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists - they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies.
In thinking about religion and society in the 21st century, we should broaden the conversation about faith from doctrinal debates to the larger question of how it might inspire us to strengthen the bonds of belonging that redeem us from our solitude, helping us to construct together a gracious and generous social order.
If we repeatedly read the Bible without the help of the Holy Spirit, it tends to reinforce our own prejudices and rock-hard doctrinal positions. We end up merely finding ammunition for what we already believe. We become so spiritually proud, so convinced of our own positions, that the Spirit is hindered in helping us to grow in the things of God.
The substitution of so-called "practical" preaching for the doctrinal exposition which it has supplanted is the root cause of many of the evil maladies which now afflict the church of God. The reason why there is so little depth, so little intelligence, so little grasp of the fundamental verities of Christianity, is because so few believers have been established in the faith, through hearing expounded and through their own personal study of the doctrines of grace.
Arthur W. Pink
There is something new in the air. There is, there is a - a hunger for an open, non-dogmatic, form of Christian faith and practice, which adapts itself to a rapidly changing world; and speaks to that world the message of Jesus Christ. And a freedom to rediscover some of the language of the tradition now that's it's not handed down to us, you know, with a strict framework of doctrinal, fixed structures.
If by 'intellectual' you mean people who are a special class who are in the business of imposing thoughts and forming ideas for people in power, and telling people what they should believe...they're really more a kind of secular priesthood, whose task it is to uphold the doctrinal truths of the society. And the population SHOULD be anti-intellectual in that repect.
We're so worried about the legal details of crossing doctrinal t's and dotting sociopolitical i's that we miss the big picture. The love picture. The one thing Jesus was really clear about: LOVE. If we could just get that one thing down, I believe the details would take care of themselves.
The world is not looking for more doctrinal proof of the reality of God! It is not looking for greater proof of the resurrection or better arguments about creation. The world is looking for Christians who can stand up to every crisis, fear, trouble and difficulty and remain calm and at rest in the midst of it all. The world needs to see God's children trusting wholly in their Lord.
For how shall we fill people with blind faith in the correctness of a doctrine, if we ourselves spread uncertainty and doubt by constant changes in its outward structure? ...Here, too, we can learn by the example of the Catholic Church. Though its doctrinal edifice, and in part quite superfluously, comes into collision with exact science and research, it is none the less unwilling to sacrifice so much as one little syllable of its dogmas... it is only such dogmas which lend to the whole body the character of a faith.
For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await others. I believe that many who find that 'nothing happens' when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.
I do not believe that God intended the study of theology to be dry and boring. Theology is the study of God and all his works! Theology is meant to be LIVED and PRAYED and SUNG! All of the great doctrinal writings of the Bible (such as Paul's epistle to the Romans) are full of praise to God and personal application to life.
From it genesis twelve hundred years ago to today, Islamic philosophy (al-hikmah; al-falsafah) has been one of the major intellectual traditions within the Islamic world, and it has influenced and been influenced by many other intellectual perspectives, including Scholastic theology (kalam) and doctrinal Sufism (al-ma'rifah or al-tasawwuf al-'ilmi) and theoretical gnosis ('irfan-i nazari).
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
In short, an astonishingly broad spectrum of theologies of justification existed in the later medieval period, encompassing practically every option that had not been specifically condemned as heretical by the Council of Carthage. In the absence of any definitive magisterial pronouncement concerning which of these options (or even what range of options) could be considered authentically catholic, it was left to each theologian to reach his own decision in this matter. A self-perpetuating doctrinal pluralism was thus an inevitability.
Alister E. McGrath
An idol is something that we look to for things that only God can give. Idolatry functions widely inside religious communities when doctrinal truth is elevated to the position of a false god. This occurs when people rely on the rightness of their doctrine for their standing with God rather than on God himself and his grace. It is a subtly but deadly mistake. The sign that you have slipped into this form of self-justification is that you become what the book of Proverbs calls a 'scoffer'.
There is no doctrine more fundamental to our work than the Atonement of Jesus Christ. At every appropriate opportunity, testify of the Savior and of the power of His Atoning sacrifice. Use scriptures that teach of Him and why He is the perfect pattern for everyone in life.4 You will need to study diligently. Do not become so absorbed with trivial things that you miss learning the doctrine and teachings of the Lord. With a solid, personal doctrinal foundation, you will be a powerful source for sharing vital truths with others who desperately need them.
Richard G. Scott
If being an anti-art artist is difficult, being an anti-art art historian is a hard position indeed. His doctrinal revolutionism brings forth nothing new in art but reenacts upheavals on the symbolic plane of language. It provides the consoling belief that overthrows are occurring as in the past, that barriers to creation are being surmounted, and that art is pursuing a radical purpose, even if it is only the purpose of doing away with itself.
Our doctrinal obligation is to our own ancestors. This is because the celestial organization of heaven is based on families. The First Presidency has encouraged members, especially youth and young single adults, to emphasize family history work and ordinances for their own family names or the names of ancestors of their ward and stake members. We need to be connected to both our roots and branches. The thought of being associated in the eternal realm is indeed glorious.
Quentin L. Cook
Remember when you got into the word and it wasn't because you had a sermon to prepare or you needed to learn some things or there were some doctrinal problems or you knew that to progress as a useful servant you had to continue on in the things of the word of God? Do you remember when you just got into the word because you wanted to hear something from God? You wanted to know something about Him. Do you remember when you just prayed because of Him? Is your heart burning for Him?
Anarcho-capitalism, in my opinion, is a doctrinal system which, if ever implemented, would lead to forms of tyranny and oppression that have few counterparts in human history. There isn't the slightest possibility that its (in my view, horrendous) ideas would be implemented, because they would quickly destroy any society that made this colossal error. The idea of 'free contract' between the potentate and his starving subject is a sick joke, perhaps worth some moments in an academic seminar exploring the consequences of (in my view, absurd) ideas, but nowhere else.
Grace abounds in contemporary movies, books, novels, films and music. If God is not in the whirlwind, He may be in a Woody Allen film, or a Bruce Springsteen concert. Most people understand imagery and symbol better than doctrine and dogma. Images touch hearts and awaken imaginations. One theologian suggested that Springsteen's 'Tunnel of Love' album, in which he symbolically sings of sin, death, despair and redemption, is more important for Catholics than the Pope's last visit when he spoke of morality only in doctrinal propositions.
There is no longer a Christian mind ... the modern Christian has succumbed to secularization. He accepts religion - its morality, its worship, its spiritual culture; but he rejects the religious view of life, the view which sets all earthly issues within the context of the eternal, the view which relates all human problems social, political, cultural to the doctrinal foundations of the Christian Faith, the view which sees all things here below in terms of God's supremacy and earth's transitoriness, in terms of Heaven and Hell.
According to your holy book, every single Buddhist, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, follower of various minor traditions or sects, those who do not affiliate themselves with a religious tradition and the approximately 2.74 billion humans who have never had the 'privilege' of hearing the word of your Messiah will be sentenced to eternal damnation in a lake of fire-regardless of moral standings or positive worldly accomplishments. If this sounds like a fair proposition to you, then I bite my tongue-but I honestly believe that the majority of Christians do not agree with these doctrinal assertions, and instead categorize themselves as 'Christians' out of cultural familiarity or perhaps out of complete ignorance in regards to the topic.
David G. McAfee
Discipleship means adherence to Christ and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship. An abstract theology, a doctrinal system, a general religious knowledge of the subject of grace or the forgiveness of sins, render discipleship superfluous, and in fact exclude any idea of discipleship whatsoever, and are essentially inimical to the whole conception of following Christ....Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.
I wish we had met away from all these battles. I wish we had met in a land of peace without social classes and with no conflicts. I wish we had met in prehistoric times wearing cranberry leaves. I wish we had met when there were no disagreements about our bodies and no doctrinal differences. I wish we had met when the veil was not an issue and when there were no shaving blades, no hair colors and no perfumes to hide your natural smell. I wish we have met when there were no shoes to coerce our steps, no fashion and socks brands to put each of us in a certain social class. I wish we have met when there were no cars and no traffic. I wish we have met when there were no battles to be forced to see you as an unarmed knight with the heresy of currencies.
My love of consistency with my own doctrinal views is not great enough to allow me knowingly to alter a single text of Scripture. I have great respect for orthodoxy, but my reverence for inspiration is far greater. I would sooner a hundred times over appear to be inconsistent with myself than be inconsistent with the word of God. I never thought it to be any very great crime to seem to be inconsistent with myself; for who am I that I should everlastingly be consistent? But I do think it a great crime to be so inconsistent with the word of God that I should want to lop away a bough or even a twig from so much as a single tree of the forest of Scripture. God forbid that I should cut or shape, even in the least degree, any divine expression.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
In intertwining sentimentality, healing, narcissism, and authority, modern evangelicals give authority to those emotions themselves... The sentimental becomes evidence and authority in a world in which most evangelicals have given up intellectual pursuits and concerns over doctrine. Essentially, sentimentality represents an abandonment of theology and critical introspection in popular evangelicalism. Instead of crafting intellectual responses to the challenges to evangelicalism, popular evangelicals appeal to the power of feeling as an authority to counteract science and criticism of the Bible. They offer their audiences the opportunity to FEEL that evangelicalism is right rather than asking them to accept the veracity of doctrinal positions of evangelicalism.
Todd M. Brenneman
It does not answer the aim which God had in this institution, merely for men to have good commentaries and expositions on the Scripture, and other good books of divinity; because, although these may tend, as well as preaching, to give a good doctrinal or speculative understanding of the word of God, yet they have not an equal tendency to impress them on men's hearts and affections. God hath appointed a particular and lively application of his word, in the preaching of it, as a fit means to affect sinners with the importance of religion, their own misery, the necessity of a remedy, and the glory and sufficiency of a remedy provided; to stir up the pure minds of the saints, quicken their affections by often bringing the great things of religion in their remembrance, and setting them in their proper colours, though they know them, and have been fully instructed in them already.
To begin with, we have to be more clear about what we mean by patriotic feelings. For a time when I was in high school, I cheered for the school athletic teams. That's a form of patriotism - group loyalty. It can take pernicious forms, but in itself it can be quite harmless, maybe even positive. At the national level, what "patriotism" means depends on how we view the society. Those with deep totalitarian commitments identify the state with the society, its people, and its culture. Therefore those who criticized the policies of the Kremlin under Stalin were condemned as "anti-Soviet" or "hating Russia". For their counterparts in the West, those who criticize the policies of the US government are "anti-American" and "hate America"; those are the standard terms used by intellectual opinion, including left-liberal segments, so deeply committed to their totalitarian instincts that they cannot even recognize them, let alone understand their disgraceful history, tracing to the origins of recorded history in interesting ways. For the totalitarian, "patriotism" means support for the state and its policies, perhaps with twitters of protest on grounds that they might fail or cost us too much. For those whose instincts are democratic rather than totalitarian, "patriotism" means commitment to the welfare and improvement of the society, its people, its culture. That's a natural sentiment and one that can be quite positive. It's one all serious activists share, I presume; otherwise why take the trouble to do what we do? But the kind of "patriotism" fostered by totalitarian societies and military dictatorships, and internalized as second nature by much of intellectual opinion in more free societies, is one of the worst maladies of human history, and will probably do us all in before too long. With regard to the US, I think we find a mix. Every effort is made by power and doctrinal systems to stir up the more dangerous and destructive forms of "patriotism"; every effort is made by people committed to peace and justice to organize and encourage the beneficial kinds. It's a constant struggle. When people are frightened, the more dangerous kinds tend to emerge, and people huddle under the wings of power. Whatever the reasons may be, by comparative standards the US has been a very frightened country for a long time, on many dimensions. Quite commonly in history, such fears have been fanned by unscrupulous leaders, seeking to implement their own agendas. These are commonly harmful to the general population, which has to be disciplined in some manner: the classic device is to stimulate fear of awesome enemies concocted for the purpose, usually with some shreds of realism, required even for the most vulgar forms of propaganda. Germany was the pride of Western civilization 70 years ago, but most Germans were whipped to presumably genuine fear of the Czech dagger pointed at the heart of Germany (is that crazier than the Nicaraguan or Grenadan dagger pointed at the heart of the US, conjured up by the people now playing the same game today?), the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy aimed at destroying the Aryan race and the civilization that Germany had inherited from Greece, etc. That's only the beginning. A lot is at stake.