Entry: Dogmatic Orthodoxy? Monday, December 19, 2005



Yesterday I was doing a bit of research on New Covenant Theology and ended up at a pretty cool website with a lot of theological Q&A. I noticed that this particular website was supported by a church, and so I checked out the church's site. I was slightly disappointed by what I saw.

Like so many today, this church put on the front page of its website that it was distinctively TULIP-driven. It wasn't even in the section normally reserved for theological distinctives or statements of faith. Now, don't get me wrong. I had my period of rabid, incendiary Calvinism, and so this may be a bit hypocritical of me to mention. But, the older I get (all of 20, now) the more worried I am about people who are so terribly orthodox. Obviously, true orthodoxy is vitally important. But who decides what is orthodoxy, and to what extent does that label apply? Theology of salvation, or Christ, or how many pop machines are allowed in the foyer?

My question really is, to what extent should a church be defined by a particular part of biblical doctrine? I agree it's important to fight the slowly waning tide of cultural Arminianism, but a church (or at least a pastoral staff) that fights one theological battle to its limit seems to me to be dangerously out of balance. It's no better than this church trying to reach only hip twenty-somethings, or that one targetting specifically kids from the hardcore scene. Also, you don't really ever notice a church that on its front page says "we're a TITHING church" or "we're a church without ANY coarse joking!"

To me, orthodoxy is something that should be clung to, but loosely. We should always be open to sharpening and correction, and the illumination of the Holy Spirit to properly understand the Word. Institutionalized theology will always be a perilous thing; to this day my grandmother things alcohol and playing cards are works of the devil.

   3 comments

Tim Powell
December 21, 2005   08:49 PM PST
 
Thanks for the article, John. I gave it a cursory glance and intend on going back to read it in-depth when I head home. Thought-provoking, at the least.
J
December 19, 2005   07:53 PM PST
 
Hi Tim. Want to share this article with you.

http://www.protomartyr.org/first.html
John
December 19, 2005   07:48 PM PST
 
Hi Tim. Wanted to share a link to an article that changed my life...

http://www.protomartyr.org/first.html

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