Monday, July 17, 2006

Excerpt from "The Fire and the Staff"

I wanted to give you a section of "The Fire and the Staff" to encourage you to read it. This book has needed to be written for a long time. On page 55, Preus writes, "Doctrine is important because of the central doctrine of the Bible- the doctrine of Christ. Christian doctrine teaches Jesus... Every so often I will hear someone say, 'You believe in doctrine. I believe in Jesus.' Such an expression may sound very pious, but the devil is behind it. We cannot believe in Jesus unless we are taught the doctrine of Jesus. You cannot separate Christ from the doctrine of Christ. Christ without doctrine is some vague, wordless, fleshless, and incomprehensible blur, unknowable, and unworthy of knowing. If you can't teach it, you can't believe it."

Good stuff! More to come.


At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doctrine is important, but it is not Christ. Christ is not a doctrine. Christ Jesus is the son of God. True God, and true man, he died for our salvation. Doctrine varies from one church body to the next, because man errs.

No one doctrine held by any church body is right and perfect. Only the Holy Scripture is the true and inerrant word of God.

In this light, any man can be saved if he believes these words from Mark chapter 16:
"Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

This is, in its most simple form, the only thing that could be considered a doctrine of Christ. This is his command that all creation be taught the good news, and all who believe will be saved.

What quarrel we may have over doctrine, while meaningful and relevant, is never more relevant than Christ. Speak both where you see right, and where you see wrong. Offer encouragement to one another in good efforts, and in hard times. When someone is wrong, be constructive. Admonish them properly, but do not forget to love them in the same breath. A heart of forgiveness, of love, and of mercy is the closest we will ever come to Christ while on this earth.

Let us not forget the only Holy one in our quest for righteousness. His example paves the way, and even whores and tax collectors may delight in his grace.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger stjohnstrongs said...

Again, thank you for your post. I agree with you that Jesus is at the center of what it means to be a Christian. In fact, one professor of mine, said it best. He said that, "All theology is Christology." That is to say that everything that the Church teaches centers around Christ and Him crucified and risen. Doctrine is not just some abstract truth. Doctrine is based on Jesus and flows from Him and to Him. The doctrine of Baptism, the doctrine of Holy Communion, the doctrine of the End Times, just to name a few, all revolve around Jesus. Without the entirety of our teaching or doctrine, a portion of Christ is left out. You can't separate doctrine from Christ. Everything that we teach in the Church is some aspect of Jesus or His work. May God bless our Church.


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