Monday, March 13, 2006

Cynical view of doctrine

To a point, right doctrine is critically important for the unity of the church. But after some other point, the never-ending proliferation of doctrine upon doctrine simply becomes absurd, as Mark Horne scathingly observes:
Doctrine upholds the status of a ruling class, if only in their own minds. When outsiders agree with the doctrine, then the doctrine is in danger of failing in its function--it threatens to become a source of unity rather than a tool of exclusion. This danger can easily be remedied. There is potentially an infinite chain of doctrines implicit in any doctrine. Just regress far enough down the chain until the outsider fails to affirm the words you want him to use. As soon as that occurs, you can reinforce the barriers you need to maintain.
I only wish Mark were overstating his case here, but I'm afraid not.


Blogger Garrett said...

This is a sad reality of habit that I picked up somewhere along the way. It was heavily reinforced when I became Reformed. When I meet a Christian for the first time it causes me to immediately begin to manuveur in an attempt to find differences and inconsistencies in their system of doctrine (and practice). I am recovering from this and hope one day to be purged of this sin.

7:52 AM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for your candor, Garrett. May you be blessed in your efforts to continue growing in Christ.

3:30 PM, March 19, 2006  

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