Paving roads over the asphalt of old ideas leads to the same destination, no matter how pretty the new ways look.
On the second post on Doctrine for Everybody, we noted that the Church is to believe and teach what someone with Authority tells them to believe and teach—and that someone wasn’t a board of directors! Authority wasn’t derived from within the Church or from the collective body of the Church, but directly from God. Only God is the one who reveals to the Church what she is to believe and teach. In this post I want to discuss how God’s revelation operates.
On the first post of Doctrine for Everybody, I gave a definition of Doctrine—(1) What the church believes and (2) what the Church teaches. But it generates a real question about how the Church even gets to that point. I mean, does the Church believe and teach such and such because the Church made it up? Or maybe the Church believes this-or-that because of some random accident? Even better, the Church teaches this bric-a-brac because they voted (and the majority won by a slim margin!)?
These are all false; they don’t even work in the real world.
When teaching doctrine, people get really huffy and start wondering what some young buck is going to come up with. Who is this guy, of thirty something years, thinking on writing anything on doctrine at all? How dare he?
And that person would be right. I don’t like doing it. I like staying close to the text, and within that context, and maybe writing what exists there with whatever application might be sifted. I don’t necessarily like doing any sort of systematic studies because I think that sometimes those systems are way too contrived.