Friday, October 27, 2006
Aversion to doctrine is a sign of sickness
Analysing the aversion that evangelicals seem to have toward doctrine has become something of a cottage industry. A fine example of this genre is David F. Wells No Place For Truth. But whatever the cause, or causes, of this condition, the fact of it is a sign of sickness.
Anyone who wants to champion the importance of doctrine is up against it. "Doctrine" is a word that raises prejudices.
Whatever caveats we wish to add about sitting under teaching that was too abstract, or divorced from practice in the way it was communicated, or (what is worse) divorced from actual practice in the church we attended etc, etc. Christian doctrine is absolutely vital. It is no more, and no less, than God's own testimony to his nature, ways, and works in the world and in the salvation he has accomplished in his Son.
But we do not need pulpits to pump out information, data, and raw truth for us to go away to process and apply. No, what we find as we read is that the Bible comes full of applied truth already. Just read through Hebrews 12:18-29. The application of coming to Mount Zion and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant is crystal clear:
Do not refuse him who is speaking (25)
Be grateful for receiving an unshakeable Kingdom (28a)
Offer to God acceptable reverential worship (28b)
So there can be no right response to God without us first of all being taught about him and the great salvation in his Son.
A bad attitude to doctrine is something to repent of.