Monday, January 22, 2007

On Assessing Doctrinal Errors

"The Reformed orthodox generally also note, in connection with the idea of fundamental articles, three kinds of doctrinal error:

(1) errors directly against a fundamental article (contra fundamentum)

(2) errors
around a fundamental or in indirect contradiction to it (circa fundamentum)

(3) errors
beyond a fundamental article (praeter fundamentum)

The first kind of error is a direct attack--such as those launched by the Socinians--against the divinity of Christ or the Trinity. The second is not a direct negation or an antithesis but rather an indirect or secondary error ultimately subversive of a fundamental--such as a belief in God that refuses to acknowledge his providence. The third category of error does not address fundamental articles directly or indirectly but rather involves faith in problematic and curious questions (quaestiones problematicas et curiosas) that do not arise out of the revealed Word--hay and stubble!--and that, because of their curiosity and vanity, constitute diversions from and impediments to salvation."

Richard Muller, PRRD vol. 1:Prolegomena to Theology, p. 422-3

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