In a time deeply marked by "concession," at all events, it is worth our while to remember on the one hand that "concession" is the high road to "heresy," and that "heresy" is "willfulness in doctrine"; and on the other, that God has revealed his truth to us to be held, confessed, and defended, and that, after all, he is able to defend and give due force to the whole circle of revealed truth.
And surely it is worth our while to recognize the most outstanding fact in the conflicts of our age-this, namely, that the line of demarcation between the right-thinking and the wilfully-thinking lies just here-whether a declaration of God is esteemed as authoritative over against all the conjectural explanations of phenomena by men, or whether, on the contrary, it is upon the conjectural explanations of phenomena by men that we take our stand as over against the declaration of God.
In the sphere of science, philosophy, and criticism alike, it is the conjectural explanations of phenomena which are put forward as the principles of knowledge. It is as depending on these that men proclaim science, philosophy, and criticism as the norm of truth.
We are "orthodox" when we account God's declaration in his Word superior in point of authority to them, their interpreter, and their corrector.
We are "heretical" when we make them superior in point of authority to God's Word, its interpreter, and its corrector.
By this test we may each of us try our inmost thought and see where we stand-on God's side or on the world's.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Heresy as "wilfulness in doctrine"
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