The Blog of Keith H. Mcilwain. Disciple of Jesus / Husband of Robyn / Father of 4 / United Methodist Pastor / Beatles fan / Steelers fan
Thursday, August 25, 2011
What is doctrine?
"Christian doctrine is unique in that it is an intellectual response to the historical activity and revelatory disclosure of God. Doctrine is rational reflection upon God’s saving activity in Jesus Christ. Foundational to the idea of 'doctrine' is the fact that we need to be told what God is like. It is not ours to determine what kind of God we will believe and obey. It is God’s to determine to show Himself to us. Doctrine is our effort to articulate what He has made known. Doctrine is the divinely authorized attempt to describe God in accordance with how He has revealed Himself in creation, in history, in Jesus Christ and in the Scriptures. In doing so, doctrine also serves to expose false interpretations of reality, false concepts of God. It is the aim of doctrine to make sense of the individual’s and the church’s experience of God as He has made Himself known in Jesus Christ."
Alister McGrath, Understanding Doctrine: Its Relevance & Purpose for Today