Category: Randomness

Novelty and paralysis

April 7th, 2010 — 3:44pm

Something faithful Christians have grappled with in every generation is how to remain loyal to the faith once delivered to the saints, while also being humble enough to acknowledge we don’t yet have everything figured out (indeed, there are mysteries even in things we do “understand”). God save us from theological novelty (the itch of “creative” thinkers) on the one hand; God save us from theological paralysis (the stasis of tradition-worshippers) on the other. Some help may be found here, I think:

“The life and faith that the church possesses is much richer than what comes to expression in its creedal statements. The church’s confession is far from formulating the entire content of the Christian faith. To begin with, a confession generally comes into being in response to specific historical events and arranges its positive and antithetical content accordingly. Furthermore, a confession does not make clear the inner coherence that exists among the various dogmas nor does it ever fully articulate the truth which God has revealed in his Word. The task of the dogmatician differs therefore from that of the student of the church’s creedal statements. The latter satisfies himself with the status of the dogmatic content of the creeds, but the former has to examine how the dogma arose genetically from Scripture and how, in accordance with that same Scripture, it ought to be expanded and enriched.” (Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, p. 1.31)

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