I plan to spend the next few blog posts explaining the necessity of proper doctrine in unifying Christians as well as challenging the false unity that so many popular evangelical teachers and churches promote. Sadly, much of my day got swallowed by trying to download a program that I now must learn to use, leaving me tired and short on time. Consequently, I can only briefly introduce my topic today.
The best introduction, it seems to me, may be to establish what the word "doctrine" means. Dictionary.com defines it this way:
Every church or group of believers (whether they recognize it or not) embraces some sort of doctrine. Even the teaching that I read about the supremacy of unity over doctrine is, in fact...well, doctrine! That truth, though terribly inconvenient, remains inescapable.
Therefore, since every group naturally unites around doctrine of some kind (even the doctrine that purports to suppress doctrinal differences), the true question becomes how a group decides which tenants they will emphasize and which they will leave to individual conscience. Intellectual honesty demands that we look at the debate in such terms. And I intend to pick up our discussion at this point Wednesday.