John , But we have no authoritative record of that.
Light and Truth or Gospel Thoughts and Themes: Volume IV: The Lesser Epistles
This Jewish tradition was later written down as the Mishnah. The Catholic Church repeated the same mistake. Tradition, therefore, is not a solid foundation for theology. Only the Bible is. Religion is the Practical Theology of Worship. James gives both.
The good sense is that Christianity is the true religion in that it alone provides the true way of worshipping God. All other religions are false. But religion, or the practical exercise of worship, must be based on theology and not the other way around. Christianity is more than rituals and ceremonies. Moreover, the elaborate Old Testament worship ceremonies were replaced with two simple ceremonies baptism and Communion , and now the emphasis is more spiritual.
True religion is neither magic nor superstition, but the worship of God in Spirit and in truth John True Theological Method is Important. Both the content and method of theology are important. True theology must be based on the Bible alone. And that is the basic principle of theological method. True theology presupposes the total truth of the Bible.
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Theology is received by revelation of God, not conceived by the mind of Man Col. God is the subject, not the object, of theology. That is, He Himself teaches us about Himself. Thus there are both similarities and differences between theological and natural science. Another important principle is seeing how the NT uses the OT. The Bible itself uses logic, but logic itself must be subject to the Word of God, else it becomes mere philosophy.
These may be stated in only 2 or 3 words, or longer sentences. Some are given only once; others, many times.
Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes, vol. 4 - Verbum
They are universal and absolute, undeniable and irrefutable I Tim. They are plainly stated, yet infinitely profound. They are like axioms, maxims and formulas. By comparing spiritual things with other spiritual things I Cor. The Trinity is not stated in any one verse of the Bible, but is the implicit teaching of Scripture, seen when we combine verses such as Deut.
The NT sometimes draws on underlying principles of certain OT verses and develops a new doctrine of practice e. Thus, principles of theology are important. But we must be careful to observe the limits of this theological method, and stay close to Scripture and avoid speculation. We use it in English to refer to the right mainstream as opposed to the unusual fringe such as orthodox medicine vs.
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The Greek Orthodox Church once held to Biblical orthodoxy, but no more. The test of Christian orthodoxy is not antiquity, but Scripture. That doctrine alone is orthodox which is Biblical. They are the basics, the ABC doctrines. Dogmatic theology is concerned with the essential truths of Christianity. Christian dogma is not defined by a church as Romanism claims for itself , but by the Bible alone.
One must believe these essential truths to be a real Christian. It is impossible for someone who rejects, substitutes or adds to these essential truths to be a true Christian. The Gospel is the Main Message of the Bible. Among the essential doctrines is the Gospel. It is a divine record of facts to be believed, not a command that is Law.
Specifically, I Cor.
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There is only one true Gospel, but many false Gospels Gal. The OT preached the same Gospel in advance by prophecy Gal.
The true Gospel calls for only one response for salvation: faith and repentance Mark , Acts To add good works or baptism to this is to preach a false Gospel. To preach the Gospel is simply to present the basic truths about Jesus Christ. Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism are Two Kinds of Orthodoxy.
Evangelicalism accepts the truth of the evangel Gospel. But it does not always defend it strongly. It emphasizes peace and unity over truth. Fundamentalism is the term given to militant Evangelicalism. This is that kind of orthodoxy which fights to defend the essentials by exposing false kinds of Christianity. A key verse is Psa. It refers to those basic doctrines which are to be believed. Saving faith has a content, known as The Faith.
Jude 3 calls upon us not only to believe it but to earnestly defend it. Any interpretation that contradicts the basic Gospel is automatically a wrong interpretation. Orthodoxy is true doctrine. Heterodoxy is false doctrine. In practice, it produces wrong schisms. In general, all error is wrong and heretical.
But in a more precise sense, heresy means the rejection of a fundamental truth. One can still be saved if he is in error on a secondary truth but still believes the essential truths. But rejection of any or all of the basics is heresy and theological poison. Scripture repeatedly warns against promoters of heresy as false prophets Matt. God pronounces a curse on those who preach a false Gospel Gal. Heresy is no small thing. It attacks the very essentials of the faith.
Those who believe heresy, do not believe in the fundamentals, and are not true Christians.