Introduction: Why is doctrine so important?
Here are twelve big questions that are the subject of debate in churches and in our culture in general, or which regularly trouble ordinary believers:
- Will a devout Buddhist be with us in heaven?
- How can adultery be wrong if it feels so good?
- Is Jesus’ death on the cross an act of ‘cosmic child abuse’?
- Should the Church of England consider joining with the Roman Catholic Church?
- How can I trust God when my best friend has just died of cancer?
- How can I tell if my mother is really a Christian?
- Why shouldn’t I watch a little porn?
- Why does it matter if the Digo tribe in Tanzania have never heard about Jesus?
- Why are some evangelical Christians so opposed to some church leaders?
- Should we get rid of sermons in a post-modern culture?
- Is the little house-church down my street really a church or a dangerous sect?
- Should practicing homosexuals be allowed to become ministers in the church?
There’s a vicious rumour going round that doctrine is boring and irrelevant. Just something for ‘theological types’ to argue about, and only of passing interest to the man in the pew. If this is what you think, you could not be more wrong.
The answer you might give to each of these twelve current and controversial questions depends on a doctrine. Each one finds an answer in the corresponding chapters of this book; because this book explores twelve of the most relevant and important themes or ‘doctrines’ of the Bible.
Each one has been treasured and proclaimed down the centuries by Christians known as evangelicals (those concerned to believe and teach the ‘evangel’ ie: the gospel of the Bible). But each one has also been challenged throughout church history and is still being challenged today.
This book aims to clarify and explain these vital doctrines so that Christian men of our generation will be prepared to stand up and proclaim them: to teach them in our families, our Sunday schools and churches; to contend for them in our church councils, in the office and in the pub; and to ensure they are passed on to the generation after us.
Christian men don’t want to be ashamed of the teachings of our Saviour passed on by His prophets and apostles in Scripture, for He said: ‘Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this sinful and adulterous generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father’(Mark 8 v 38).
We want the whole world to hear and understand the profound truths of the saving gospel announcement that Jesus (the crucified man from Nazareth) is the Christ (the promised Saviour King) and our Lord (the risen divine Ruler and Judge of us all), which are amplified in these twelve ‘doctrines’. We need to understand them.
This is vitally important for showing how these themes are not random and isolated ideas, but belong together and sum up the essential teaching of the Bible.
Jackman, David; Ash, Christopher; Goligher, Liam; Roberts, Vaughan; Ovey, Mike; Coekin, Richard (2011-10-03). Rock Solid: 12 Gospel Truths to live by (Kindle Locations 68-77). The Good Book Company.