The primitive Church was concerned not merely with what Jesus had said, but also, and primarily, with what Jesus had done. The world was to be redeemed through the proclamation of an event. And with the event went the meaning of the event; and the setting forth of the event with the meaning of the event was doctrine. These two elements are always combined in the Christian message.
The narration of the facts is history; the narration of the facts with the meaning of the facts is doctrine.
"Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried"--that is history.
"He loved me and gave Himself for me"--that is doctrine.
Such was the Christianity of the primitive Church.
Saturday, March 06, 2010
History + Meaning = Doctrine
I'll be teaching on Mark 5:21-43 tomorrow morning. While reviewing the lesson, this passage from J. Gresham Machen stood out to me again, so I'm sharing it with all who stop by.