Tag Archives: Christian doctrine

The Doctrine of the Christian Life

Christian theology, I believe, should always be directly linked with practical living.  Following Paul in Romans 13:8-10, we may summarize Jesus’ message as a call to love our neighbors.  All theology should serve that calling.

In my essay, “The Doctrine of the Christian Life,” I conclude my reflections on Christian doctrine by returning to the theme of how we are called to live as Jesus’ followers.  I use the Parable of the Good Samaritan as the jumping off point for reflecting on how faith in Jesus includes as an integral element faithfulness in persevering love toward the people we share life with.

This essay is the thirteenth and final one in a series that examines core Christian doctrines, consistently asking what shape they should take if they are articulated in light of Jesus.

Theology of the Sacraments

As we reflect on our theology of the church, no matter where we are on the “high-church/low-church” spectrum, we do need to take seriously the formals rituals of Christian practice, especially the ritual of communion.

I propose in my essay, “Theology of the Sacraments, that taking Jesus as our central source for theology will shape how we think of the Sacraments.  Doing theology of the Sacraments as if Jesus matters means that we will recognize that the rituals must serve the love of neighbor.

This essay is the tenth in a series that examines core Christian doctrines, consistently asking what shape they should take if they are articulated in light of Jesus.

The Doctrine of the Church

How central should the church be for Christian life?  Is the church a blessing or a curse?  We should be honest and self-critical about the church–and not make into something sacred.  However, Jesus’ agenda certainly placed the faith community as central to faithful living.

In my essay, “The Doctrine of the Church,” I consider the theology of the church in its biblical context, asking how we best think of the church in light of Jesus life and teaching, especially his command to love God and neighbor.

This essay is the ninth in a series that examines core Christian doctrines, consistently asking what shape they should take if they are articulated in light of Jesus.

The Doctrine of Scripture

For many Christians, the doctrine of Scripture takes priority over the actual content of Scripture.  One consequence of this approach is to minimize the life and teaching of Jesus as the core of our theology.

In my essay, “The Doctrine of Scripture,” I reflect on the significance of making God’s revelation of Godself in Jesus central for our understanding of the Bible.  I suggest that seeing Jesus as central to the Bible then provides an angle of perception for discerning other expressions of God’s self-revelation.

This essay is the sixth in a series that examines core Christian doctrines, consistently asking what shape they should take if they are articulated in light of Jesus.

The Doctrine of Creation

Is a self-conscious doctrine of creation compatible with a belief that pacifism is a central Christian conviction?  Is it possible to construct an Anabaptist doctrine of creation, given how dominated that arena of thought has been by Reformed views?  In my essay on “The Doctrine of Creation,” I argue that indeed love and creation go together–along with an understanding of justice that sees the concerns of justice being the work to bring healing to brokenness in our world (“restorative justice”).

This essay is the fifth in a series that examines core Christian doctrines, consistently asking what shape they should take if they are articulated in light of Jesus.

The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

Christian theology has not been as attentive to the Holy Spirit as it could be.  I know that I have not been exposed to very many helpful reflections on this theme.  As I have worked at my own understanding of the Holy Spirit, I have been impressed with two crucial themes: the Holy Spirit is best seen as integrally involved in the creation and sustenance of all life and the Holy Spirit is best seen as fully complementary with the life and teaching of Jesus.  That is, our pneumatology (doctrine of the Spirit) links closely with our christology. 

These two themes (the Spirit active in life and the closeness between Spirit and Christ) shape my essay, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

This essay is the fourth in a series that examines core Christian doctrines, consistently asking what shape they should take if they are articulated in light of Jesus.

The Doctrine of God

If we take the life and teaching of Jesus as our starting point for the construction of our theological doctrines, the results will be quite a bit different than traditional doctrinal theology. This essay,The Doctrine of God, proposes that Jesus-as-starting-point leads to viewing God as merciful and engaged with human beings–in contrast to views of God as wrathful and “above the fray.”

This essay is the third in a series that examines core Christian doctrines, consistently asking what shape they should take if they are articulated in light of Jesus.