Orthodoxy Doesn’t Save

The point to glean here is that our doctrinal orthodoxy does not save us. Certainly, Scripture puts great emphasis on right doctrine. As a theologian, in the doctrine business, so to speak, I have no interest in depreciating the importance of right belief. But doctrine, even orthodox doctrine, is not the final test of Christian faith. One might be most rigorous in biblical and creedal orthodoxy but spiritually dead. Theological acumen and doctrinal knowledge are no measure of godliness. And as with Abraham, God’s choosing and saving us does not require us to have first attained complete theological proficiency. (Michael D. Williams, Far As the Curse is Found)

One response to “Orthodoxy Doesn’t Save

  1. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this lately…I posed a question to three Anglican priests last weekend, just sort of ruminating on the actual impact of one saying, “I don’t believe in the doctrine of the Trinity.” I understand that’s definitely a cardinal doctrine, and we pretty much say on the basis of ancient ecumenical councils, that denial of the Trinity is a damnable heresy (is that not what we say? Don’t we consider Oneness Pentecostals heretics in that regard?)…I was just contemplating the impact of making such a statement…can one make that statement verbally, but not actually believe it practically?

    Jeff Meyers gave a great series of lectures at Auburn Ave. like 6 years ago on the doctrine of the Trinity, but, like anything especially mystical, it’s still hard to wrap our heads around the infinite God.

    Ultimately, our God is judge, and He sees into the heart to know whether someone “really” believes in cardinal doctrines, but how is a church to be managed as far as these doctrines that seem more “intellectual” or cranial in nature are concerned? Say we have a couple in a Church who champion mercy ministries, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, man the nursery, sacrifice for other brothers and sisters, etc…and one day they up and say, “We’ve been thinking about this Trinity thing, and we think it’s bogus.” Maybe they concede the three persons, but not the one God…hmmm in a way, I’m describing the Mormon church. They perform all these wonderful things, and minister to others in a meaningful way, and say they have deep faith – but they have a ridiculous book, and believe whacked out things even beyond the ridiculous book.

    What we believe should dictate what we do (i.e. being godly)…our works proceed from and are direct evidence of our faith…how do we explain Mormons? Their “faith” is apparent by what they do – they woo people not so much because of their doctrines, but by their apparent love of others put into action.

    I know I’m rambling, but you got me thinking some more.

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