Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Connecting All Doctrines to Soteriology

I believe one of the most fundamental theological axioms is that all doctrine should be intimately and clearly connected to soteriology.

It is a great mistake to isolate various Christian doctrines one from another, and this mistake is particularly dangerous when one is dealing with the trinitarian and Christological controversies. Too often these patristic debates are presented as if they were primarily attempts to arrive at the best philosophical vocabulary for speaking of God and Christ. But fundamentally, these debates were not about philosophy; they were about salvation.

I contend that at the deepest level, the church's thought process in the fourth and fifth centuries was an attempt to answer the question, "What does God have to be like in order to give us the kind of salvation that we Christians know (from Scripture and the Holy Spirit's witness) we have?"
—Donald Fairbairn, "The One Person Who is Jesus Christ: The Patristic Perspective," in Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective, 92.

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