Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pieper, 1968. Chapter A17, "Theology and Doctrinal Development"

Chapter A17, “Theology and Doctrinal Development”

Pieper observes that modern theology is very interested in doctrinal development. His view is that doctrine cannot develop because it was all provided to the Church by the apostles. Jesus and the apostles proclaimed that there was only one message of the Gospel and that it would not develop beyond what they said. Paul particularly in 1 Timothy 6:3-4 and Colossians 2:7-10 says that philosophical speculation was not safe doctrine. Those who promote doctrinal development cite examples in church history. However, the new doctrinal statements simply used new vocabulary and style to defend the apostolic doctrine. Likewise, the reformation actually defended old doctrine rather than promoting anything new. Pieper observes also that new doctrinal stands always manage to do violence to apostolic teaching. Therefore he reaches the conclusion that the correct stance of the Church is one of repristination, not of development.

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