after us. Though the moth ? miller has no teeth, its offspring has. <540202>1 Timothy 2:2 ? and the things which thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.?
(d) In the intimate connection between correct doctrine and the safety and aggressive power of the church. The safety and progress of the church is dependent upon her ?holding the pattern of sound words? ( <550313>2 Timothy 3:13), and serving as ?pillar and ground of the truth? ( <540315>1 Timothy 3:15). Defective understanding of the truth results sooner or later in defects of organization, of operation, and of life. Thorough comprehension of Christian truth as an organized system furnishes, on the other hand, not only an invaluable defense against heresy and immorality, but also an indispensable stimulus and instrument in aggressive labor for the world?s conversion.
The creeds of Christendom have not originated in mere speculative curiosity and logical hair splitting. They are statements of doctrine in which the attacked and imperiled church has sought to express the truth, which constitutes her very life. Those who deride the early creeds have small conception of the intellectual acumen and the moral earnestness that went to the making of them. The creeds of the third and fourth centuries embody the results of controversies which exhausted the possibilities of heresy with regard to the Trinity and the person of Christ, and which set up bars against false doctrine to the end of time. Mahaffy: ?What converted the world was not the example of Christ?s life, ? it was the dogma of his death.? Coleridge: ?He who does not withstand, has no standing ground of his own.? Mrs. Browning: ?Entire intellectual toleration is the mark of those who believe nothing.? E. G. Robinson, Christian Theology, 360-362 ? ?A doctrine is but a precept in the style of a proposition; and a precept is but a doctrine in the form of a command Theology is God?s garden; its trees are trees of his planting; and ?all the trees of the Lord are full of sap ( <19A416>Psalm 104:16).?
Bose, Ecumenical Councils: ?A creed is not catholic because a council of many or of few bishops decreed it, but because it expresses the common conviction of entire generations of men and women who turned their understanding of the New Testament into those forms of words.? Derner: ?The creeds are the precipitate of the religions consciousness of mighty seen and times.? Foster, Christ. Life and Theol., 162 ? ?It ordinarily requires the shock of some great event to startle men into clear apprehension and crystallization of their substantial belief. Such a shock
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