Working Papers in Doctrine

Working Papers in Doctrine

Working Papers in Doctrine

Working Papers in Doctrine

Excerpt

Some reviewers have described my book The Remaking of Christian Doctrine as a small work in which to put forward so radical a thesis. Such comments are not without justification, though I only half apologise for the fault. The shorter form may enable the central issues to stand out more clearly. It is then possible to expand or to defend them at the points at which such expansion or defence proves to be most needed.

One issue where such further substantiation seems to be called for is the critical attitude adopted towards many of the traditional formulations of doctrine. This is something that has arisen out of my specifically historical work, particularly in the formative patristic period. Some of that more detailed historical study is incorporated in my earlier book, The Making, of Christian Doctrine, but it has primarily found expression in articles on particular issues in various theological journals. It is for this reason that I have brought together a number of those articles to form this book. (Details of the original publication of each article are given in the notes at the end pp. 194 ff.) They have been selected with the aim of showing how my attitude to doctrinal tradition springs out of historical study of that tradition. The articles fall into two groups, with a transitional paper in the middle.

The first group (written between 1957 and 1967) deals directly with problems in the history of early Christian doctrine. Most of the papers do none the less give some brief indication of the possible significance of the historical investigation for contemporary theological work. But the treatment of the issues in the papers themselves is straightforwardly historical and has not . . .

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