This article appeared in Heritage Presbyterian Church‘s quarterly publication, The Heritage Journal. It has been modified slightly for use on this blog.
We have often heard the statement, “No creed but Christ!” Whether or not it is ever explicitly stated, this has become the rallying cry for many evangelical Protestant churches, especially here in America. The sentiment behind the statement is this: “We don’t need doctrine. Doctrine divides. We just need Christ.” While it is certainly true that Christ is our one true need, is it true that we do not need doctrine? The great twentieth century Reformed theologian Louis Berkhof noticed this trend in thought nearly a century ago: “The present age is an undogmatic age. There is a manifest aversion, not only to dogmas, but even to doctrines, and to a systematic presentation of doctrinal truth.”1 One can imagine, then, the horror on many people’s faces when they come to a denomination like the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and see that our confession of faith is over twenty pages long! The question we are going to explore here is whether or not there is a place for such statements of doctrine in the Church. Are they helpful, or unnecessarily pedantic?Continue reading