Tag Archives: development of doctrine

Gospel, Grammar, and the Infallibility of Dogma

Dogmas are the constitutive doctrines that define the Christian faith. Such dogmas must be believed by Christians, because they articulate essential dimensions of God’s self-revelation in Christ and thus norm the Church’s proclamation of the gospel. I have found Lutheran … Continue reading

Posted in Theology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Dogma and Doctrine in the Orthodox Church

The debate on apokatastasis inevitably raises the question: Has the Orthodox Church definitively, infallibly, irreversibly excluded the universalist hope? Must Christians believe that some, perhaps many, will be eternally damned? Does everlasting hell belong to the dogmatic consciousness of the … Continue reading

Posted in Sergius Bulgakov | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

St Vincent of Lérins: The Consentient Council of the Doctors of the Church

When one is involved in a knock-down, drag-out doctrinal debate, a dogmatic definition is awfully handy to have at hand. It always puts one’s opponent on the defensive. Occasionally it even wins the argument. But what if the Church has … Continue reading

Posted in Vincent of Lérins | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

St Vincent of Lérins and John Henry Newman—and the Immaculate Conception too!

Doctrine develops—that much is patent. All one needs to do is to read a volume or two of Jaroslav Pelikan’s The Christian Tradition to resolve any doubts. The only question is whether a given development faithfully expresses, elucidates, and unfolds … Continue reading

Posted in Vincent of Lérins | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

St Vincent of Lérins: Doctrine Grows to Remain the Same

“One only understands the Vincentian canon,” Thomas Guarino writes, “if one sees that the truth of semper, ubique, et ab omnibus is known and preserved in actu ecclesiae, in the living and dynamic life of the church in all of … Continue reading

Posted in Dumitru Staniloae, Vincent of Lérins | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

St Vincent of Lérins: How Do We Discern Christian Doctrine?

“In the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all” (Commonitorium 2.5). During my 25 years as an Episcopal priest, I recited this famous canon of … Continue reading

Posted in Vincent of Lérins | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments