Tuesday, May 14, 2019
The Importance of Doctrine
The necessity of the doctrine of the apostles for effective and fruitful evangelism is insisted upon by our Lord Himself. And, sad to say, modern evangelicalism has neglected this pathetically with its courtship of modern psychology, emotionalism, and shallow theological thinking as food substitutes for the milk and meat of the Word of God.
“We want life, not doctrine,” is a cry of enough Bible teachers to destroy the heart and life of the church of Jesus Christ, were He not determined that the gates of hell should not prevail against her. There can be no true life without Christian doctrine. A great Christian [B.B. Warfield] of the earlier part of this [20th] century put it well when he said, “To be indifferent to doctrine is thus but another way of saying we re indifferent to Christianity.” What is peculiar to Christianity is not its religious sentiment, its provoked feelings, but its messaged of salvation, that is, its doctrine.
We preach not just any “Jesus,” such as the one given us by the Mormons, the Witnesses, and the many liberals in mainline denominations, but the Jesus Christ given to us in the inspired Scriptures of His apostles. We are not free to preach any Jesus that comes to our mushy fancy. We are free only to preach Him whom they preached,—“Jesus Christ, and him as crucified” (the original text of 1 Cor. 2:2 lays stress on the participle denoting the character in which Paul preached Christ).
S. Lewis Johnson, Jr, “Jesus Praying for the Whole Family: An Exposition of John 17:20-26,” The Emmaus Journal, Vol.9/No.1, pg.75