Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Importance of Secondary Doctrines

In an age where many are (rightly) emphasizing the centrality of the gospel and uniting around this common focus, it can become all too easy to minimize "non-essentials" to a status of "non-importance." I really appreciated the helpful  corrective friend and fellow-Michigan pastor Jason Helopoulos offered in a guest post at Kevin DeYoung's blog today. His post included the following quote from 19th century Scottish Presbyterian Thomas Witherow:
Let a man once persuade himself that importance attaches only to what he is pleased to call essentials, whatever their number, and he will, no doubt, shorten his creed and cut away the foundation of many controversies; but he will practically set aside all except a very small part of the Scriptures. If such a principle does not mutilate the Bible, it stigmatizes much of it as trivial. Revelation is all gold for preciousness and purity, but the very touch of such a principle would transmute the most of it into dross.
Jason went on to write, 
Let us unite around the Gospel. Let us be clear in emphasizing and proclaiming it. Let us underscore the importance of justification by faith alone. Let us continually point ourselves and others to the substitutionary atonement of Christ.

But as we do this, let us never say or act as though the other doctrines and teachings of the Scripture are unimportant. “All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). We can continue to uphold that which is at the heart of our faith and all the while not neglect or relegate the “secondary” doctrines to that of unimportance.
Click here to read the entire post.

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