An open faith versus a dogmatic faith


Here's yet another quote from Jack Good that I like:

The concept of a Christian faith that is rigidly fixed, dogmatically established for all times and places, is an oxymoron. Christianity is, by definition, open. It continues a tradition that has always welcomed new insights, that has looked unblinkingly toward the future. It is always in process. Those who insist it must be handed forward in an unaltered form violate it in the most basic way.

-- Jack Good, The Dishonest Church


Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

This is true -- and yet the question always comes down to how open is open? I like the contrast between centered sets and bounded sets. Some Christians are concerned with protecting the boundaries while others anchor themselves on Christ the Center. I'm hopefully a Centered person, but I know that at times I get concerned about the boundaries.

The Disciples are not a creedal church -- we don't have any definitive creeds, asking only that persons joining us profess that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God." In otherwords, the Good Confession of Matthew 16. Now the question always remains, what does that mean and I can tell you that it means different things to different folks.

What is interesting is that you will hear from time to time that you can believe anything you want and be a Disciple, but this isn't true. The confession of Christ has content and it defines who we are. The Disiples are rooted in a tradition, influenced by John Locke (not the guy on Lost), that sought a simple faith rooted in the biblical testimony. The source of the content was to be found in Scripture, but instead of the Church defining the essential content, the individual had the responsibility of discovering the central core. Oh, well, I do go on -- but I write this as a way of saying to Good, "yes, but."