May 2015 “Tabletalk”: The Heresy of Indifference to Doctrine – B.Parsons

The Heresy of Indifference by Burk Parsons | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

TT May 2015A new month is here and that means a new issue of Tabletalk to preview. The May 2015 issue is about doctrine – “Doctrine for All of Life” is the theme – with ten (10) shorter featured articles breaking the subject down. I dug into the issue yesterday, and it looks to be another great one.

As usual, editor Burk Parsons introduces the theme with the above-linked article, explaining why doctrine matters and why indifference to doctrine is itself heresy. You will find his full introduction at the link above, but here is a portion of it to give you a start.

When people tell me they are into Jesus but not into doctrine, I tell them that if they are not into doctrine, they are, in fact, not into Jesus. We cannot know Jesus without knowing doctrine, and we cannot love God without knowing God, and the way we know God is by studying His Word. Doctrine comes from God, it teaches us about God, and by faith it leads us back to God in worship, service, and love. Indifference to doctrine is indifference to God, and indifference to God is indifference to our own eternity. Pastors who think it is relevant and cool to be indifferent about doctrine—who play down the necessity and importance of doctrine and who fail to preach and explain doctrine in their sermons—are in fact failing to give their people that which will save their souls. For us to downplay doctrine or to be intentionally fuzzy in preaching doctrine isn’t cool or humble or relevant, it’s outright arrogant. There is nothing more relevant than doctrine, there is nothing more humbling than doctrine, and there is nothing that more quickly gets our eyes off ourselves and fixes them on our loving and gracious God than doctrine that proceeds from God.

I also read the first two featured articles – “What is Doctrine” by Scott Swain, and “Whom Do I Trust” by Jeffrey Jue. I provide a brief quote from Swain’s article for our interest as well. Follow the links provided to read these articles as well.

The End of Sound Doctrine

Doctrine promotes a number of ends. Sound doctrine delivers us from the snare of false teaching (2 Tim. 2:24–26; Titus 1:9-11), which otherwise threatens to arrest spiritual development (Eph. 4:14) and to foster ecclesiastical discord (Rom. 16:17). Doctrine serves God’s saving work both inside (1 Tim. 4:16) and outside the church (Matt. 5:13-16; Titus 2:9–10; 1 Peter 3:1–6). Above all, doctrine promotes God’s glory. Doctrine shines forth as one of the glorious rays of the gospel of God (1 Tim. 1:10–11) and, by directing our faith and love toward God in Christ, it enables us to walk in His presence and give Him the glory He deserves (1 Peter 4:11; 2 Peter 3:18).

God loves us; and in His goodness He has given us the good gift of doctrine (Ps. 119:68) that we might learn of Him and of His gospel, and that we might please Him in our walk. Doctrine is the teaching of our heavenly Father, revealed in Jesus Christ, and transmitted to us by the Holy Spirit in Holy Scripture, and it is to be received, confessed, and followed in the church, to the glory of God’s name.

 

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