Original Research

Does dogma have a future?

C.J. Wethmar
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 36, No 2 | a509 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v36i2.509 | © 1970 C.J. Wethmar | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 August 2002 | Published:

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C.J. Wethmar, Department of Systematic Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

This article deals with the question whether the negative connotation that the term dogma has developed in its present-day usage poses a threat to the future validity and relevance of doctrine in the church. In an attempt to answer this question an analysis is made of the development of the notion of dogma since its initial appearance in Greek thinking up to its function in the contemporary ecclesiastical context. The conclusion drawn from this analysis is that the negative connotation currently attached to this notion can be ascribed to its reduction either to intellectualism or to legalism. This reduction can be obviated by rediscovering the integrative character of dogma that characterised the praesymbola in the New Testament and is furthermore implied by the Reformed doctrine of the clarity of Holy Scripture.

Keywords

Authority; Dogma; Doxology; Homology

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