More questions for my series on doctrine...

RonJohnSilver

Well-Known Member
This is in preparation for my church groups fall lesson series on doctrine. Here's the questions we'll have for discussion...

How do we (Christians) arrive at our doctrine? How did we get it? How did the OT folks get it?
What makes doctrine doctrine and not just opinion?
And a supplementary question...Mormons have doctrine, Muslims have doctrine, many others have doctrine.
What makes us believe that our doctrine is the correct one? Inspired? So is theirs, they claim. Changed lives? So is theirs, they claim. Internal feeling? What is it exactly that sets the Christian doctrine apart from all others? And is provable?
These are the questions that I'll be asking our Bible Study group. Our goal is to convert people to Christ so lie crushing arguments are what we're seeking and since the Bible says that God's Word will not return void, we prefer using Scripture as needed. Thanks, RJS
 

JSTyler

Well-Known Member
How do we (Christians) arrive at our doctrine? How did we get it? How did the OT folks get it?
What makes doctrine doctrine and not just opinion?
The Bible the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible is the source for sound doctrine. Use only the Bible to interpret the Bible. Resources that aid with original language and text are fantastic. Concordances and interlinear Bibles, as well. Pretty much all other sources, are fine for reference but at a far distant echo for truth.

I'd recommend using Acts 17:11 as a cornerstone verse to establish this foundation.
And a supplementary question...Mormons have doctrine, Muslims have doctrine, many others have doctrine.
What makes us believe that our doctrine is the correct one? Inspired? So is theirs, they claim. Changed lives? So is theirs, they claim. Internal feeling? What is it exactly that sets the Christian doctrine apart from all others? And is provable?
The preservation and historicity of the "text" of scriptures is the primary determinate here (my opinion). If I recall correctly and my numbers of current, there are beyond 25,000 existing examples of "original" scripture/Bible. That is astounding when compared to the 500 or so that exist for Homer's two famous narratives or that there are about 12 historical references to Cleopatra. Jack Hibbs has two series that I would recommend when tackling this topic, primarily "World View Series" and secondly. "Who Told You" series. He provides a lot of data.
 

Matthew6:33

Withstand in the evil day. Eph 6:13
Our orthodox doctrine comes from the Bible, the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts - translated into your language of choice. It is the word of God, it is absolute, not subjective. It does not come from the opinions of man which change throughout history and culture. It is also life changing - it will thoroughly equip you for EVERY good work. This is what the Bible claims.

[16] All Scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, [17] that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2Ti 3:16-17 NKJV

[35] "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. - Mat 24:35 NKJV

[8] The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever." - Isa 40:8 NKJV

[23] having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, [24] because "All flesh [is] as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, [25] But the word of the LORD endures forever." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. - 1Pe 1:23-25 NKJV

[17] "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. - Jhn 17:17 NKJV

[4] But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' " - Mat 4:4 NKJV

[12] For the word of God [is] living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. - Heb 4:12 NKJV

The Bible not a single book, it is really a library of 66 books. It was written by over 40 different people on 3 different continents over a period of 1500 years. “Bible” actually means "the book."

Some of the authors:
  1. Moses who was trained in the Egyptian palace.
  2. Peter who was a common fisherman.
  3. Daniel who was a statesman, a prime minister, a politician.
  4. Luke who was a doctor and a historian.
  5. Paul was a terrorist that hunted, imprisoned, and killed Christians, later her wrote 1/3 of the New Testament and brought the Gospel to the gentiles.
  6. Matthew was a tax collector for the Romans.
Despite all this diversity it has a unified message for all time; that God deeply loves you and He reached through time and space and all opposition to show you how much He loves you. God satisfied His own just nature on the cross to draw you closer to Him. If you would accept the message and trust the message it will transform your life for the better. It will equip you and make you fruitful.

[14] "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, [15] "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. [16] "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. [17] "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. [18] "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. - Jhn 3:14-18 NKJV

How do you get 40 different and diverse people on 3 different continents over 1500 years in 3 different languages, to agree on anything?

Is the Bible a book of fairy tales and myths or is it the supernatural work of God?

Is it able to make you wise unto salvation or should you just go your own way?

No book in the world covers more history than the Bible. There has not been one inaccuracy in the Bible that has been found (many have tried). There is always a new discovery that proves the Bible to be true.

There are over 5,000 early Greek manuscripts supporting the Bible, there are over 23,000 manuscripts in other languages, all written within the first century AD (100 years). These manuscripts were dated during the lifetime of people written about in the New Testament who could’ve disputed any false claims.

For reference, consider the following “historical” ancient texts by comparison:
  1. Homer’s Iliad has around 1,700 texts with the earliest copy being 500 years from when Homer lived.
  2. Aristotle’s Poetics has approximately 5 copies recovered with a whopping 1400 year approximate time span from his lifetime.
  3. Plato has around 7 copies and a 1200 year time span from his lifetime.
  4. Caesar’s Gallic Wars has 10 copies and a 1000 year span between the original and the recovered copies.
No comparison.

What about the hundreds of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled?

The critics said the oldest manuscripts we have are after Christ. That is why the prophecies can be so accurate because they were written after the fact. However, in 1947 a shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls which were written by the Essenes tribe of the Jews, who lived 2 centuries before Christ, this disproved this claim.

Orthodox doctrine rests on the inspired Word of God. The Bible has a supernatural historical and prophetic foundation that has never been unproven no matter how hard the critics and skeptics try. Other “historical” manuscripts are justified by a fractional amount of evidence.

Consider this:

Why is Aristotle, Plato, Caesar, and Homer considered history? Why are these manuscripts not questioned when they only have a fraction of the manuscripts, where the copies span 100s to over a 1000 years after the death of their respective authors? Contrarily, manuscript evidence has been found supporting the Bible written during the lifetime of New Testament writers.

As far as the cults, don’t get me started, what does our proven Biblical doctrine say?

[20] 'But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' [21] "And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?'-- [22] "when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that [is] the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. - Deu 18:20-22 NKJV

[3] and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the [spirit] of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. - 1Jo 4:3 NKJV
 

Batfan7

Well-Known Member
Doctrine is a derivative of a Spiritual authority. So, Mormons derive their doctrine based on their 4 "spiritual books". Jewish doctrine is based on both the Old Testament and supplemental writings of old Rabbi. Protestants, in theory, get their doctrine off the Bible alone.

But doctrine is also formed based on history as well. Traditions. Teachings of man. While the foundation of all religious doctrine will be soley their holy books, those books are studied and men hash out, collectively, what those holy books mean.

As an example, Protestant doctrine about the Trinity was debated and discussed for years in the early church before an "official" understanding was reached, and this doctrine is then examined and questioned from all sides for years afterwards, to refine the understanding. In the end, a statement can be created about an issue that stands firmly against all arguments, and that becomes an official doctrine.

For cults, almost all doctrine that contradicts the Bible, has arguments that do not pass the test of standing firm against opposition. Instead, they hold the doctrine as truth IN SPITE of the arguments against the statement. So, for example, Mormons hold that God is not the Creator of everything (He didn't create the concept of life or time or reality. He didn't even make humans without the help of a goddess). This despite one if their Holy Books (the Bible) clearly stating that God made all things that exist. Also creating the problem of not being the "greatest god" -since whoever originally came up with these concepts is greater, and even a lowly human can imagine a god that is greater, so their god is relatively disappointing to a Protestant.

The point is, on the doctrine of Mormons, with many gods, they cannot reconcile their doctrine with either human logic or even their own books. Instead they uphold the statement and say "believe it, despite the problems", instead of Christianity which says "believe it because it's got a firm foundation".

Christianity invites questions on its doctrine, and often people err in either not looking deep enough past traditions, or not dealing with the questions that do come up (that's why there are so many denominations), but overall, Christian doctrine holds up to history, logic, the Bible, etc, in ways no other religion can claim.

At least, this is my two cents on the topic, being a lay person who's never taken a class on the topic!
 

Matthew6:33

Withstand in the evil day. Eph 6:13
Doctrine is a derivative of a Spiritual authority. So, Mormons derive their doctrine based on their 4 "spiritual books". Jewish doctrine is based on both the Old Testament and supplemental writings of old Rabbi. Protestants, in theory, get their doctrine off the Bible alone.

But doctrine is also formed based on history as well. Traditions. Teachings of man. While the foundation of all religious doctrine will be soley their holy books, those books are studied and men hash out, collectively, what those holy books mean.

As an example, Protestant doctrine about the Trinity was debated and discussed for years in the early church before an "official" understanding was reached, and this doctrine is then examined and questioned from all sides for years afterwards, to refine the understanding. In the end, a statement can be created about an issue that stands firmly against all arguments, and that becomes an official doctrine.

For cults, almost all doctrine that contradicts the Bible, has arguments that do not pass the test of standing firm against opposition. Instead, they hold the doctrine as truth IN SPITE of the arguments against the statement. So, for example, Mormons hold that God is not the Creator of everything (He didn't create the concept of life or time or reality. He didn't even make humans without the help of a goddess). This despite one if their Holy Books (the Bible) clearly stating that God made all things that exist. Also creating the problem of not being the "greatest god" -since whoever originally came up with these concepts is greater, and even a lowly human can imagine a god that is greater, so their god is relatively disappointing to a Protestant.

The point is, on the doctrine of Mormons, with many gods, they cannot reconcile their doctrine with either human logic or even their own books. Instead they uphold the statement and say "believe it, despite the problems", instead of Christianity which says "believe it because it's got a firm foundation".

Christianity invites questions on its doctrine, and often people err in either not looking deep enough past traditions, or not dealing with the questions that do come up (that's why there are so many denominations), but overall, Christian doctrine holds up to history, logic, the Bible, etc, in ways no other religion can claim.

At least, this is my two cents on the topic, being a lay person who's never taken a class on the topic!

Well said, the Mormon's have huge problems with their doctrine.

Consider the mountains, rivers, people groups, specific places, and times that the book of Mormon describes. ALL without ANY archaeological evidence that these places ever even existed!

But like you stated, they tell their followers: ‘just believe’ despite not having one shred of evidence for their huge claims.

The Bible welcomes you to test it and try it and find that it is true.

Cults however tell you that 'everyone else has the false teaching, they are deceived,' you cannot even read other texts, go to other church services, or have a discussion questioning anything related to (cult) teachings. Strictly forbidden.

This practice does not sound like it comes from a place of truth.
 
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