Lesson series

Doctrine

Christian doctrine is an exploration of the way God intends us to relate to him, one another and the world. It isn’t a dry or difficult topic but an exciting and dynamic one. What could be more important?
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Why is this module important?

The consequences of teaching and living by erroneous doctrine are serious, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:16)

We, like those of Paul’s day, live in a time when “people will not put up with sound doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

What is our responsibility? “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1) See also 1 Timothy 1:3. Teaching what is accurate will enable us to, “encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9)

What will we examine?

In this module we will examine common Christian doctrines held by various denominations with three aims:
  • To discover their value - even if they differ from our understanding
  • To discover any errors - and evaluating whether or not those errors are significant
  • To discover how they help us to be confident about what we believe and thus equipped to teach others


We are not looking to point out faults in other groups with a view to judging them. We have enough challenges of our own attempting to review and refine what we teach to ensure its accuracy and relevance. On the other hand, we will hold up the doctrines of other denominations to the light of Scripture as an aid to help us learn, grow and please God.

    Topics to be covered:

    • What is Doctrine? It is both more and less than you might expect.
    • Odd Doctrines of the 1st–2nd centuries: Many of the colourful developments in Christendom aren’t exactly new.
    • Catholicism & Orthodoxy: What do Catholics believe? How about their close cousins, the Orthodox? What happened to church in the Middle Ages?
    • Protestantism: Why was Protestant reaction so strong? Should everyone be a protestant?
    • Calvinism / Open Theism: If God knows the future, do we really have any choice as to whether we serve him? Or maybe God doesn’t know what will happen in the future (?)
    • Fundamentalism.
    • Premillennialism: Are we living in the end-times? Will God give us signs or ways to interpret current events so that we don’t get “left behind”?
    • The Charismatic Movement. Did gifts like prophecy and tongues and healing really die out after the apostolic age?
    • Miscellaneous (American) Doctrinal Systems: Why do so many whacky religions originate in the States? (What, God used to be a man? Blood transfusions displease God—huh? Just say a few words and I’m saved?)
    • Liberal Theology / New Age Movement.
    • Prosperity Theology / Megachurch Movement.
    • Toward a Biblical Theology.
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