THE Christian faith is presented to us in the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds, and it is a doctrine concerning God. It may be summed up briefly as the belief in God as revealed in Christ. It implies certain quite fundamental truths. A belief in one God, whose attributes are righteousness and truth and love, that is an ethical monotheism; a belief in the revelation of God in Jesus Christ, the incarnation; and in the Holy Spirit and the Trinity. It is these beliefs that we have first to study and explain. The Creed, moreover, adds to the doctrine of God certain other clauses. It makes, I think, a belief in the Church an essential part of Christianity and, as a corollary to that, Baptism and the Communion of Saints and the belief in immortality. There are many other doctrines also which have at different times formed part of the teaching of the Christian Church. Many of these are important. It is always a matter of importance to hold correct opinions in any matters which may come before our minds, but these it must be recognized are of subordinate value. The Christian Church has always held that the essential thing for a good Christian is to have a right belief in God. If that is established we need not be so disturbed about what is subordinate. These other questions will, however, demand treatment – creation, the nature of man, the fall and the doctrine of sin, atonement, justification, grace.
Our present purpose is now to study and explain the doctrine of God. In a subsequent volume I propose to discuss our knowledge of God's work in the creation and salvation of mankind, the doctrine of the Christian Church, with all that it implies, and the hope of eternal life.
<< | top | >>