Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Or We Teach Nothing

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching [didaskalia, doctrine] persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you (I Tim 4:16).

Close to our heart here at The Prostrate Calvinist, as we have previously mentioned, is the conviction that our theology (i.e., "There is...") and our lives (i.e., "Therefore...") are inextricably connected. So, I found these recent comments from my pastor particularly encouraging:
The distinction between doctrinal and practical truth is artificial; doctrine is practical! In fact, nothing is more practical than sound doctrine.

The pastor who turns away from preaching sound doctrine abdicates the primary responsibility of an elder: “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9). We teach truth, we teach error, or we teach nothing at all...

We have imposed an artificial meaning on the word doctrine. We’ve made it something abstract and threatening, unrelated to daily living. That has brought about the disastrous idea that preaching and teaching are unrelated to living...

True doctrine transforms behavior as it is woven into the fabric of everyday life. But it must be understood if it is to have its impact. The real challenge of the ministry is to dispense the truth clearly and accurately. Practical application comes easily by comparison.

- John MacArthur, "Who Said Doctrine Isn't Practical?"
We teach truth, we teach error, or we teach nothing at all. Amen.

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