Monday, November 12, 2007

DH Williams on Teaching Christians

"We too often assume potential church members already know the fundamentals of their faith, whereas in reality they are usually incapable of explaining the basics of “the pattern of sound teaching” (2 Tim 1:13). This need for equipping cannot be displaced in favor of simply giving one’s own testimony any more than to say a personal experience of the faith can be substituted for a reasonable grasp of that faith. If it is the case that the church, as the apostle phrased it, "is the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15), then ecclesiastical leadership must not shirk from the critical and time-consuming job of imparting Christian truth or catechizing those who profess to be a Christian. Nothing can replace the formation of a theologically and biblically literate people. Nothing is more essential."

D. H. Williams, Retrieving the Tradition & Renewing Evangelicalism: A Primer for Suspicious Protestants (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1999), p. 77-78
I am still not sure whether or not I agree with Williams’ overall thesis in his book (to be determined by the end of the week), but his position on the doctrinal fidelity of the church being maintained in order to produce many generations of biblically astute congregants can not be denied. Without this “Tradition” as he calls it, we would not be who we are or believe what we believe.


Anonymous said...

you are back! DeDe

KC Armstrong said...