Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Are non-essentials unimportant?

If a doctrine isn't essential to salvation, is it then unimportant? My denomination exists because of doctrines that aren't essential to salvation. Jason Helopoulos quotes from a 19th century tract:
Thomas Witherow, a Scottish Presbyterian...in his little tract, “The Apostolic Church: Which Is It?” (1851):
To say that, because a fact of Divine revelation is not essential to salvation, it must of necessity be unimportant, and may or may not be received by us, is to assert a principle, the application of which would make havoc of our Christianity. For, what are the truths essential to salvation? Are they not these: That there is a God; that all men are sinners; that the Son of God died upon the cross to make atonement for the guilty; and that whosoever believes on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved?…But if all the other truths of revelation are unimportant, because they happen to be non-essentials, it follows that the Word of God itself is in the main unimportant…
As Witherow makes clear, if this is the argument we choose to make then we are pulling the rug out from under our own feet. For we are robbing the vast majority of the Scriptures’ teaching and pages from having any influence, relevance, or importance for our Christian lives....

Let us unite around the Gospel. Let us be clear in emphasizing and proclaiming it. Let us underscore the importance of justification by faith alone. Let us continually point ourselves and others to the substitutionary atonement of Christ.

But as we do this, let us never say or act as though the other doctrines and teachings of the Scripture are unimportant. .... [more]
Secondary Doctrines – Kevin DeYoung
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