Monday, September 29, 2008

Baum on Doctrinal Development

Baum insists that in every generation evil changes (p.188). How the church responds in each moment is both a testimony to the creativity of the gospel and our resistance to upsetting the status quo. In any event Baum provides some real food for thought.

What I am proposing here is, in traditional theological terms, a theory of doctrinal development. It is of great theological importance to insist that such a development is never simply an adaptation to a new cultural consciousness or to new social conditions of life, but is or ought to be, at the same time, a creative response to the sinful world. Theologians dealing with the development of doctrine often neglect this second aspect. For this reason, they either restrict doctrinal development to logical or psychological deductions from previously held doctrinal formulations, or understand it simply as a translation of the Christian message into a new cultural consciousness. Gregory Baum, Religion and Alienation, p.189.

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