(Read the following brief article and then return to top of your screen and pass your mouse over the above menu for more information on the major Christian doctrines. PLEASE NOTE: I'm afraid that this system does not work at present on the new Internet Explorer 8, nor on any version of Netscape which we tried, or on some Mac systems, but it should function correctly on 95% of modern computers, and will hopefully work on IE 8 before too long as that browser is improved).
According to the New Testament, The Christian faith is a definite system of beliefs with very and clear definite content which believers should make real effort to hold in their biblical purity (Jude 3).
The Central Christian doctrines are pivotal to understanding the core of the faith. These include the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, the atonement (the work of Christ upon the cross), the resurrection and justification by faith. These doctrines so much comprise the essence of the Christian faith that to remove any of them is to make the belief system non-Christian. Moreover, the Bible explains enough about each of them to make those who would distort their meaning without excuse.
In several places Scripture confirms that these central beliefs are of vital importance (for example, Matthew 28:19; John 8:24; 1 Corinthians 15; Ephesians 2:8-10). Only just less important (but far more than peripheral), is the belief in the Divine Inspiration of Holy Scripture, for Scripture considers itself to be the Word of God and is God's first and primary method of communicating His will to Mankind.
Central doctrines should not be confused with peripheral issues, about which Christians may have quite legitimate differences of opinion.
Such peripheral doctrines would include such issues as the tribulation, the method of baptism or the structure of church government. Christians may hold various opinions about the 'millenium' or about the place of women in congregational government but to deny salvation by grace or the deity of Christ (John 8:24) amounts to heresy.
All the Christian denominations - whether Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant - agree on the essential and pivotal doctrines of the Faith. The relatively minor disagreements between genuinely Christian denominations, then, cannot be used to argue that there is no objectively recognized core of fundamental doctrine which constitutes the Christian faith. In fact, the huge area of doctrinal agreement between the major Christian denominations is something that one never finds in religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism, for instance (Hinduism ascribes deity to over 1,000 'gods'). The more minor differences within established Christianity have been greatly exaggerated by our enemies, even while being greatly envied by various eastern religious writers.
Robin A. Brace. 2003.
Where We May Agree to Differ, And Where We Should Defend the Truth
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