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Development of Doctrine Ch 2 Summary

Development of Doctrine Ch 2 Summary

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Published by Rod
I have started to study 'Development of Doctrine' by John Henry Newman. The document is a chapter summary of chapter 2.
I have started to study 'Development of Doctrine' by John Henry Newman. The document is a chapter summary of chapter 2.

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Published by: Rod on Oct 04, 2009
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10/03/2009

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John Henry Newman Chapter Summary An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine Ch 2 On the antecedent argument in behalf of developments in Christian Doctrine 
Section1 Developments of doctrine to be expected
 If 
Christianity is a fact, that impresses on our minds a number of ‘antecedent’ ideas.[Definition of antecedent:- a preceding event or circumstance.]We learn in small steps. We cannot take a whole thing at one go, it needs to be learntslowly.“We conceive by means of definition or description; whole objects do not create inthe intellect whole ideas, but are to use a mathematical phrase, thrown into series, intoa number of statements, strengthening, interpreting, correcting each other, and withmore or less exactness approximating, as they accumulate, to a perfect image. There isnot other way of learning or teaching.” p.55The more people involved the more aspects will emerge but the overall idea will staythe same.It may be objected that in religion the texts are our only source of idea and limit theideas available.Then we have to think – are the ideas that we read complete? or will they developfurther in time.But this does not mean that Christianity is merely the production of men.The difference of Christianity to other religions is that God became man. In that wayhe superadded to earth from heaven. The mind of men is now informed and quickenedby more than intellect – but by divine spirit.All doctrines are interpretations of the scriptures but they are not simply given to us.They have a need to be developed in the minds of men.There are too many problems that scripture does not solve-
 
such as the problem of the Canon of the Bible.
 
 this would indicate that development and interpretation is essential.-
 
BaptismThis is another issue, scripture is not clear. It was a development that brought in infantbaptism.[See Appendix A]So we can see doctrine has developed, just as scripture left gaps that have nowdeveloped. There is a divine wisdom that we can see creating doctrine, in the sameway that we can see a divine direction behind evolution.p.63:“Thus developments of Christianity are proved to have been in the divinecontemplation of its divine author, by an argument parallel to that in which we inferintelligence in the system of the physical world. In whatever sense the need and itssupply are a proof of design in the visible, in the same do the gaps, if the word may beused, which occur in the structure of the original creed of the Church, make itprobable that those developments, which grow out of truths which lie around it, wereintended to fill them up.”The key is that we have development. The whole is there but hidden or not seen. Thusthe old is the same as the new. Thus Jesus said: “I am here to make the law perfect.”For example the Beattitudes – simplicity and mystery. Parables.
Matthew 5:2-10 (New International Version)
2
and he began to teach them saying:
3
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4
Blessed are those who mourn,for they will be comforted.
5
Blessed are the meek,for they will inherit the earth.
6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,for they will be filled.
7
Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy.
8
Blessed are the pure in heart,for they will see God.
9
Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called sons of God.
10
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.They evidence the idea of a ‘code of divine truth’ ever to be interpreted.
 
St Basil wrote:“Every deed and every word of our Saviour Jesus Christ is a canon of piety andvirtue. When then thou hearest word or deed of His, do not hear it as by the way, orafter a simple and carnal manner, but enter into the depths of contemplation, become acommunicant in truths mystically delivered to thee.” p.67It is not possible to define a point when this development stopped. All doctrines havecontinued to be developed.The church goes forth like the Israelites with dough in the kneeding troughs bound ontheir shoulders with the bread still to be leavened.The Bible contains truths that we have not discovered – we will discover them in time– much the same way that we discover truths about nature.Scripture has also anticipated the idea of doctrinal development – see the parable of the Kingdom of Heaven – it is like a mustard seed that grows into a huge tree. See theparable of the Leaven.
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast Matthew 13
31
He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,which a man took and planted in his field.
32
Though it is the smallest of all yourseeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so thatthe birds of the air come and perch in its branches."
33
He told them still another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that awoman took and mixed into a large amount
[b]
of flour until it worked all through thedough."
34
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything tothem without using a parable.
35
So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:"I will open my mouth in parables,I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world."God operates in doctrine the same way we see in nature – humans, trees – a gradualgaining of knowledge over a long period of time.SECTION II‘An infallible developing authority to be expected’. p.75It seems natural that development is possible but how can we tell what sort of development in genuine?

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