Many within emergent Christianity do not like propositional language, saying they prefer framing Christianity as a relationship instead, but how do we have a relationship without knowing things (propositions) about the person we want a relationship with – in this case with Jesus. These propositions about Jesus, the Bible, God is what we call doctrine. This disdain of prepositional language is one reason why some in the movement are not high on doctrinal statements and creeds.
G.K. Chesterton in his work, Orthodoxy, observed that while doctrine may make walls, they are the walls of a playground.
We might fancy some children playing on the flat grassy top of some tall island in the sea. So long as there was a wall round the cliff’s edge they could fling themselves into every frantic game and make the place the noisiest of nurseries. But the walls were knocked down, leaving the naked peril of the precipice. They did not fall over; but when their friends returned to them they were all huddled in terror in the centre of the island; and their song had ceased.
Walls can be very good if we are kept safe and free by them.
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