Adullams Cave

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Dogma....still wrestling

It is a strong word dogma. Sort've rolls off your tongue like a punch. Dogma is inescapable for most of us. For instance my body seems to be dogmatic about continuing to breathe and my nanny will throw her falsies (teeth) at me if I don't cook her eggs exactly right.

I was surprised to find that dogma was actually a greek word and it is in the NT like a handful of times. Twice it is mentioned, I think, with profound significance.

One time is in Ephesians chapter 2:15 "having abolished (rendered entirely useless) in his flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances (dogma), so as to create in himself one new man from the two."

Really that is what dogma essentially is, a bunch of statutes or immovable decrees. This verse seems to say that the law and commandments of that time (jewish law/OT etc) contained in the dogma that was being delivered to the people was rendered useless by Christ on the cross.

The other interesting word in that passage is the word enmity. If you are really keen and u look at the surrounding verses u find that Paul was describing the wall of division that seperated jew from gentile, the clean from the unclean. It was the law that made the jews different and the law that commanded them not to associate with the stinky gentiles. That is always the ultimate outcome of dogma....division, enmity, seperation, and as seen in the history of the church, a whole lot of heartache for a whole lot of people. This is kind of ironic because if there is one thing that God is revealed as being dogmatic about in the NT, it is that we get along, love another, and be one.

In short; Dogma always divides, Christ ended Dogma, Christ ended division.

I'll probably share about the other significant time dogma is used in my next post. I gotta go...nanny wants her eggs...please pray I get them right!


At 2:24 PM, Blogger Karen said...

>>my nanny will throw her falsies at me if I don't get her eggs exactly right.<<
In the States, that statement conjures up a whole 'nother visual!
So it is with translations.
Simon, I like your thinking!
You might be interested in finding Dr. Ann Nyland's The Source New Testament with Extensive Notes on Greek Word Meaning. It's easier to get in I'm pretty sure it's being fought here in the States by the powers that be.
If you're interested in the languages, she has wonderful notes and explanations; and has used papyri contemporary to the NT times to translate...and it is an incredible translation.
Matthew 6:5--"And when you pray, you must not be like the overly critical, hair splitting, pedantic, religious people...." I can REALLY hear Him saying that!

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Simon said...

Woops. here we mean TEETH!. Hmm, i better clarify

Thanks for the tips - the ones about the falsies and the ones about the Ann Nyland.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger SteveW said...

"In short; Dogma always divides, Christ ended Dogma, Christ ended division."

Excellent. Someone tell the theologians.

At 5:50 PM, Blogger BruceD said...

Yes... there is only one thing we can really trust. Not dogma, not church, not religion, not theology, not pastors, not doctrine, not even the bible...

It is only Christ. If we have him, nothing else matters. If we don't have him, nothing else will make any difference.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Bar Bar A said...

"In short; Dogma always divides, Christ ended Dogma, Christ ended division.

I've never heard it stated so well. I look forward to your next post.


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