This is a reblog from an article on the website of First Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX. It is one of the most astute and concise statements on theological authority I have read in a long time and it resonates deeply within my soul:
What about our core theological beliefs? Since the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy in the early 1900’s, the Presbyterian church has battled over a need to assert “fundamentals” of the faith,” a term invoked by Presbyterian lay leader Lyman Stewart, who published a series of essays that would become the foundation of a fundamentalist movement within Protestantism. Some see our lack of defined “essential tenets” as a lack of core theological beliefs. I do not. It keeps our theology in proper perspective to the sovereignty of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. So we debate essential tenets of the faith. We hold to the sovereignty of God in all things, and we debate what that means. We point to the total depravity of humanity, and we debate what that means. We debate predestination and its impact on the important decisions of discipleship. This does not mean we lack core theological beliefs, rather we refuse to make an idol out of our theology.