The present volume is the first in a five-volume study of church doctrine. The multivolume set will cover the major parts of church doctrine: Canon, God, Creation, Reconciliation, and Redemption. This first volume begins with an introduction on why doctrine matters, which stresses the ecumenical, global, and above all biblical horizons of church doctrine as a primary expression of Christian witness.
The purpose of this volume is to begin a search for an alternative to the many theologies available on the religious left and the religious right. Where doctrine is absent, the church is held captive to ideology; the same is as true among conservatives as it is among liberals. The present work is an attempt to struggle toward the meaning of orthodoxy in church doctrine--an orthodoxy that is never merely a given, but which always has to be sought and found again and again in each new generation of the church.
Church doctrine is not a luxury, but a necessity for the living community of faith, by which its witness in word and deed is tested against the one true measure of Christ the risen Lord.