What is essential Christian doctrine?

by Hank Hanegraaff

The importance of essential Christian doctrine can hardly be overstated. First, these are the very doctrines that form the line of demarcation between the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of the cults. While we may debate nonessentials without dividing over them, when it comes to essential Christian doctrine there must be unity. Hence, the maxim: In essentials unity, nonessentials liberty, and in all things charity.

Furthermore, essential Christian doctrine is the North Star by which the course of Christianity is set. Just as the North Star is an unchanging reference point by which sailors safely guided their ships, so essential Christian doctrine has safely guided the church through the doctrinal storms that have sought to sink it. Shooting stars light the sky for a moment; following them, however, leads to shipwreck.

Finally, essential Christian doctrine is the foundation on which the gospel of Jesus Christ rests. From his deity to the eschatological certainty that he will appear a second time to judge the living and the dead, essential Christian doctrine is foundational to the gospel. All other religions compromise, confuse, or contradict these essentials. Muslims, for example, dogmatically denounce the doctrine of Christ’s unique deity as the unforgivable sin of shirk. They readily affirm the sinlessness of Christ, but they adamantly deny his sacrifice upon the cross and his subsequent resurrection as the only hope of salvation.

I am so passionate about inscribing the essentials on the tablet of your heart that I’ve organized them around the acronym D–O–C–T–R–I–N–E. It is my prayer that you will become so familiar with essential Christian doctrine that when a counterfeit looms on the horizon you will know it instantaneously…

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What is essential Christian doctrine? – equip.org

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