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The Dire Need for Doctrine (part 1)

Preaching a theology that sustains our hearers

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This is part one of a two-part series.

Preaching Today: To help govern our conversation a bit, could you define doctrine for us?

Wayne Shaw: I'm going to skip the complex explanations that my seminary professor gave me regarding the difference between doctrine, theology, and dogma, and offer a definition that is quite Pauline: Doctrine is that body of Christian teachings that make the church the church and the Christian a growing Christian.

The answer is probably tucked away in that helpful definition, but tell us why you feel the preacher should preach doctrine.

For me, the deep questions of life are theological, and the answers are theological. Philosophy can raise the basic questions, but only a word from outside—theology—can adequately answer them. As preachers, we need a theology of preaching to sustain ourselves, and we need a theology to preach to sustain our hearers. That's why preaching doctrine is so important.

So I would answer the question with a couple of questions of ...

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