Apologetics Index

Boundary Maintenance

Individuals and organizations that educate Christians on the dangers of aberrant or heretical doctrines and movements are sometimes said to be involved in “boundary maintenance.”

To one extend or another all belief systems are involved in boundary maintenance – the process of

  • determining the essential doctrines of a particular faith,
  • discerning which doctrines fall outside the boundaries (of that faith’s scriptures or the interpretation thereof), and
  • defending the faith against challenges or attacks on its central doctrines – from within and without the faith group.

In this context, ‘challenges and attacks’ include proselytizing efforts on the part of challengers to the belief system in question, but also the attempts of disssenting cults or sects to redefine that faith’s doctrines and practices.

For example, in his book Unmasking The Cults, Alan Gomes writes that the

“Central doctrines” of the Christian faith are those doctrines that make the Christian faith Christian and not something else.

– See: Essential doctrines of the Christian Faith

Hence his definition of a cult of Christianity:

A cult of Christianity is a group of people, which claiming to be Christian, embraces a particular doctrinal system taught by an individual leader, group of leaders, or organization, which (system) denies (either explicitly or implicitly) one or more of the central doctrines of the Christian faith as taught in the sixty-six books of the Bible.

– See: Essential doctrines of the Christian Faith

Article details

Category: A-Z Index, B, Latest Entries
Related topic(s):

First published (or major update) on Thursday, December 29, 2005.
Last updated on January 04, 2006.

Original content is © Copyright Apologetics Index. All Rights Reserved. For usage guidelines see link at the bottom.

Ad: Do you wish to visit the world's foremost religious and spiritual sites? Or do you simply want to experience wonderful places like Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, the Grand Canyon, Mexico ... the world?

Apologetics Index: Research resources on religious movements, cults, sects, world religions and related issues

Our website includes some affiliate links. That means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each purchase you make. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Apologetics Index earns from qualifying purchases. Your support helps us provide this site free of charge. Naturally, as our Editorial Policy states, our content is never influenced by our advertisers or affiliates. Details.