Essential doctrines of the Christian faith
Content of teaching intended to be accepted and believed as truth.
Definition from: "A Biblical Guide To Orthodoxy And Heresy Part One: The Case For Doctrinal Discernment" (an article from the Christian Research Journal, Summer 1990, page 28) by Robert M. Bowman.
Bad doctrine produces bad fruit behaviorally (e.g., Mark 7:7-13 ; Col. 2:20-23 ; 1 Tim. 4:1-5 ; 2 Pet. 2:1 ; Rev. 2:14-15, 20, 24 ), which is as true for Christians as it is for cultists.
As Van Baalen stated, 'If practice follows from theory, if life is based upon teaching, it follows that the wrong doctrine will issue in the wrong attitude toward God and Christ, and consequently in warped and twisted Christian life.'
Alan Gomes, Unmasking The Cults
Individuals who, while claiming to be Christians, reject one of more central (key) doctrines of the Christian faith are considered heretics. Groups which reject such doctrines while claiming to represent Christianity, are considered cults 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.
A Biblical Guide To Orthodoxy And Heresy Two-part article by Robert Bowman
Essential Doctrines : A list of key elements of Christianity by Greg Koukl
How can we determine what doctrines are essential and what are they? Article adapted from John MacArthur's book, Reckless Faith [Out of print]
The Doctrines That Divide : A Fresh Look at the Historic Doctrines That Separate Christians by Erwin Lutzer (Read Chapter 8 here: How many books are in the Bible?)
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