Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Doctrine and Narrative

1. Michael Horton writes (2011, 25):

... Second, the doctrines come under criticism as people recognize that the doctrines depend on the narrative. No one believes that Jesus rose from the dead because of any universal law of nature, reason, or morality. It is not a deliverance of universal religious experience. Therefore, if Christ was not actually raised bodily on the third day, then there is no basis for speculating about a "doctrine of resurrection."

2. A narrative is an account of events.

A true narrative is a factual account of events.

An event is consisted of a series of facts or actual states of affairs.

3. Facts need to be interpreted.

An interpretation of purport facts is consisted of truth-claims about the facts.

An interpretation is true if the truth-claims about the facts are true; false otherwise.

4. A doctrine is a set of truth-claims.

A doctrine of the resurrection:

(a) claims that the resurrection is factual; and

(b) interprets the resurrection by making truth-claims about its significance.

Thus, doctrines depend on the narrative in so far that the narrative is what is to be interpreted.

But narrative also depends on doctrines for the interpretation of its significance.

The dependence between doctrine and narrative are mutual.


Horton, Michael. 2011. The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims On the Way. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan.