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Continuity and Change in Christian Doctrine

A Study of the Problem of Doctrinal Development


Rolf J. Pöhler

This book provides a scholarly and concise introductory treatment of the problem of doctrinal development. The author defines and delineates the problem, offers a historical-genetic survey of proposed solutions, and presents a systematic-typological analysis of possible responses to doctrinal change. The study concludes that doctrinal development involves complex theological and hermeneutical issues, that there are three fundamental approaches successively developed in history in response to the growing awareness of doctrinal change, and that the numerous theories of doctrinal development may be classified in three 'ideal' types representing the basic options available to the Christian church today. In the view of the author, a dialectic approach that is concerned for substantial continuity as well as authentic change can best avoid the twin dangers of doctrinaire immobilism and precipitate revisionism.
Contents: The problem of doctrinal development - Conceptual models of doctrinal development - A 'typology' of theories on doctrinal development.