Monday, October 12, 2009

The Dogma is the Drama

I blogged about this quote from Dorothy Sayers back in February. I recently found the full paragraph in which this statement is made. It was good timing for me because of the many thoughts and conversations I have been having recently. Questions arise about how much a Christian should be immersed in the Word and seek to understand the (sometimes complicated) doctrine found there. Is this just for the more studious believer? Don't we just need to know the gospel?

I don't fully know how to answer those questions yet for everyone else. But I do know that doctrine has become increasingly exciting for me over the years as it has helped me know God more fully. And in the midst of today's American culture that is hardwired for drama and entertainment, I think Sayers accurately points to where the true drama is found, and how the church has often watered it down:
"We are constantly assured that the churches are empty because preachers insist too much upon doctrine — ‘dull dogma,’ as people call it. The fact is the precise opposite. It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness. The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man — and the dogma is the drama. . . . This is the dogma we find so dull — this terrifying drama which God is the victim and the hero. If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore — on the contrary; they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certifying Him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies."
(HT:Of First Importance)

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