"One of the oft-expressed fears Christians have of postmodernity is relativism. Postmodernity, it is said, rejects the notion of absolute truth and destroys the foundations of knowledge. Given this perspective, one might expect a book that seeks to renew the place of doctrine in the church to be an extended argument against
postmodernity." Instead, the author presents "a case for seeing postmodernity as an ally of doctrinal renewal."
"My contention is that while the problem of the marginalization of doctrine in the modern church has its roots in the modern centrality of knowledge, the solution lies not in a better theory of knowledge (which is simply c ecclesiology. Ultimately the question 'What is doctrine?' is not about knowledge, but about the church."
Doctrine has not fared well in the church of the past century. Pressured by the forces of modernity, doctrine has been misconceived and marginalized in the church. In this book, Richard Heyduck examines the false options on doctrine that modernity has offered the church, especially his own tradition, United Methodism, and suggests ways to get beyond this impasse. Utilizing some resources of postmodern philosophy, Heyduck argues that doctrine is neither a catalog of troths to which assent must be given nor an accidental verbalization of universal religious experience. Instead, Christian doctrine is that which enables the church to live faithfully in the drama of God's ongoing action in history. Throughout the book, Heyduck argues forcefully that doctrine is not optional for any Christian church. Rather, doctrine is essential not only to Christians' ordinary life together, but especially to the work of ministry and evangelism.