Dogmatic theology is that part of theology dealing with the theoretical truths of faith concerning God and his works, especially the official theology recognized by an organized Church body, such as the Roman Catholic Church, Dutch Reformed Church, etc. At times, apologetics or fundamental theology is called "general dogmatic theology", dogmatic theology proper being distinguished from it as "special dogmatic theology". However, in present-day use, apologetics is no longer treated as part of dogmatic theology but has attained the rank of an independent science, being generally regarded as the introduction to and foundation of dogmatic theology.
The term "dogmatic theology" became more widely used following the Protestant Reformation and was used to designate the articles of faith that the Church had officially formulated. A good example of dogmatic theology is the doctrinal statements or dogmas that were formulated by the early church councils who sought to resolve theological problems and to take a stance against a heretical teaching. These creeds or dogmas that came out of the church councils were considered to be authoritative and binding on all Christians because the church officially affirmed them. One of the purposes of dogmatic theology is so that a church body can formulate and communicate the doctrine that is considered essential to Christianity and which if denied would constitute heresy.
Famous quotes containing the words dogmatic and/or theology:
“The churches ... have lost much of their authority over youth because they have refused to re-examine their religious sanctions and their dogmatic preaching in the light of modern physiology, psychology and sociology.”
—Agnes E. Meyer (18871970)
“A theology whose god is a metaphor is wasting its time.”
—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)