DOGMATIC THEOLOGY is for the believing Christian.
In itself it does not inspire faith, but presupposes that faith already exists
in the heart. "I believed, wherefore I spake," says a
righteous man of the Old Testament (Ps. 116:10 [LXX-115:1]). And the Lord Jesus
Christ revealed the mysteries of the Kingdom
of God to His disciples after they had believed in Him: "Lord,
to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And
we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living
God" (John 6:68-69).
Faith, and more precisely faith in the Son of God Who
has come into the world, is the cornerstone of Sacred Scripture; it is the
cornerstone of one's personal salvation; and it is the cornerstone of theology.
"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through His Name"
(John 20:31), writes the Apostle John at the end of his Gospel, and he repeats
the same thought many times in his epistles; and these words of his express the
chief idea of all of the writings of the holy Apostles: I believe. All
Christian theologizing must begin with this confession. Under this condition
theologizing is not an abstract mental exercise, not an intellectual
dialectics, but a dwelling of one's thought in Divine truths, a directing of
the mind and heart towards God, and a recognition of
Gods love. For an unbeliever theologizing is without effect, because Christ
Himself, for unbelievers, is "a stone of stumbling and a rock of
offense" (1 Peter 2:7-8; see Matt. ).