Doctrine: New or Restated?

As we stumble out of Assessment World, blinking in the glaring sunlight, we raise our heads, look around and start to think about theology again. The question that echoed a while ago around the small bits of college that I inhabit was: does theology create something new?

Matt Bales expressed the question well:

Two main positions stand, both self-evident to their proponents:

First. Doctrine is the collated restatement of scripture along lines and themes (both historical and contemporary) that stand outside the specific location of the verse(s) in context (without misquoting! ). However, if doctrine ever states ‘new’ thought then it has crossed a line.

Second. Doctrine is the collated restatement of scripture along lines and themes (both historical and contemporary) that stand outside the specific location of the verse(s) in context (without misquoting! ). Therefore doctrine by nature is ‘new’ statements. It is still ‘true’ but derivatively so, not as ‘revelation’.

http://dead-flies-and-perfume.blogspot.com/2009/03/doctrine.html

As I put it: By putting together bits and pieces from the Bible and restating them in a coherant way, has something new been created? Was, for example, homoousion a new idea, or simply a reformulation of an old?

My newest thought is that the answer depends entirely on your philosophy of language. Is a new sentence a new thing?

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