The Formation of Orthodoxy

The next major point in Muller’s book has to do with the formation of orthodoxy. Was it, as some scholars say, a move from kerygma to dogma? Or was it a move from reform to codification? Muller affirms the latter and denies the former. Muller then goes on to delineate three problems in the way of asserting a fundamental discontinuity between the Reformation and the orthodox: 1. the intention of the Reformation was always to establish a universal orthodoxy, 2. the intra-confessional diversity of the Reformation carried over into the era of orthodoxy; 3. “the seventeenth-century identification of confessional orthodoxy neither stood in the way of doctrinal development nor created a monolithic theology duplicated and reduplicated among a host of thinkers” (41). In other words, the period of orthodoxy is not to be defined as a period of static, monolithic orthodoxy on all points. The confession provided the boundaries, but within those confessions was some variety and development.

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