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The Recovery of Doctrine in the Contemporary Church
An Essay in Philosophical Ecclesiology

By Richard Heyduck

The Recovery of Doctrine in the Contemporary Church
Hardback, 256 pages $29.95
Published: 1st February 2002
ISBN: 9780918954800

Paperback, 252 pages $29.95
Published: 1st November 2010
ISBN: 9781602583443
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Religious Studies, All Theology

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 truths 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.


Chapter One: The Modern Marginalization of Doctrine

Chapter Two: Doctrine as a Complex Speech Act of the Church

Chapter Three: The Church as Agent of Doctrine

Chapter Four: The Historical Questions Relating to Doctrine

Chapter Five: Putting It All Together


"At long last we are now getting the kind of serious discussion about doctrine within mainline Christianity that is long overdue. Heyduck has taken that discussion to a whole new level of sophistication, especially as it relates to United Methodism. He brings to his work an irenic spirit, an acute angle of vision, a clear head, and a mind that is steeped in the relevant literature. This book is not for the faint hearted; it gets below the surface; and it advances a central thesis carefully and comprehensively. It deserves to be widely read and pondered."

--William J. Abraham, Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University


"If you think a book about doctrine is likely to be boring you have probably been affected by the intellectual forces Heyduck here characterizes so well, particularly by 'de-historicization'--the loosing of one's ties to history. Using resources from philosopher Charles Taylor and theologian James McClendon, Heyduck places us in a position to re-envision the nature and function of church teaching. His image of doctrine as script for the ongoing drama of Christian life goes beyond George Lindbeck's cultural-linguistic model as Lindbeck went beyond his liberal predecessors, and offers an exciting invitation to Christians of all denominations to assume their respective roles in the play."

--Nancey Murphy, Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary



RICHARD HEYDUCK is a graduate of Southwestern University (B.A.), Asbury Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Fuller Theological Seminary (Ph.D.). An ordained elder and member of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Heyduck currently serves as associate pastor of Westbury United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 256 pages

 Paperback , 252 pages
 9in x 6in

  REL067000, REL070000
 Baylor University Press

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