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quotations about doctrine

Doctrine is nothing but the skin of truth set up and stuffed.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter.

JOHN MILTON, Areopagitica

We loved the doctrine for the teacher's sake.

DANIEL DEFOE, The Character of the Late Dr. S. Annesly

Doctrine is the frame-work of life; it is the skeleton of truth, to be clothed and rounded out by the living graces of a holy life. It is only the lean creature whose bones become offensive.


Doctrine without precept is as a book without print.


Good conduct arises out of good doctrine.

JOHN STOTT, Ephesians: Building a Community in Christ

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.


Everyone cleaves to the doctrine he has happened upon, as to a rock against which he has been thrown by tempest.

CICERO, attributed, Day's Collacon

Doctrines are meant to serve man, not the other way around.


What makes all doctrines plain and clear?—
About two hundred pounds a year.
And that which was prov'd true before
Prove false again? Two hundred more.


If God consistently sent lightning bolts in response to bad doctrine, our planet would sparkle nightly like a Christmas tree.

PHILIP YANCEY, Disappointment with God

The old and received law for above a century is not to be broken in upon by any new doctrine.

LORD KENYON, Rex v. Walter, 1799

Be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.


The life of doctrine is in application.

JOSEPH HALL, Contemplations on the Historical Passages of the Old and New Testaments

Doctrine, then, is not a moldering scrim of antique prejudice obscuring the meaning of the Bible. It is a crucial aspect of the divine pedagogy, a clarifying agent for our minds fogged by self-deceptions, a challenge to our languid intellectual apathy that will too often rest in false truisms and the easy spiritual nostrums of the present age rather than search more deeply and widely for the dispersed keys to the many doors of scripture.

DANIEL J. TREIER, Proverbs & Ecclesiastes

There is no such way to gain admittance, or give defence to strange and absurd Doctrines, as to guard them round about with Legions of obscure, doubtful, and undefin'd Words.

JOHN LOCKE, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Adjust your doctrine - or just minimize doctrine - to attract the world, and in the very process of attracting them, lose the radical truth that alone can set them free.

JOHN PIPER, "My Anguish: My Kinsmen Are Accursed"

The question is not whether a doctrine is beautiful, but whether it is true. When we want to go to a place, we don't ask whether the road leads through a pretty country, but whether it is the right road, the road pointed out by authority.


Preach doctrine practically, and practice doctrinally.

BROOME LAKE WITTS, England's Hope: or, Hezekiah's Deliverance from Assyrian Domination

Religion, as embodied in the character and conduct of its disciples, cannot survive without doctrinal purity. In the absence of this element, religious feeling inevitably decays; while even religious necessity becomes a thing of naught.

JOHN MCCLELLAN HOLMES, Centennial Discourses: A Series of Sermons Delivered in the Year 1878

Of two evils, it is perhaps less injurious to society, that good doctrine should be accompanied by a bad life, than that a good life should lend its support to a bad doctrine.

CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon; or, Many Things in Few Words

False doctrine can never be corrected by fire and sword.

JULIAN, attributed, Day's Collacon

There is no doctrine so false, but that it may be intermixed with some degree of truth.

D. BURGESS, attributed, Day's Collacon

No doctrines will be unimportant, though some will lie closer to our bosom than others. But doctrine--doctrine--doctrine--is that which faith desires. It is lamentable that the Christianity of our day desires it not.


Don't turn your back upon your doctrinal doubts and difficulties. Go up to them and examine them. Perhaps the ghastly object which looks to you in the twilight like a sheeted ghost may prove to be no more than a table-cloth hanging upon a hedge.

ANDREW KENNEDY HUTCHISON BOYD, The Recreations of a Country Parson

Live to explain thy doctrine by thy life.

MATTHEW PRIOR, Practical Discourse Concerning Death


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