Forde, Gerhard O. The Preached God: Proclamation in Word and Sacrament. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 14, “Reflections on the Fries-Rahner Proposal; Thesis I” Loc. 3374-3493.
“Thesis I: The fundamental truths of Christianity, as they are expressed in Holy Scripture, in the Apostles’ Creed, and in that of Nicea and Constantinople are binding on all partner churches on the one Church to be.” (Forde 2007, Loc. 3374).
Forde discusses this proposal on the dogmatic level as well as on “the level of the hermeneutics of dogma” before trying to revise the thesis (Forde 2007, Loc. 3377). From a standpoint of dogma, as one Church it is necessary to have one confession. The Scriptures and the creeds have not been overturned or replaced (Forde 2007, Loc. 3381) so the statement could well be affirmed.
The hermeneutic of the statement requires careful analysis. Forde suggests that the parties on opposite ends of theological spectrums would view the statement’s motives with suspicion, but a different suspicion from one another (Forde 2007, Loc. 3390). Discussions justifying theological arguments have always been made. The first question in this dogma is the meaning of “binding” (Forde 2007, Loc. 3408). One might question how some doctrines are more or less binding and what that implies (Forde 2007, Loc. 3412). Forde asks, in response, why the question is about dogma being binding rather than liberating (Forde 2007, Loc. 3425). This question completely redefines the entire thesis. On one end of the spectrum, to be free there must be no requirements (Forde 2007, Loc. 3439). On the other end of the spectrum it is the requirement which moves us to the proclamation of freedom (Forde 2007, Loc. 3448). The question may be better asked in terms of what the dogma contributes to gospel preaching (Forde 2007, Loc. 3457). The dogma therefore provides us with a law which directs us to reception of the gospel (Forde 2007, Loc. 3470). Forde’s alternative thesis points to the regulation of the Scripture and Creeds to move toward gospel proclamation (Forde 2007, Loc. 3484).