Tuesday, April 01, 2008

10 ways to misuse a DB

Tom wrote:
"Mr Bish, 10 ways to misuse a DB.
That we can look out for in our own lives.
And make it funny."
I don't like writing to demand. And, I'm not sure I can do funny.
For funny see SteffyB.

1. Make a paper airplane out of it. Style over content.
Use it as a checklist before having coffee with people. Stay pure at all costs and never be seen meeting people who don't agree with all of it, and of course never read anything that isn't DB-compliant.
3. Begrudge signing it when asked. Take great offence that you should be asked to sign it. Yes, you, a humble author, evangelist, officer of the church, Head of the Commonwealth, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann, and Paramount Chief of Fiji...
4. Claim allegiance to a confession of faith and then kick out the people who affirm it whilst giving a platform to those who don't.
5. Make a big deal of saying things like 'I'm no theologian' so that other Christians think that sound doctrine is the kind of thing they should avoid at all costs, like the plague and Heathrow Terminal 5. Alternatively, only ever speak using technical theological jargon. This achieves the same effect.
6. Remember that Doctrines are like springs in a trampoline that can be removed at no great cost. Always keep things flexible and fresh and relevant to this generation.
7. Don't let the content of the DB get anywhere near your worship. Worship should be kept simple not complicated. Who ever got affected by something so impenetrable as 'The Trinity'? Alternatively chant the doctrinal basis every morning, that's what happens at UCCF Staff Conference, right?
8. Keep doctrine for "mature Christians", and never for non-Christians.
9. Remember that people who make a fuss about doctrine are narrow. You don't want to be narrow so sign a DB if absolutely necessary but then avoid any reference to it. Ministry is about people not pieces of paper! Contra, point 2.
10. Remember that 'semper reformanda' means you have to keep changing what you believe. Alternatively, insist that the Nicene Creed is the only useful DB cos it's old.


  1. That is one of the most punchy things I've read. Thanks!

  2. 11. You can always add in your own things.

    Geddit? Perhaps a bit to subtle for early morning.....

  3. Mostly i enjoy the fact that you've gone to the trouble of creating a spoof blog to illustrate point three.



  4. It was funny. And more ascerbic that usual for you But Ed's comment was funnier.

  5. Dave, that's exactly what I loved about staff conference ;o)

  6. 1. Don't update them to deal with contemporary problems in doctrine. E.G. We are not long overdue an update that says something about science, reason and faith. Or something that specifies the Son's willing involvement in the decision to go to the cross.

    2. View anyone who doesn't have a formal DB as bit dodgy. Perhaps a bit post-modern, a bit emergent. Don't talk to people to find out what they believe. Judge them on whether or not they have a formal DB, even better if you don't really know much about them, or their teaching. After all, with no DB there is nothing to stop the inevitable slide into heresy.

    3. Don't look into it. Be careful that you don't think about a DB too much. You might start actually believing what it says, or worse, acting on it. There is some really crazy stuff in there - make sure you read it quickly, just sign it, the small print is never the main thing anyway is it?

  7. Stop already! Now I am getting confused. If we start being ironic about being ironic, my little brain can't cope....

    It's alright for you brainy student types - just don't forget us middle-aged "losing brain cells daily" fogeys.....

    Wait a minute....isn't that why we have DBs?

  8. I actually more or less agree with Tom's point 2. :)