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Dogmatic Joy: An Introduction

Hello! Welcome to my blog.

My name is Lorenzo Galuszka. I am a graduate student of theology at Yale Divinity School and a layman from the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. I hope to use this site to share some of my theological reflections as I make the journey through divinity school.

So… what does “dogmatic joy” mean?

The word “dogma” has long been associated in the public consciousness with narrow-mindedness and exclusion. To be dogmatic about something is, to the average ear, to be unbending and rigid to the point of being unreasonable. Just look at Dictionary.com’s synonyms for the word “dogmatic”: arbitrary, imperious, dictatorial. How could dogmas ever be a source of joy?

It is the purpose of this blog to help rehabilitate “dogma” and “doctrine” from their negative connotations, and present them as they really are: joyous articulations of the goodness of God as He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ.

By way of demonstration, allow me to highlight one of my “favorite” Christian doctrines: justification by faith alone. As the Articles of Religion from the Church of England put it, “We [human beings] are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings” (Article XI).

This doctrine is a cause for joy. It lets me know that despite my sinfulness, God looks upon me as righteous because of Christ. I do not have to worry about amassing good works so that God will accept me, nor need I look to my own faltering faith or imperfect repentance for assurance that God’s verdict upon me will be favorable. I am not accounted righteous because of my works, or even because of my faith, but because “one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all” (Romans 5:18, NRSV)– a reality which is gratefully acknowledged by faith. For anyone who worries about their standing before God, this is indeed “a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort.”

There are many joyous doctrines like this in the Christian faith, from the major dogmas like the Trinity and the Incarnation to minor practices like infant communion. In this space, I will be exploring these doctrines, and how they help us understand the goodness of God in Christ.

Any theological topic is game, but here are some of the subjects I anticipate writing about:

  • The Holy Trinity
  • The Incarnation
  • The Cross
  • The Eucharist
  • Justification by faith alone
  • The Gospel

Stay tuned!

 

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