Ronald E. Heine
Director, Institute of the Study of Christian Origins
Christian doctrine is that system of teachings by which the church defines what it means to be a Christian. It is grounded in the life of Jesus of Nazareth and is derived from the information concerning him in the Bible. Doctrine is affected by devotion in both formation and understanding, but they are not identical. Christian doctrine is also shaped and refined by challenges to it arising both from within the church and from outside it.