Dogma Doesn't Matter?

Dorothy Sayers, in an address called "Creed or Chaos" originally published in 1946, on the absurdity of saying "dogma does not matter." Also a jolting statement about the theological illiteracy already emergent in the mid-20th century.

"The one thing I am here to say to you is this: that it is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality, unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology. It is a lie to say that dogma does not matter; it matters enormously. It is fatal to let people suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling; it is virtually necessary to insist that it is first and foremost a rational explanation of the universe. It is hopeless to offer Christianity as a vaguely idealistic aspiration of a simple and consoling kind; it is, on the contrary, a hard, tough, exacting, and complex doctrine, steeped in a drastic and uncompromising realism; it is fatal to imagine that everybody knows quite well what Christianity is and needs only a little encouragement to practice it. The brutal fact is that in this Christian country not one person in a hundred has the faintest notion about what the church teaches about God or man or society or the person of Jesus Christ."

Simply stunning.

Dorothy L. Sayers, “Creed or Chaos?” in Letters to a Diminished Church: Passionate Arguments for the Relevance of Christian Doctrine (New York: Thomas Nelson, 2004), 46.