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Regarding the church’s understanding of objective truth, John L. Girardeau writes:

It is needless to observe that its growth, in the history of the church, has largely depended upon the challenge of acknowledged truth by errorists, by the conflict of theological views, and by the thorough-going discussion which has for these reasons been necessitated. In this way the church’s knowledge of the doctrine of the Trinity, of sin, and of justification has been cleared up, matured and crystallized. To the precisely formulated statements of these truths it is not to be expected that much that is either novel or important will be added.

The same, however, is not true of the doctrine of adoption. It has not been made the subject of much controversy, nor has it received the didactic exposition which has ben devoted to most of the other topics included in the theology of redemption. Its importance has been to a large extent overlooked, its place in a distinct and independent treatment of the covenant of grace has been refused, while leading theologians have differed in regard even to its nature and its office (Discussions of Theological Questions, 428-429).

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