A few days ago, a jolt of excitement swept through my wife and children. They released the first trailer of the new Star Wars movie coming out in December. And of course these days, once it is out it is everywhere immediately, including on my phone. (A small confession, our family gets very engrossed in epic fantasy fiction like The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars and The Avengers. The Avengers: End Game comes out at the end of the month. We already have our tickets.)
When my parents “downsized” to a smaller home a few years ago, they invited my siblings and me to take anything we wanted that they weren’t taking with the new move. One of the treasures I snagged was a pale yellow plastic bottle opener. You don’t see this type of bottle opener much anymore.
There are few words in our language as warm and cuddly as Dogma. Doesn’t that word just feel like a linguistic hug? On the contrary, most of us recoil when we hear it. Our defenses go up. Instead of a hug it sounds like someone is trying to put us in a linguistic strait jacket. But the original meaning of dogma was “that which seems good.”
Of course, the word dogma takes on different meanings in different contexts. In the Church in means “a religious truth established by Divine Revelation and defined by the Church.” In other words, a “definitive teaching” or a core belief that defines who we are. The Episcopal Church has just two dogmas. You may not know them as dogma per se, but they will not surprise you.