This quote is from ‘Religion in the Making,’ which I have been rereading only to find more sweet quotes for the sharing. Enjoy this one, it is a goodie and a point that sounds similar to Doug Pagitt in his newest book.
You cannot claim absolute finality for a dogma without claiming a commensurate finality for the sphere of thought within which it arose. If the dogmas of the Christian Church from the second to the sixth century centuries express finally and sufficiently the truths concerning the topics about which they deal, then the Greek philosophy of that period had developed a system of ideas of equal finality. You cannot limit the inspiration to a narrow circle of creeds. A dogma, in the sense of a precise statement, can never be final; it can only be adequate in its adjustment of certain abstract concepts…. Progress in truth, truth of science and truth of religion, is mainly a progress in the framing of concepts, in discarding artificial abstractions or partial metaphors, and in evolving notions which strike more deeply into the root of reality.
He previously defined dogma as, ‘the expression of a fact as it appears within a certain sphere of thought. You cannot convey a dogma by merely translating the words; you must also understand the system of thought to which it is relevant.’
As an aside, I think this might be the reason going Orthodox makes theological sense to many because if I am not mistaken they claim dogmatic finality with the big three theologians. (Theron could clarify if he is reading) I say that because I thought about it when I was reading Sergius Bulgakov.