He was deliberately educated as an apostle, but it was as an apostle of reasoned truth in human affairs, not as an apostle of any system of dogmatic tenets.
The last of the great Latin Fathers and the first representative of medieval Catholicism he brings the dogmatic theology of Tertullian, Ambrose and Augustine into relation with the Scholastic speculation of later ages.
A bastard Platonism through hostility to Stoicism may become agnostic. Stoicism through hostility to its sceptical critics may prefer to accept some of the positions of the dogmatic nihilist.
Its head is the tsar; but although he makes and annuls all appointments, he does not determine questions of dogmatic theology.
His middle way attempts to show that the dogmatic creed is the rational development of what was implicit in religious feeling.
The writings of Galen contain less of simple objective observations than those of several other ancient physicians, all being swept into the current of dogmatic exposition.
He had already, before the opening of the Council, defined his personal attitude towards the dogmatic problem in two essays, Against the Gentiles and On the Incarnation, without, however, any special relation to the Arian controversy.
It was elaborated, and connected with dogmatic Gallicanism, by the famous theologian, Edmond Richer (1559-1631), and finally incorporated by Bossuet in a solemn Declaration of the French Clergy, made in 1682.
But as Locke's philosophy became in France sensationalism, and as Locke's pregnant question, reiterated by Collins, how we know that the divine power might not confer thought on matter, led the way to dogmatic materialism, so deism soon gave way to forms of thought more directly and completely subversive of the traditional theology.
On this method the sacred writings are regarded as an inexhaustible mine of philosophical and dogmatic wisdom; in reality the exegete reads his own ideas into any passage he chooses.