Historical region of Country
The example of baptismal faith, which is clearly fundamental, helps us to understand better the complexity of the history of Christian dogma. It demonstrates that the ongoing elucidation of the primitive faith took place mainly in the liturgy, the primary place of encounter with Christ, Son of God and source of the Spirit Lehmann, MystSal, 634f.. In it we see too the influences of the encounter with rhetoric concept of persona and philosophy, as well as the role of the magisterium which ruled out false explanations and whose most solemn decision, that of Nicaea, was likened to the divine word; and the function of theology, which sought to justify the interpretation of baptismal faith by looking at it in the context of the Bible, the basic witness of the fundamental baptismal experience. Finally, this explanation of the history of dogma includes the requirements of a complete historiography.
We cannot content ourselves with synodal decisions or the canonical letters of bishops, and neither is it enough to explain these undoubtedly decisive documents merely by the heresies they opposed; we must refer to the theology that brought to maturity those situations in which church authorities could no longer avoid taking a position. Also to be considered are preaching, liturgical texts, the testimony of Christian devotion, hagiography and Christian art, since all of this evidence expresses the consciousness of faith that lies behind the synodal confessions, decrees and canons, to say nothing of doctrines, like soteriology, that were never directly the object of the ancient magisterium. Finally we must point out, to the extent possible, the homogeneous transition from Scripture, in which the apostolic experience of the risen Christ remains in some way still accessible to us, to the theological and dogmatic expressions of the everrenewed recovery of that original experience of the faith of the people of God.