Thoughts on doctrinal development
I like studying doctrinal history, and understanding how, when, and why, different Christian doctrines and ideas have changed over time. As a result I have formed some opinions about the validity of various doctrines based on their origins and history.
I am occasionally bemused when someone expresses the view that it's not legitimate to draw opinions on a doctrine from a study of its origins and history, and that "doctrinal development" is perfectly allowable.
I tend to side with the following view:
"the Gospel is never different from what it was before. Hence, if at any time someone says that the faith includes something which yesterday was not said to be of the faith, it is always heterodoxy, which is any doctrine different from orthodoxy. There is no difficulty about recognising false doctrine: there is no argument about it: it is recognised at once, whenever it appears, merely because it is new." (Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Premiere Instruction pastorale 27)