Essential doctrines are particular doctrines that an
orthodox Christian is expected to hold. One who has recently received Christ is not expected to fully understand or articulate doctrines like that of the
Trinity and the
Deity of Christ, however, if he comes to reject these "essential doctrines" he no longer falls within orthodox Christianity. Therefore it is important to note what doctrines are rejected by a person or group,
as well as what doctrines are affirmed.
A common list of essential doctrines would be:
The most common lists of essential doctrines define
orthodoxy such that it would include most
Protestant denominations as well as
Roman Catholicism and
Eastern Orthodoxy. Critical doctrines coming out of the Protestant
Reformation, such as
justification by faith alone (
Sola Fide) and the
sole authority of Scripture (
Sola Scriptura) are often argued as "essential" by Protestants, but not so by the general academic community.