John Henry Newman turned his thoughts to the obstacles of the development of doctrine before the end of 1842. He devoted the last of the university sermons in preparation for his “best book”. The first of the Sermons, on the Theory of Religious Belief, preached at the University of Oxford, warned against “answering every objection to the words of Scripture” and the next sermon “The Nature of Faith in Relation to Reason” presumed an act of faith to be an exercise of reason. But the last and most brilliant of the sermons is “The Theory of Developments in Religious Doctrine”. Newman's theory was that doctrinal developments in Catholicism were merely interpretations of the original revelation presented to Christ and his Apostles. Newman felt, in this sense, preserved the nineteenth-century Christian dogma and that the people only needed to believe in the one unified Catholic Church.
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