It is abundantly clear that churches continue to be challenged in new interpretations and applications of scripture that historically were perceived as clearly understood – with troubling ramifications for many of those churches and believers. We intend to examine in some detail some of those challenges for the purpose that the people of God may base their practices on a sure foundation of Biblical truth. We begin with a few general thoughts about “trends” in the church and the relationship between the church and doctrine. The history of the church is a confrontation with culture. From the 1st century onward, the church has been challenged to choose between conflict and compromise. It has always been that way. It will likely continue to be that way. Jesus was in conflict with culture and refused any compromise. Trends are difficult to recognize or define and continue in some nether land of historical momentum as the church seeks to respond to culture, too often in a spirit of compromise. Sound doctrine is valuable. Sound doctrine matters most when one has a love for the truth and the infinite difference between truth and error. To turn away from a difficult passage or doctrine in the name of compromise or peace is a poor decision. We should study until we become convinced, and then stand on that truth. The purpose of these introductory thoughts is to provide the tools for recognizing Biblical authority, as well as how to discuss the differences between faith and opinion.