As I have mentioned in the past I have a quote in my office that is taken from Piper's Don't Waste Your Life; I use it as my mandate. "To so live and so study and so serve and so preach and so write that Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen God, be the only boast of this generation." That is great, but how can I determine whether or not I am writing to make Jesus the only boast or if I am simply adding to the heap of Internet rubbish? Simple, you use the Rubbish Filter 101...or as some people like to call it 1 Timothy 1. I use it to ask 7 sets of questions:
- Does it promote speculation? Is it clearly related to Scripture or does it require a "secret" knowledge to find it in Scripture?
- Does it accurately preserve the gospel and transmit the clear gospel? Is it faithful to the stewardship that God has given us?
- Is it motivated out of love? Or is it pride, self-evaluation, revenge, self-righteousness, bitterness, discord, or unbelief?
- Will it lead to vain discussion?
- Is my motivation to promote the unity and purity of the Bride of Christ or my own name?
- Does this come from a deep conviction and love for the Christ and His Gospel?
- Will this doctrine exalt man to an undue place?
There you have it. Mark Dever has a few good questions he asks concerning what doctrines are essential (I would be indebted to anyone that could provide a link to that). Also Michael Patton considers the same question, here.