As a kid, I liked to play with dominos. I would try to arrange them in neat patterns, and even try to stack them in certain ways to build a toy house or a bridge. But the problem with building any structure with dominos is that if you make one slight mess up with any one domino, the whole project would come crashing down.
Some years ago, I put an addition with an extra bedroom on the small house I was living in. But I learned that the most important part was the foundation. Footers supporting the new structure had to be strengthened prior to any further work being done, and I was glad for it! For within a few months after completing the project, a terrible storm came and ripped part of the siding off of the brand new addition. That was a bummer! But the siding was not fundamental to the foundation, so I was able to live in the addition while it was getting repaired. But if something had gone wrong with the foundation, I would have had to abandon the entire structure.
You would never build a real house with dominos.
Dallas Seminary New Testament scholar Daniel B. Wallace recently was reviewing a book and mentioned the problem of domino theology in evangelical Christianity. I think Wallace is sadly correct. It is a real problem in the church.
I have had numerous disturbing conversations with well meaning Christians as to how they view the Bible. Some subscribe to the notion that they believe Christianity is an all-or-nothing proposition regarding the Scriptural text. If they were to find but one error in the Bible, even if it is a small, minor or obscure one, then it threatens the whole substance of their faith. They could never trust any of the Bible or anything in Christianity at all if there was yet but just one small minor problem or discrepancy that they could not solve.
This is domino theology in action. All it takes is one slight move of doubt and the whole thing comes crashing down. Watching all of the dominos fall is great fun for a kid playing a game, but it is a disaster when it comes to trying to build your faith.