Practically speaking, there is a difference between dogma and being dogmatic. Dogma is a religious doctrine or system of doctrines proclaimed by the Church as authoritatively true. This word is legitimate, if it remains within the confines of its own backyard (context). However, when it jumps the fence and runs unrestrained by asserting its own individual and unproven doctrines as truth, the dogma becomes dogmatic. Dogmatists display their pedigree by their arrogant, egotistical, and overbearing spirit.
A dogmatist simply pushes the confines of sound dogma too far. They take a good thing to extreme until it is distorted and unrecognizable. Examples in which we often find the dogmatists straining at the leash of sound dogma are: the sovereignty of God and the free will of man; faith and works; God’s love and His wrath; doctrine and devotion; the local church and the true Church; just to name a few. There are always two extremes, two dog houses, each at opposite ends of a truth and far apart. Each takes one side of that truth and run off to their doghouse to feed innocent pups. There is no middle ground with a dogmatist; only his way or the highway!
The good news is that as despicable, detestable, and hideous as these dogmatists are, we owe them a debt of gratitude, because many of us can attest to the fact that we found our scriptural balance by observing where their teaching leads one. It led us back to the middle, to a just balance; to our spiritual sanity.
As believers, traveling along the path of our Christian walk, we will always hear dogmatists barking at us from either side of the road for they remain ever stuck in their doghouses.