Reading the Bible

In “I Don’t Believe You” , I said that you need some additional scholarship or doctrinal interpretation to use The Bible as an Authority. Imagine my delight this evening, when I found one of my favorite bloggers, A Guy in the Pew, had blogged about exactly that. This particular blog was quoting Doug Chaplin, a parish priest in the Church of England. Check out what Doug has to say:

I have (with considerable trepidation) decided to offer some periodic posts on some of the ways Anglicans (okay – and others) are reading, are not reading, could be reading and should be reading their Bibles about same-sex relationships. . . .

I think we’re standing at a point where, in the light of all our knowledge, it seems reasonable to ask whether this is one of those occasions for the church to engage in the kind of drastic re-reading of texts we thought we knew. This is the relevance of, for example, the admission of Gentiles, or the banning of slavery. In those debates, which were as divisive and acrimonious as the present one, what won the day for the overturning of traditional readings of scripture was the conviction that other readings of scripture were truer both to the overall reading, and to the core of the gospel. That is, even if it remains the case that specific texts and the traditional reading of them did support the exclusion of the Gentiles, or the owning of slaves, they were texts that needed to be placed in the tradition’s archives in the light of reading the text as a Christocentric, salvific and truly life-giving whole.

There is a way to read the Bible, and not just discard it as irrelevant! I still think I’d want to check the doctrinal opinion and theological credentials of the person who wants to help me understand what the Bible says, but Doug has expressed the guidelines here in such an accessible form! Thank you to Chuck for quoting this part of Doug’s blog, and to Doug for writing it.

And that, dear reader, is why I love being part of the Anglican Communion, and I do so love this blogging technology.

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